Monday, February 17, 2014

The account of witness "Danny" according to the criminal complaint

The criminal complaint against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was the first official paper with detailed information on the case, published on April 22th, 2013. It contains the earliest account of the victim of the alleged carjacking (later identified as "Danny"). I transcribed the crucial passages (19, 20, 21) for documentary purposes and added section 22 for completion, which is not part of the victim's account.

19. Near midnight on April 18, 2013, an individual carjacked a vehicle at gunpoint in Cambridge, Massachusetts. A victim of the carjacking was interviewed by law enforcement and provided the following information. The victim stated that while he was sitting in his car on a road in Cambridge, a man approached and tapped on his passenger-side window. When the victim rolled down the window, the man reached in, opened the door, and entered the victim's vehicle. The man pointed a firearm at the victim and stated, "Did you hear about the Boston explosion?" and "I did that." The man removed the magazine from his gun and showed the victim that it had a bullet in it, and then re-inserted the magazine. The man then stated, "I am serious."

20. The man with the gun forced the victim to drive to another location, where they picked up a second man. The two men put something in the trunk of the victim's vehicle. The man with the gun took the victim's keys and sat in the driver's seat, while the victim moved to the front passenger seat. The second man entered the victim's vehicle and sat in the rear passenger seat. The man with the gun and the second man spoke to each other in a foreign language.

21. While they were driving, the man with the gun demanded money from the victim, who gave the man 45 dollars. One of the men compelled the victim to hand over his ATM card and password. They then drove to an ATM machine and attempted to withdraw money from the victim's account. The two men and the victim then drove to a gas station/convenience store in the vicinity of 816 Memorial Drive, Cambridge. The two men got out of the car, at which point the victim managed to escape.

22. A short time later, the stolen vehicle was located by law enforcement in Watertown, Massachusetts. As the men drove down Dexter Street in Watertown, they threw at least two small improvised explosive devices ("IEDs") out of the car. A gun fight ensued between the car's occupants and law enforcement officers in which numerous shots were fired. One of the men was severly injured and remained at the scene; the other managed to escape in the car. That car was later found abandoned a short distance away, and an intact low-grade explosive device was discovered inside it. In addition, from the scene of the shootout on Laurel Street in Watertown, the FBI has recovered two unexploded IEDs, as well as the remnants of numerous exploded IEDs.