The home of an Irish immigrant, Brendan Toye 33, was next door to where terrorist suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19 was hiding on a boat in Watertown, Massachusetts.
He lives at 67 Franklin Place in the Boston suburb of Watertown. Tsarnaev was hiding in a boat in 66 Franklin Street.
SWAT teams broke down Brendan’s door with a battering ram and used his house as a headquarters while they surveyed the boat which was only ten feet from his back door.
They shot at Tsarnaev out the window of the house and poured through his house when the siege was over.
By that time, Toye, 33, a carpenter, his wife Lori and nine month old baby son had been evacuated to a neighbor’s house.
Toye, from Carrigart in Co Donegal, has been resident in the U.S. for the past 10 years.
He lives at 66 Franklin Street in Watertown. The suspect was arrested after a gun battle at 67 Franklin Street.
The first Toye knew about it was when a police officer knocked on his door at 6.20 on Friday night.
"The lockdown was lifted a while earlier and we had been watching the television, thinking he was in the area somewhere but miles from here," the Donegal man told the Sunday Independent.
"The last thing we expected was to get a knock on the door saying he was next door to us."
The cop took the child from Brendan’s arms and told the family to get out in a hurry.
"We had been inside all day. We just had time to pull on our shoes.
"The police officer just said 'have you been watching the news' and when I said 'yes' he told me that they believed they had the suspect hiding in a boat in the garden next door.
"I was a bit shook up and my wife was absolutely terrified. We just ran up the street and neighbours (from Leitrim) brought us inside."
Before leaving they shut the front door behind them and cops had to batter it down.
Just 15 minutes after evacuation the battle began.
He heard explosions and gunfire and a short time later he heard cheering and ran outside.
"I saw the suspect being taken into an ambulance. He was covered in bandages and he was moving at that stage so I knew he wasn't dead. There were loud loud cheers from everyone," he said.
The family had just moved into the house in January. "There is a huge Irish community in Watertown. It's home from home and this sort of commotion is something that doesn't happen here. It's something I'd only ever see on TV before this, Brendan said.
"It has been a mad week in Boston, from hearing the news of the bombs last Monday on the radio when I was at work until Friday night."
He said he was very angry that "two people welcomed into this country as refugees would come and do this here."
"I'm just glad the suspect is in custody where he can't do any more harm to innocent people. You can't come into somebody's country and behave like that."
RTE Audio: Donegal man forced to leave Boston home during manhunt
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