TODAY   |  May 01, 2013

Boston carjack victim: ‘I don’t know’ why I’m alive

A man known as Danny, who was held captive in his own car by the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, tells TODAY’s Matt Lauer he doesn’t know why the pair didn’t kill him and describes what he thought about to get him through the ordeal.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> with more of our interview by the man who was carjacked by the boston marathon bombing suspects. the young man goes by danny . he asked us to conceal his identity.

>> at one point you stopped at an atm, right?

>> yes.

>> is it true when you pulled over to go to the atm, a police car went by?

>> yes.

>> there's a moment you had to think --

>> yeah, maybe if i jump out.

>> and what stopped you?

>> i look around. it's like nothing there. i have no idea where to run, you know, the stores had been closed.

>> as the night wore on, danny 's friends began to text and call his cell phone , wondering why he wasn't home.

>> now the phone's going off. is it true you didn't answer it one time?

>> i missed the fourth call because tamerlan was trying to talk to me, ask, who is calling you? i said, it's my roommate. he was nervous, took out his gun, pointed to me and say, you say one single word in chinese, i will kill you right now.

>> but you answered the phone.

>> i answered the second call.

>> what did your roommate ask me?

>> he was talking in chinese. he ask, danny , where are you?

>> and you couldn't answer?

>> i couldn't answer.

>> because he threatened to kill me.

>> so i answer him in english. i say, i'm going to sleep at my friend's place tonight. my roommate is like, why? why you speak english to me? we kept talking. i got to go, i got to go.

>> why don't you think they killed you?

>> i don't know.

>> do you think it's because you weren't american?

>> that's not the only reason. we had a lot of conversation. and i made him feel i wanted to end stupid.

>> danny found a way to remain hopeful. during this time, you thought about a young lady .

>> yeah.

>> that you didn't know that well.

>> i thought about a girl in europe.

>> why did you think about her?

>> actually, i mostly like her and i think it give me encouragement. i want to see her again. that's -- that's what i was thinking.

>> have you had the chance to tell her that since this ordeal ended?

>> i told her. i told her.

>> how did she feel about that?

>> she feel -- you know, she feel it's unbelievable, oh, my god, you know, and she said she's proud of me.

>> authorities credit danny 's composure and quick thinking with keeping him alive and helping police track down the bombers.

>> he should think of himself as a hero but in his own words he was only trying to save himself. by saving himself he may have saved countless lives, if in fact, these two suspects were planning on more bombings.

>> did you learn anything else about yourself?

>> yes, you can do any situation and still have hope.

>> a very brave young man. we thank him for sitting down for that interview.

>> incredible presence of mind.