The Two-Way
4:51 pm
Sat April 20, 2013

Watertown Residents Cheer Being 'Liberated' By Bomb Suspect's Arrest

After days spent living in a cloud of apprehension and fear following Monday's bomb attack at the Boston Marathon, the city's residents celebrated the capture of suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on Friday night. He was caught hiding in a boat in the backyard of Watertown resident David Henneberry.

In the relief and celebration that followed his capture, people who had been forced to remain at home for hours on end were able to head outside at last. (The lockdown was documented by NPR Digital Services employees yesterday.)

The siege mentality had finally lifted, but many residents still described the events in military terms.

"When you see your town invaded like this, it's stunning," attorney Liz Rogers, 65, told WCVB, wearing a length of yellow police tape like a necklace. "Everyone in Watertown is just so grateful that he's caught and that we're liberated."

Lois Johnson, 49, tells WCVB that she and her son spent part of the day baking cookies. When news that the manhunt was over spread and residents took to their yards and streets, Johnson, an attorney, said they brought the cookies outside and gave them away.

It seems that the day of confinement awakened a sweet tooth for several residents.

Reporting from Cambridge, Mass., for NPR, Michael May spoke to Nancy Ortega, who says she awoke to news of the lockdown as police swarmed the region. Ortega, who lives in the Aberdeen area that borders Watertown, says she couldn't resist heading across the street.

"Aberdeen is such a close community, and we're neighbors," Ortega says. "So our first reaction, we all get together and just say, 'Let's stay with each other, and talk' ... and pancakes! Pancakes are very important."

"No matter what, make pancakes. That's right," says her neighbor, John Lodge.

Other folks took a different approach. In an interview with the local news site Wicked Local, Dave Rees, 27, and Alysa Wallace, 25, explained that they had just moved to Watertown three weeks ago, and they plan to stay put.

"When they announced the lockdown was over it was disheartening but now we're going to party hard," Rees told a reporter as he drank from a blue Solo cup. "I haven't thought past much right now, but we've been up since Wednesday morning and we'll make it one more all-nighter."

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