CAMBRIDGE (CBS) – A high school classmate of Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Tsarnaev’s friend, Robel Phillipos, who was arrested in connection with the bombing, says the entire situation is surreal.
Zolan Kanno-Youngs told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 that he spoke with Phillipos shortly after Tsarnaev was identified by police as the bomber, and Phillipos sounded as stunned as he was.
Web Extra: Kanno-Youngs Talks To WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Matt Ledin
“We both talked about it and we talked about how unfortunate it was and how overwhelming it was,” Kanno-Youngs said.
Phillipos is charged with willfully making materially false statements to federal law enforcement officials during a terrorism investigation.
Investigators allege that Phillipos lied to investigators about an April 18 visit to Tsarnaev’s UMass Dartmouth dorm room where one of his friends removed fireworks and a laptop.
“The only allegation is he made a misrepresentation,” Phillipos’ attorney, Derege Demissie told reporters earlier this week.
Kanno-Youngs defended his friend Phillipos as a good kid who made a bad decision in a bad situation that he didn’t deserve to be in.
“He was involved in these incidents to the point that any of us were involved in them, and that’s not being involved at all. He was a friend of someone he thought he knew,” Kanno-Youngs said.
Kanno-Youngs added that he and others are hoping the best for his friend Phillipos.
“I’m not exactly talking about Dhjokhar here; I’m talking about his friends… People forget this: we are 19-year-olds that have been caught up in an entire mess that we could never fathom,” he said. “Can anybody expect a 19-year-old who’s overwhelmed and shocked after something like this, while being overwhelmed with media requests every minute of the day to act appropriately? I’m not sure.”