Monday, June 18, 2018
Public safety

Florida man turns over image of one of Boston bombers

After finishing the Boston Marathon on Monday, David Green felt terrible because he could not help the victims maimed by the bomb explosions.

That changed Thursday when the Federal Bureau of Investigation released pictures of the suspected bombers. His phone started ringing.

Green, 49, of Jacksonville Beach, didn't realize he had captured a clear photo of one of the suspects, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, moments after the second bomb exploded. He had posted the picture on Facebook on Monday night to let his friends and family know he was not injured in the blasts.

Green then compared his picture of a suspect wearing a white hat to the photo circulating in the media. The FBI wanted the picture.

"I could have never imagined having some small part of redemption," Green said on the telephone. "I was at the lowest of lows on Monday. Now I was able to help out."

Green is the CEO of 110 Play Harder, which makes athletic apparel. He and seven of his employees attended an exposition at the marathon to promote the firm's products.

Green said he always runs the marathon. He finished the race at 1:49 p.m. and started looking for his employees.

His cellphone died. After borrowing a charger for 10 minutes in a coffee shop, he walked up Fairfield Street searching for the workers. Then the first bomb exploded.

"I thought it was a cannon," Green said. "I got shoved back and knew this was bad. People were freaking out."

Then second bomb exploded.

"In that quick second, I just grabbed my phone," he said. "I just took one photo."

He offered this explanation for why he grabbed his phone: "I was in New York for 9/11."

After putting his phone away, Green said, instinct took over. He tried assisting victims.

"I saw horrific carnage," he said. "I couldn't do anything to help."

Late Monday, Green said, he called the FBI to let them know he had been near the explosions. Agents took his information and asked him if anything stood out. It didn't. Agents thanked him for the call.

Thursday evening, Green said agents fast-tracked his call and asked him to circulate the photo.

"They said, 'You have the best photo,' " Green said.

He and his wife, Monica, and their two sons moved to Florida more than 10 years ago. His phone continued to ring Friday morning.

"It's a little crazy right now," he said.

Times researcher Carolyn Edds contributed to this report. Mark Puente can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8459. Follow him at Twitter at twitter.com/markpuente.

 
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