Watertown police testify before Congress on Marathon bombings

An ambulance containing Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, departs 67 Franklin Street, where he was discovered hiding inside a boat in Watertown, Massachusetts. Credit: Reuters.
An ambulance containing Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, departs 67 Franklin St., where he was discovered hiding inside a boat in Watertown, Mass.
Credit: Reuters

The harrowing shootout between the accused Boston Marathon bombers and Watertown police was recounted in dramatic detail on Wednesday for a Congressional committee examining the lessons learned from the attack.  

“For eight and a half minutes we were the best damn police department in the world,” said Watertown Police Chief Ed Deveau, who recalled how his officers narrowly avoided bullets and bombs being aimed at them allegedly by Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Deveau along with Sgt. Jeffrey Pugliese, former Boston police commissioner Ed Davis and Harvard professor Herman Leonard testified before a U.S. House Homeland Security Committee meeting titled “The Boston Marathon Bombings, One Year On: A Look Back to Look Forward.”

Committee Chairman Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas praised the work of the first responders and said their bravery the night of April 19 stopped further people from being hurt.

“Our nation could have been further terrorized. These terrorists had six more bombs in their car and they were on their way to Times Square,” McCaul said.

The law enforcement officials and experts were asked by committee members what lessons they learned and the how the communication during the response and manhunt could have been improved.

Deveau said in situations like the Marathon attacks it would help to include not just large departments and agencies, but also smaller ones like Watertown.

“In Watertown … doesn’t make sense to have somebody on the [Joint Terrorism Task Force] on a full-time basis, but when something like this happens we need to have access to that table and play a role there,” he said.

The hearing comes just days before the first anniversary of the Marathon bombings. It also comes just days before the airing of a TV program on the National Geographic Channel titled “Inside the Hunt for the Boston Bombers.”

The two-hour show, which will air Sunday at 9 p.m., uses news media footage, amateur-shot video, firsthand accounts and dramatic recreations, to follow the days after the bombings as information unfolded. National Geographic said the producers received unprecedented access to the FBI, Boston Police Department, survivors of the bombings and those caught up in the manhunt.

Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.


MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…


U.N. nuclear inquiry on Iran seen making slow…

The U.N. nuclear watchdog appears to have made only limited progress so far in getting Iran to answer questions about its suspected atomic bomb research, diplomatic sources said on Friday,…


Violence-weary Missouri town sees second night of calm

By Nick Carey and Carey GillamFERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) - The violence-weary town of Ferguson, Missouri, saw a second straight evening of relative calm on Thursday…


Journalist James Foley's parents, after call with pope,…

The parents of James Foley, the American journalist killed by Islamic State militants in Iraq, on Friday called for prayer and support to free the remaining captives held by Islamic…


Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.


Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm


Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.


Michael Chiklis on his football past and 'When…

Michael Chiklis remembers playing football in high school and how that prepped him to play a coach in "When the Game Stands Tall."


Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.


Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.


Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.


Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.


Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…


Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…


Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…


Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…