Khusen Taramov, 22, said he felt Todashev was being “bad set up” by police. “They are making up such crazy stuff.”
Taramov said he spent most of Monday at Todashev’s side until police asked him to leave when he was being questioned at Windhover, the condo community where Todashev was killed.
“I know that after Boston, the police were here asking him questions,’’ said Aida Bennett, 73, who lived across from Todashev and his girlfriend’s condo. “He was very polite.”
Over the last two months, neighbors at Windhover said they saw him trying to rehabilitate his injured knee by walking the landscaped sidewalks, swimming in the pool.
Police emphasized Todashev is not believed to have been involved in the Boston Marathon bombings, but his violent death, and the aggressive interviews by the FBI of his Chechen friends, has rattled residents in both Orlando communities.
“These people are being harassed by the FBI just because they are friends with somebody,’’ said Haydee Colon, a Puerto Rican who lived near Todashev in the Orlando Sun Village apartment complex in Kissimmee.
She said she was angry because “we should be going to a trial, not to a funeral” and worried that “if it could happen to him, it could happen to any of us.”
Across town, at Windhover, neighbors said they are chilled by the fact that they no longer know their neighbors.
“It’s so unsettling because nobody does background checks anymore,’’ said Maureen Short, a 30-year resident of the community.
She pointed to the hollow bed rails stored in a patio next to Todashev’s condo. “Couldn’t that be used for a pipe bomb?’’ she asked. “Wake up, people.”
Mary Ellen Klas can be reached at meklas@MiamiHerald.com and @MaryEllenKlas. Miami Herald staff writer Patricia Mazzei and Herald/Times Tallahassee bureau staffer Rochelle Koff contributed to this report.