Todashev was arrested in early 2010 in Boston on charges including reckless driving. This month, he was arrested on a charge of aggravated battery after getting into a fight in an Orlando parking lot, according to police records. At the time of the Orlando arrest, he was driving a Mercedes with Georgia license plates.
Tsarnaev’s name had surfaced in earlier news reports about the Waltham slayings, which remain unsolved. Stephanie Guyotte, a spokeswoman for Middlesex County’s district attorney’s office, said the investigation is ongoing and refused to say whether Todashev or Tsarnaev was a suspect.
On Sept. 12, 2011, police found three men dead in a well-kept rental house on a short, quiet street in Waltham. The men were identified as Brendan Mess, 25, of Waltham, Erik Weissman, 31, of Cambridge and Raphael Teken, 37, of Cambridge. The Boston Globe and other news outlets have reported that Tsarnaev was friends with Mess and that the two met through boxing.
A woman who lived next door to the rental house said she was home that day and consoled Mess’s distraught girlfriend, who reportedly found the bodies and ran screaming outside. The neighbor, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because she does not want her name associated with the gruesome slayings, said she was told that the men had their throats slashed and that their bodies were covered with marijuana.
“She was horrified,” the neighbor said of the girlfriend. “We didn’t hear a thing that night. . . . The fact that all of this attention has come here again is very painful.”
Authorities say the men died early Sept. 12, but relatives of at least one of the victims insist that the men were killed Sept. 11, the 10th anniversary of the attacks in New York and at the Pentagon. Sept. 11 is the date listed on the tombstone of Weissman, according to photos posted on an online memorial.
At the time of the killings, Waltham police issued a statement saying that detectives did not think the attack was random and that the victims probably knew their attacker or attackers. The Middlesex district attorney’s office later said in a statement that the men died of “sharp-force injuries of the neck.’’
Two friends of Teken and Weissman said they believed the deaths were connected to a massive May 2011 drug bust in nearby Watertown. The bust followed a year-long investigation by federal authorities and resulted in charges against 18 people. Weissman was a founder of a company that produced glass bongs.
Julie Tate, Peter Finn and Peter Hermann in Washington and Natasha Abbakumova in Moscow contributed to this report.