Friend: Robel Phillipos Is a Quiet Kid - NECN

Friend: Robel Phillipos Is a Quiet Kid



    Phillipos was 1 of 3 men charged in connection with Boston Marathon bombing Wednesday (Published Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014)

     Click here for court documents in Phillipos' case

    (NECN) - One of the three men charged in connection with the Boston Marathon bombings is accused of lying to investigators about what he knew after the bombings.

    Neighbors and friends though say 18-year-old Robel Phillipos of Cambridge, Mass. is a quiet kid, whom they couldn't see doing that.

    "The person I know, I know he's going to be scared, to be honest, because he's just like a quiet person. He was trying to be successful, focused on school," said friend Ron Tecle.
    Three young men were arrested in connection with the marathon bombings, all of them friends of surviving Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

    Tsarnaev and Phillipos went to school together at Cambridge Rindge and Latin and later at UMass Dartmouth.

    Phillipos lives in a high rise apartment building with his mother on Memorial Drive in Cambridge.

    Ron Tecle says he plays basketball with Phillipos.

    "I think it's just crazy, I don't know what to say, I've known him since he was young, so, the type of person he is, he wouldn't try to purposely ruin an investigation. I don't know though, if he did, it's crazy," Tecle said.

    Other friends tell us the family is originally from Ethiopia but has lived here for years.

    "This guy he was born here. He is an American. I know his mother, she's a hard worker. She's a single mother. She raised him by herself," said family friend Tecleberhan Mengistu.

    FBI agents interviewed Mengistu's son in recent days.

    While next to this parking lot last Thursday, one of our news crews saw two federal investigators with Virginia plates, one in the blue SUV, the other in the silver SUV.

    And it's worth mentioning that Phillipos' home is right next door to the two gas stations where the carjacking victim allegedly made his getaway the Thursday night after the bombings.

    Meantime, we located a clip of Phillipos posted on YouTube a year ago March in what appears to be an oral report for a class about Woolworth's founder, Earle Perry Charlton.

    "I kind of grew up the same way he did. I grew up in a very mild mannered way of living, wasn't too poor, wasn't too rich. I was an average guy, but I've experienced so much, going to Africa, I've seen the depths of hell and back," Phillipos said in the video.

    Neighbors tell us they have seen his mother home here late Wednesday afternoon, and some fear for her health as she worries about her son.