Nadine Ascencao, Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s ex-girlfriend, has revealed the Boston bomber once slapped her and he always acted like a “bully” and a “tough guy” at high school but appeared harmless.
Nadine Ascencao, 25, has spoken out about her relationship with Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who allegedly planted two bombs at the Boston Marathon last week, killing three people and injuring more than 180.
Despite this heinous crime and a disturbing pattern of verbal and physical abuse towards women, Nadine Ascencao has claimed Tamerlan Tsarnaev she once lived with did not appear to be capable of “anything major”.
“He was a little tough guy, but I thought that was it,” Nadine Ascencao told the Wall Street Journal.
“In high school, everybody acts like that. Like a bully guy, you know?”
“He was just like a normal person that sometimes like wanted to scare kids in high school but that was it…. He was a little tough guy, but I thought that was it.”
Despite her claims, Nadine Ascencao was once allegedly the victim of Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s temper; police records show she was the woman who accused him of slapping her on July 28, 2009, The Journal reported.
Nadine Ascencao refused to speak to The Journal about the incident, but records show she told police Tamerlan Tsarnaev had slapped her in the face during an argument over another woman at his home in Cambridge.
She was “crying hysterically” and called 911 to report that she was “beat up by her boyfriend”, Cambridge Police Officer Angela Pereira wrote in the arrest report.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev admitted to slapping Nadine Ascencao and was arrested on charges of assault and battery, the complaint said. The charges were dismissed before trial.
While Nadine Ascencao would not say when she dated Tamerlan Tsarnaev or for how long, records also show they lived together for a short time at an apartment on Norfolk Street.
Nadine Ascencao added to The Journal that she was “disgusted” by his alleged part in the deadly bombings.
When she learned Tamerlan Tsarnaev had died: “I didn’t even cry or anything,” Nadine Ascencao said.
Nadine Ascencao’s neighbors said FBI agents visited her home early on Friday morning to clarify the relationship she had with him. The agents left three hours later and briefly returned in the afternoon.
Around 11 months after the alleged slapping incident, Tamerlan Tsarnaev married his wife, Katherine Russell.
Katherine Russell Tsarnaev has not spoken publicly since Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s death early Friday in a shootout with police.
But three of Katherine Russell’s friends told National Public Radio’s Laura Sullivan that Tamerlan Tsarnaev would often insult Katherine and call her names, such as “slut” and “prostitute”.
He was known to fly into into fits of rage where he would throw objects at Russell, including furniture, friends said.
Sometime around 2008, Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s erratic and violent behavior escalated as he stopped smoking and drinking and suddenly became heavily involved in Islam. Also around that time, he demanded that Katherine Russell, born a Christian, convert to Islam – and she complied.
Despite their tumultuous, on-again, off-again relationship, Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Katherine Russell married on June 21, 2010.