EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Tsarnaev’s mechanic: ‘He looked nervous’

A combination of handout pictures released through the FBI website. Credit: Reuters
A combination of handout pictures released through the FBI website.
Credit: Reuters

Somerville mechanic Gilberto Junior, who said he regularly worked on the vehicles of the two Boston Marathon bombing suspects, said fugitive suspect Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev came into his shop Tuesday visibly nervous to pick up a white Mercedes that had no tail lights and no bumper.

Tsarnaev, 19, of Cambridge, Mass., is on the run, and his accomplice and brother, Tamerlan Tsarneav, 26, is dead following a shoot-out near the MIT campus last night.

“Number Two (Tsarnaev) came into my shop Tuesday. I had no idea, no clue (he was a suspect). He said he was fixing his girlfriend’s car. I didn’t finish it. It had no rear bumper, no tail light. He was very nervous, and said ‘I need the car right now,’ and took the car,” said Junior, adding that “He was biting his finger nails.”

Junior, who prefer his body shop not be named, said Tsarnaev often came in with a group of male friends, including Suspect One, all who told him they were Turkish.

“I’d say five or six friends,” he said. “Last month I asked them where they were from, and they said from Turkey.  All the friends; I said ‘You don’t look Turkish, and (Tsarnaev) said, “I was born in Russia but I was living in Turkey.’ The others are from Turkey. They all drive nice cars, they all dress nice. Louis Vitton shoes that probably cost $800. They drive Porches and and the Range Rovers,” Junior said, adding that the men all had “heavy accents.”

“I don’t speak perfect English, but they had heavy accents. (Tsarnaev’s) was mixed, kind of Russian and Turkish,” he said.

Tsarnaev first told Junior last week that car the belonged to his girlfriend, but then on Tuesday said it belonged to a friend.

“I recognized him because of his big nose. He has a really big nose. The side picture on the news looked like him…I knew one hundred percent it was him. I still can’t believe it.”

Junior said the guys, including Tsarnaev, seemed like good people.

“I realized evil can look normal as can be,” he said.


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