Niagara Gazette

Local News

April 16, 2013

Youngstown runner, family escape worst of Boston Marathon explosions

Niagara Gazette — As a pair of explosions brought chaos to the crowded streets of Boston Monday afternoon, all Youngstown resident Paul Beatty Jr. could do was keep running.

Beatty, competing in his first Boston Marathon, was about 3 miles from the race’s finish line when a pair of explosions rocked that area.

“I sensed that something had happened because the police were rushing around,” he said.

A moment later, his cell phone rang. It was his wife.

“She called me and said there had been two explosions at the finish line and I told her, ‘Well get out of there’,” Beatty said.

His daughter, a student at Boston University who had watched him running earlier in the race, then called with the same news. But as text messages asking him about his safety began flooding into his phone, law enforcement officials shut down the local cell towers.

“All I could do was keep running toward the finish line,” Beatty said. “But then they shut the race down.”

While Beatty was safe, he was concerned about his wife and three other children who had been on their way to the finish line area to watch him complete the race.

“They had parked and were walking to the finish line,” he said. “They were about five or 10 minutes away from reaching there (when the explosion occurred).”

Beatty said neither his wife nor his children heard the explosion and they were far enough away not to be in danger.

He spoke to the Gazette as he and his family were driving back to their Youngstown home.

“Everyone was in a panic mode,” Beatty said, “and we just got out of there as quick as we could. I feel awful, sick. People are dead or seriously hurt. It was truly a close call and we’re just grateful that it worked out OK.”

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