The man in the cowboy hat

You might’ve seen the most gruesome picture (AP distributed) from yesterday’s bombing in Boston — a man being wheeled away who had lost both legs — and not noticed the man in the cowboy hat next to him.

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He was holding pressure on the man’s leg, preventing him from bleeding to death.

He is Carlos Arredondo, a Costa Rican immigrant whose Marine son died in action in Iraq in 2004, Mother Jones reports.


The day he learned of his son’s death, Arredondo ​locked himself in a van with five gallons of gasoline and a propane torch and set the van on fire. He survived, became a peace activist, and was among the spectators who rushed toward the fumes after the explosion today.

Arredondo was at the marathon to cheer for a runner who’d dedicated their race to his son. In 2011, Arredondo’s other son, Brian, 24, committed suicide after suffering years of depression and drug addiction following his brother’s death.

As for the man with the injuries, both of his legs were amputated, the Associated Press reports today.