A friend of Ibragim Todashev, the man fatally shot by an FBI agent in Orlando in May during questioning about one of the suspected Boston Marathon bombers, has been arrested on charges of threatening a witness in a 14-month-old battery case involving Todashev.
Ashurmamad Miraliev, 23, of Orlando was arrested Wednesday on a charge of tampering with a victim by threat, according to an affidavit filed by the Orange County sheriff’s office.
Miraliev was turned over to the custody of the FBI and Florida authorities for an interview, according to an affidavit, but bureau officials declined to comment Friday.
The battery case in question is not connected to the Marathon bombings or to Todashev’s death, said Twis Lizasuain, spokeswoman for the Osceola County sheriff’s office, which filed the arrest warrant for Miraliev Monday.
His arrest stemmed from an incident July 7, 2012, at the Ali Baba Hookah Cafe and Lounge in Kissimmee, Fla., when the manager asked Miraliev and Todashev to leave after they had an argument with him, Lizasuain said.
They later approached the manager outside the bar, where Todashev allegedly struck him, Lizasuain said. However, authorities did not know the identities of the men then.
“At the time, they were just two Russian males [who] battered the manager of this bar,” Lizasuain said, adding that officials learned the identity of Todashev in May and were in the process of obtaining an arrest warrant for him at the time of his death.
In August, she said, authorities received an anonymous tip that Miraliev may have threatened the bar manager at some point after the alleged attack.
“Based upon those threats, that was what led to the tampering with the witness felony warrant,” Lizasuain said.
It was not immediately clear Friday if Miraliev, a native of Tajikistan, had appeared in court yet or hired an attorney. A phone number listed for him was not accepting messages Friday.
Todashev, a 27-year-old ethnic Chechen, was killed by a Boston FBI agent on May 22 in his Orlando apartment during an interrogation by agents, the Massachusetts State Police, and other law enforcement officers. The FBI said he initiated a violent confrontation and that the Boston agent was injured.
Conflicting news reports soon emerged about the shooting: Some said that Todashev was armed with a blade or a pole, while others said he did not have a weapon.
The FBI has said that agents were questioning Todashev in connection with the Marathon bombings, which killed three and injured more than 260 on April 15.
But news reports later said Todashev was about to sign a confession implicating himself and bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev in a triple homicide in Waltham in 2011.
Tsarnaev died in a police shootout days after the bombings, and his brother, Dzhokhar, is in custody facing federal charges.