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Accused marathon bomber was involved in 2012 Arlington incident

Posted by Brock Parker  April 24, 2013 04:45 PM

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Arlington Police have turned over information to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force about a 2012 house party and disturbance in which Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was involved.

Arlington Police Chief Frederick Ryan said Wednesday that police responded to a report of a disturbance caused by a house party and public drinking on Paul Revere Road on the night of July 4, 2012.

At the scene, the chief said police encountered Tsarnaev, who was sitting in the passenger seat of his own Honda sedan. Ryan said the Honda was the same car that was found in Watertown last Friday after Tsarnaev and his brother and alleged marathon-bombing accomplice, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, engaged in a gunfight with police.

Police said they had earlier shot and killed MIT Police Officer Sean Collier.

Tamerlan, 26, was killed in the gunbattle. Dzhokhar was wounded by escaped. He was captured in Watertown later on Friday.

In 2012 Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, of Cambridge, was not charged or cited in relation to the Independence Day incident in Arlington, but the person operating his car was cited for having an open container of alcohol in a vehicle, Ryan said.

Ryan said police have turned over records of the incident to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force and the incident report is not being released at this time because it is part of the ongoing investigation and contains names of other people Tsarnaev was with that night in Arlington.

Tsarnaev was charged Monday with using a weapon of mass destruction in the April 15 attacks that killed three people at the Boston Marathon and injured more than 200 people

While the manhunt was still underway for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev last week, Ryan said Arlington Police entered his name in a department database and discovered the encounter with him on Paul Revere Road last summer.

Ryan said Arlington Police responded to the house where Dzhokhar had been to make sure he was not there.

“We went and did a sort of knock-and-talk with the occupant of that home to learn what their relationship was with the person who was being pursued,” Ryan said.

Ryan said police also asked when the resident last had contact with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. The chief said he could not disclose what the resident said because it is part of the ongoing investigation.

Betty Tassinari, who lives on Paul Revere Road, said she came home from work on July 4 and had to go around police, who were talking to three men in the Honda, which was parked across the street from her house.

Tassinari said they were parked in a no-parking zone and police spent a significant amount of time talking to them.

"I got up there and got a glass of wine and watched," she said. "They stayed there a while. They were asking for I.D.s."

Another man who lives on Paul Revere Road, who declined to give his name or say which house was having the party, said he called police on the men with the Honda at the request of his wife. He said there were four kids and they were standing around with beer cans on the roof of the car. He said it was clear the men were not interested in abiding the rules.

When he saw the news report Thursday that one of the men was the Boston Marathon bombing suspect, he chalked it up to coincidence.

"I immediately told all my friends that 'hey, I turned him in," for public drinking, he said.

--brock.globe@gmail.com

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