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Hofstra student recounts mass chaos Boston Marathon

By Samantha NeudorfNews Editor


“My friend grabbed my arm and he was like, ‘Run!’ and I just kind of looked at him. I looked back over at the scene, he grabbed my arm again and yanked on me and said, ‘You gotta run!’ So I just turned and ran. And that was the last I saw of it.”

A senior political science major who wishes to remain anonymous for privacy reasons was visiting a friend at Boston University for the weekend in time for Patriots’ Day—the day of the Boston Marathon.

He remembered celebrating on Exeter St. on Monday afternoon. Then, the first explosion went off at around 2:50 p.m. on Boylston St., 300 yards across the street from where he stood.

“You see the barriers strewn everywhere and there’s like a millisecond of complete silence, and then you just hear screaming and [it] looked just like absolute chaos,” he said.

15 or 30 seconds after, he remembered hearing the second bomb go off.“I remember looking down the street to the other side and just seeing this guy’s arm mangled and I was just in awe, staring at it,” he said.

He did not lose cell phone service and was able to text friends and family to let them know he was safe. However, he said the scariest part was not knowing what was going to happen next.

“You just didn’t know, are there going to be more? Even half an hour later, are you still safe? It’s something that sticks with you. If something like that can happen there, where else can it happen?” he said.

Christiaan Perez, a 2012 Hofstra undergraduate, was also present at the Boston Marathon, but had left one hour before the first bomb went off.

Perez was in Boston for the day for a conference. His bus did not leave to go back to NYC until 3:00 p.m., so he decided to visit the marathon with a friend. As he boarded the bus an hour later, he noticed a lot of sirens and received a text from a friend asking if he was okay.

“When I heard about the explosion, I started thinking it was some kind of prank, but as I started looking online more and having a fleet of police cars driving into Boston, I realized this was no joke,” Perez said.

Perez has run three marathons and had planned to run the Boston Marathon within the next five years.

Galaxie Story, freshman, was born and raised in Newbury, MA, about an hour outside of Boston. She knew a lot of people in the area, including her uncle, who had attended the Red Sox game and had spoken to her two hours before the explosion to say that he was going to see the marathon’s finish line.

“I was in total shock, I didn’t want to believe it could’ve been an attack. The first article I read said six had been injured, but then I found a real picture of the sidewalk. It was covered with blood,” Story said. “It didn’t look like my home anymore.”

Bruce Torff, professor of teaching, literacy and leadership, lived in Boston for 18 years while receiving his undergraduate from the New England Conservatory and two masters and a doctorate from Harvard. He knew of a few friends who were running in the marathon.

“It’s the kind of thing you expect not to happen to you,” Torff said. “Our sense of safety has been compromised and it’s an unwelcome manner. It’s a little more shocking because this is the first [attack] to happen in this decade.”

Although the student who attended the marathon was shaken up, he hopes that the people of Boston will move forward.

“I hope it doesn’t change their outlook on life, that constant fear that they might have to live in because of that,” he said. “It was really just a crazy, surreal moment to be a part of. Certainly something I’ll never forget.”

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