David Henneberry, the man who discovered Dzhokhar Tsarnaev hiding out inside his boat, got choked up when talking about the victims of the deadly blasts.
David Henneberry, 66, dismisses claims that he is a national hero, saying that if anything, he is an “incidental hero”.
“It makes me feel wonderful that people that are thinking like that, but it is my boat. People lost lives and lost limbs,” David Henneberry told local station WCVB.
David Henneberry’s role in the saga came when he walked outside of his Watertown home early Friday evening after the shelter-in-place order was lifted in Boston, and the first place he went was to check his boat, that he calls “my baby”.
Earlier in the day, when he was still indoors, David Henneberry noticed that two of the pads that he puts in between the shrink wrap and his boat in order to prevent chaffing had fallen out of place.
“It was really windy, so I didn’t think twice about it,” he said.
As he tells it, David Henneberry was not expecting to find anything out of the ordinary when he went to adjust the pads.
“Go out and get some air. I am just going to put the pads back. They were bugging me all day. So I went out in the yard and felt the freedom that everyone is Watertown was feeling. When I pulled the strap, it was a lot looser than it usually is. But again, the wind could have loosened things up,” he told WCVB.
Even when he saw “a good amount” of blood on the inside of the cabin, he initially doubted himself, thinking back to whether he had accidentally been cut when he was inside the boat weeks earlier.
“And I looked back and forth a couple of times and my eyes went to the engine block and there was a body,” David Henneberry said.
He then ran back to his house and called the police, who immediately took over the scene. David Henneberry and his wife remain displaced from their home as investigators continue to comb over the boat and the property for clues.
“We had great sight and cover on what we had in the boat,” Boston Police Superintendant William Evans said in a Tuesday evening press conference.
“It was just a matter of holding until the tactical team came in to get him out.”
Police did in fact find the second bombing suspect inside the boat, ironically named the “Slip Away II”.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, was taken into police custody and transported to Beth Israel Hospital for treatment from various wounds likely sustained from the early Friday morning altercation with police, where his older brother Tamerlan was killed.
“Slip Away is slipping away. But I say it did its job. It held a bad guy and is going away like a Viking ship,” David Henneberry said to WCVB.
He also said that he is aware of a social media campaign where supporters are raising money to buy him a new boat after his was damaged in the apprehension of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Instead, David Henneberry wants people to donate to a fund set up for those who were injured in last Monday’s bombing.
“I am lucky I am alive. These other people were killed. Sometimes, I just sit and say, <<Wow>>,” David Henneberry said.
“This hits you more afterwards when you think <<My God, we probably slept last night, this guy could be in the (boat)>>… It’s surreal.”