Carjack Victim Recounts 90 Minutes With The Tsarnaev Brothers

The man who was carjacked in Cambridge by two men who turned out to be the Tsarnaev brothers has told his story to The Boston Globe:

The 26-year-old Chinese entrepreneur had just pulled his new Mercedes to the curb on Brighton Avenue to answer a text when an old sedan swerved behind him, slamming on the brakes. A man in dark clothes got out and approached the passenger window. It was nearly 11 p.m. last Thursday.

The man rapped on the glass, speaking quickly. Danny, unable to hear him, lowered the window — and the man reached an arm through, unlocked the door, and climbed in, brandishing a silver handgun.

“Don’t be stupid,” he told Danny. He asked if he had followed the news about Monday’s Boston Marathon bombings. Danny had, down to the release of the grainy suspect photos less than six hours earlier.

“I did that,” said the man, who would later be identified as Tamerlan Tsarnaev. “And I just killed a policeman in Cambridge.”

He ordered Danny to drive — right on Fordham Road, right again on Commonwealth Avenue — the beginning of an achingly slow odyssey last Thursday night and Friday morning in which Danny felt the possibility of death pressing on him like a vise.

In an exclusive interview with the Globe on Thursday, Danny — the victim of the Tsarnaev brothers’ much-discussed but previously little-understood carjacking — filled in some of the last missing pieces in the timeline between the murder of MIT police officer Sean Collier, just before 10:30 p.m. on April 18, and the Watertown shootout that ended just before 1 a.m. Danny asked that he be identified only by his American nickname.

Read the whole thing, it really is quite compelling. One thought occurs, though. If it hadn’t been for this guy’s quick thinking and his ability to get away from his captors, the police chase and shootout that led to the death of one of the Tsarnaev and the eventual capture of the other very likely would not have happened, or at least not would have unfolded the way it did.

FILED UNDER: Crime, Policing, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Mikey says:

    That’s just amazing. “Danny” credits his escape to reflexes, but the article shows a young man with great presence of mind and keen intelligence.

    How ironic that a young person from China who had been a grad student in Boston would be a key to the killing of Tamerlan and capture of Dzhokhar. If I believed in an afterlife, I’d think Lu Lingzhi might be smiling.

  2. John Peabody says:

    Quite good. Situational awareness applied beautifully. Don’t they train people in Middle East kidnappings to try to escape right away? The theory is that chances for escape start to dwindle with each hour.