A man was arrested Wednesday after he was caught with a meat cleaver in his car outside the federal courthouse moments before the Boston bomber apologized at his formal death sentencing.
In a dramatic turn of events exclusively captured by Metro's photographers, police quickly arrested the man – later identified by police as Patrick Carreiro, 24 – after he drove an SUV past the barricades of a Boston court Wednesday. He was found with a large meat cleaver in his possession.
Officers confronted the man when he pulled up in front of the courthouse, a restricted area, in a car without a license plate, according to eyewitnesses and police
"Officers learned the suspect had driven to the courthouse to express his opposition and dissent with the death penalty," the Boston Police Department later said in a statement.
"A search of the vehicle enabled officers to see and take possession of what appeared to be a meat cleaver. At no point did the suspect use or threaten anyone with the weapon."
Friends of Carreiro, a former student at Framingham State University who worked at the school’s student newspaper The Gatepost, were shocked by the incident.
“He’s always had his eccentric moments, but nothing like this,” said Helen D’Arpino, who said she has known Carreiro since high school. “I’m totally shocked right now."
D’Arpino said she last spoke with him about one week ago and didn’t sense any change in him.
“I was texting him the other day,” she said. “Just, ‘Hey, how’s it going?’ Nothing out of the ordinary at all.”
But another friend said that Carreiro was struggling emotionally and had begun sending messages that he found worrying.
Joe Kourieh, another friend of Carreiro’s who also worked for FSU’s student newspaper, said he also spoke with the man just a few days ago.
“I don’t think I’ve ever heard him mention anything about Tsarnaev,” Kourieh said. “I have no knowledge of any motivation he would have to disrupt the Tsarnaev hearing."
Carreiro’s Facebook page includes infrequent posts about the bombing and Tsarnaev case, including one article about survivors making a plea not to execute him.
“It’s not our duty to punish,” he wrote on April 17, in a post not specifically linked to the bomber’s trial.
His most recent post on Facebook reads: “life could be so much better than our country, world allows.”