SOMERVILLE, MA — Jerry Siegel, the manager of Webster Auto Body in Somerville, Mass., didn’t realize at first that he knew the father of the two men suspected of carrying out the Boston Marathon bombing earlier this week.
But he quickly found out in the chaos of the past day that his former employee, Anzor Tsarnaev, was the pair’s dad.“I thought that he was an uncle of those kids and it ended up that he’s the father,” Siegel, 54, said Friday.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, have been identified as suspects in the bombing by the FBI. The older of the two sons died after a shootout with police early Friday morning, while the other remained at large.
According to Siegel, their father worked at Webster as a “body man” for a little while in 2004 or so. Siegel hasn’t seen Anzor in years, and said he thought the father was working out of “some garage” now. However, the suspects’ uncle said on Friday that their father had moved to Russia with his wife about a year ago, according to the New York Times.
Siegel said Anzor was known in the neighborhood for working on his car outside, even in winter.
Webster Auto Shop, located on Webster Avenue, is just around the corner from the Norfolk Street address that’s associated with the Tsarnaev family and that was searched by law enforcement on Friday.
Siegel described Anzor as a “nice guy,” and recalled a time when a man who worked at the shop was hit by a car and Anzor dragged him out of the street.
“Big guy, tough guy,” Siegel said. “Would do anything you told him to.”
In Siegel’s recollection, Anzor’s sister had come by and lobbied hard to get her brother a job at the shop. During TPM’s conversation with Siegel, an on-camera interview given on Friday by Maret Tsarnaev, an aunt of the bombing suspects, came on a television in Siegel’s office. Asked if that was Aznor’s sister, the one who got him the job at Webster’s, Siegel, while cautious, given the number of years that have gone by, said he thought so.
“I just remember her promoting the hell out of him,” Siegel said. “I remember her saying ‘he can take a car completely apart and put it back together.'”
During the aunt’s interview, she alleged that the two suspects had been framed in Monday’s bombing. The allegation was echoed by Anzor in an interview aired on Fox News.
Siegel said Anzor had difficulty with English when he worked at Webster, and was a quiet guy — not that Siegel minded quiet employees.
“He didn’t talk when he was here,” Siegel said. “He just worked.”