The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

National News

April 19, 2013

Florida runner gets photo of suspect fleeing Marathon

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. — Seconds after the Boston Marathon bombs exploded, David Green pulled out his smartphone and took a photo of the chaos developing a couple hundred yards in front of him — the smoke, the people running in panic.

The Jacksonville businessman then put his phone back in his pocket and went to help the injured. It wasn’t until Thursday, when officials released surveillance video of the two suspects in the twin blasts, that Green realized what he had — a picture of 19-year-old Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, distinctive in his backward white baseball cap, walking away from the scene.

Tsarnaev, known to the FBI as Suspect No. 2, was still on the run Friday, prompting authorities to shut down the city of Boston and its western suburbs and warn residents to stay inside with their doors locked while police and federal agents hunted him down.

Tsarnaev’s older brother, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, identified as Suspect No. 1, was killed overnight, officials said.

When Green’s photo of one of the Boston bombing suspects fleeing the scene first surfaced, there was considerable doubt as to its authenticity because of the very low resolution of the image, which made the photo appear to be a composite image. When Green later provided the high-resolution frame directly from his cellphone, editors of The Associated Press were able to establish its authenticity based on the improved resolution as well as the time the photo was taken. The AP has established an exclusive arrangement for distribution of the photograph.

Green, back at his home in Florida, wore his yellow and blue Boston Marathon jersey as he talked about the now-famous photo, his finisher’s medal from the race propped on a shelf in his home office.

Green, 49, had finished Monday’s marathon in 3 hours and 17 minutes, about an hour before the blasts. An avid endurance athlete and CEO of 110% Play Harder, a sportswear company, it was his first Boston Marathon and four of his co-workers had come to the finish line to cheer for him.

After he recovered, he went back to Boylston Street, where the finish line is located, to watch the rest of the race with his friends. He realized his phone was dying, so he went into a nearby store with a recharging station.

About 15 minutes later, he was walking back to his friends when the first bomb went off.

“I thought maybe it was a cannon,” Green said. Then the second one exploded as he was walking toward it.

“When I saw it, I pulled out the camera and immediately took that picture,” Green said.

He then put it back in his pocket and went to help the injured, including a boy and others who were missing limbs.

“It was like battle — a lot of noise, a lot of smoke, people coming at me in a panic,” he said.

A short time later, his friend Jason Lubin texted him and asked if he was OK. He replied with the photograph and a note: “It was just in front of me.”

Lubin said Thursday night, after the FBI released photos of the two suspects, that he decided to take a closer look at Green’s photograph — on the off chance Green had captured anything unusual. He pulled up the photo on his smartphone and zoomed in on the crowd. There in the lower left corner was Tsarnaev walking around a corner, his backward white baseball cap standing out amid the dozens of panicked people fleeing. He appeared to be buttoning his jacket.

“I literally had to sit down,” Lubin said.

He said he immediately sent Green a text message.

“I told him in my view it was a 100 percent match with the guy on TV,” Lubin said.

That prompted Green to contact the FBI, which told him to send them a copy of the photograph.

He said that looking at the photo now, he is struck by two things: Tsarnaev isn’t carrying the backpack the surveillance videos show him with before the bombings, and he is acting very differently from everyone around him.  

“He is calmly walking, without panic,” Green said.

 

1
Text Only
National News
  • Obama shows skepticism on Russia in Ukraine

    President Barack Obama conveyed skepticism Thursday about Russian promises to de-escalate a volatile situation in Ukraine, and said the United State and its allies are ready to impose fresh sanctions if Moscow doesn’t make good on its commitments.

    April 17, 2014

  • Judge in gay marriage case asks pointed questions

    A judge in Colorado who will play a pivotal role deciding whether gays should be allowed to wed in the United States asked pointed questions Thursday about whether Oklahoma can legally ban the unions.

    April 17, 2014

  • Cyber cops: Target hackers may take years to find

    Secret Service investigators say they are close to gaining a full understanding of the methods hackers used to breach Target’s computer systems last December.

    April 17, 2014

  • Court to weigh challenge to ban on campaign lies

    As political campaigns begin to heat up, the Supreme Court is deciding whether false accusations and mudslinging made during an election can be punished as a crime.

    April 16, 2014

  • Auto Show Nissan Hot _Cast.jpg Hot models at this year’s New York Auto Show

    With more than 1 million visitors annually, the New York International Auto Show is one of the most important shows for the U.S. auto industry.

    April 16, 2014 3 Photos

  • Transportation Blues 2.jpg Congress is giving states the transportation blues

    On the road in a tour bus this week, the U.S. transportation secretary is spreading some bad news: the government’s Highway Trust Fund is nearly broke.

    April 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • Report: Russia withheld intel before Boston attack

    A yearlong review of information the U.S. intelligence community had prior to the Boston Marathon bombing found that the investigation could have been more thorough.

    April 11, 2014

  • Obama Health Secretary.jpg Obama announces Sebelius resignation, successor

    President Barack Obama praised outgoing Health and Human Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for helping to steer his health care law’s comeback after a rocky rollout, even as he nominated a successor aimed at helping the White House move past the political damage.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police seek driver in deadly Florida day care crash

    As mourners trickled by Thursday to honor the 4-year-old girl who was killed and 14 others injured in a crash at a Florida day care, authorities scoured the state for the driver they said fled in the vehicle that caused the fatal wreck.

    April 10, 2014

  • Stephen Colbert-Late _Cast.jpg Stephen Colbert to replace Letterman on late show

    CBS moved swiftly Thursday to replace the retiring David Letterman with Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert, who will take over the “Late Show” next year and do battle with Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel for late-night television supremacy.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo