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High-Speed Car Chases Caught on Tape
Aired September 5, 2011 - 20:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Scary, extremely scary chase. A roadblock has been set up. A roadblock has been set up. Unbelievable! He`s holding that car very steady, that`s for sure.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No concern whatsoever for the public.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Firing a weapon up in the air.
This is extremely dangerous. He`s driving just erratically.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Spin out and crash.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, look at that! Just -- there`s a school bus right there!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s not slowing down at all. He knows that they`re after him and -- whoa! Right through that intersection, not slowing down at all.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dangerous territory.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whoa! Just barely making it through that corner there, that sidewalk.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our fingers are crossed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s the suspect right there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, look at that pedestrian! Whoa! Just barely, no care whatsoever.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, he did touch him. He did pump them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wrong side of the road, possibly clipped that vehicle.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think he may be stopped!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, he`s going on the sidewalk! Oh, look at the pedestrian running through the intersection there!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dangerous pursuit, could have easily killed somebody tonight.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh! Barely missed that car!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNE BREMNER, GUEST HOST: Tonight, wild car chases. They`re fast. They`re intense. And they can turn deadly at any time.
Now let`s head out to Hollywood, California, where police are pursuit of a suspect they say stole an SUV and at speeds that are rapidly approaching 100 miles per hour.
Joe Gomez, reporter at KTRH Newsradio, what`s happening?
JOE GOMEZ, KTRH: Oh, this is a wild one! This guy apparently stole this car, and right now, he`s topping out at speeds around 50 miles per hour on these surface streets. You can see him right there. He`s been weaving and -- oh, he just blew through an intersection!
He`s been weaving in and out of traffic, doesn`t care about anybody`s life except for his own, it appears. God forbid there`s a pedestrian that comes out and crosses this psychopath`s path! My goodness! This guy -- this guy`s been on these surface streets -- busy intersection -- a busy intersection again! Oh, he almost hit the curb on that one! Wow! This is a wild chase! Who knows how this is going to end!
BREMNER: (INAUDIBLE) bad beginning makes a bad end. You know, former police commander Woody Tripp, why do people engage in these kind of chases? Why do they run from police in these cars with these tremendous speeds and for -- they`re going to get caught at the end of the day anyway?
WOODROW TRIPP, FMR. POLICE COMMANDER: You`d be surprised, Anne, at just the panic that goes into these. Many times, people think that it`s a bank robber or it`s a...
TRIPP: ... a murderer. It`s not. Many times, it`s someone who has a suspended driver`s license or many times possibly are intoxicated. They panic. They see the blue lights, the red lights in their rearview mirror, and it`s immediate terror, panic. I don`t want to go back to jail. They`ve had previous offenses such as traffic. And they run.
And what happens with that is, is the absolute sheer terror that they create on the highways.
BREMNER: Well, don`t the police get an adrenaline rush, too? It must be scary for the cops. I know you`ve had hundreds of chases yourself.
TRIPP: I have. And it -- and they do. And one of the biggest things that police officers get in trouble over are these police chases because of the adrenaline, what`s going on, the horrendous crashes, the foot chases. And it can be very dangerous for the public, for the person being pursued, and especially the police officer.
BREMNER: Well, as Nancy would say, let`s unleash the lawyers. Susan Moss, family law attorney and child advocate out of the New York jurisdiction, and Bradford Cohen out of Miami.
Let`s weigh in, both of you. I mean, I guess I`ll start with you, Susan, because I know you`ll probably have a rhyme for us, but...
SUSAN MOSS, FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY: Well, I got to tell you, this perp`s a weasel! He thinks he`s Vin Diesel!
BREMNER: Oh! I knew you`d have one!
MOSS: And hey -- hey, 1990 called, they want their Chevy Tahoe back!
MOSS: This guy is absolutely not only taking his own life in his hands, but the lives of the pedestrians, of the kids, of the people who are around! This guy, if he goes up on the sidewalk, you think he`s going to look to see if there`s a little child crossing holding the mother`s hand? Absolutely not! This guy, if he is caught, I got to tell you, not only is he going to suffer all the charges that he previously before this chase, but there could be some attempted murder and worse!
BREMNER: How many years?
MOSS: Literally, depending upon how much damage he can (ph), this even could be a life sentence if, God forbid, he kills somebody!
BREMNER: Wow. OK, Bradford, what`s your best defense? I mean, what`s your defense right here? There he goes. I mean, it`s going to end badly. You know it is.
BRADFORD COHEN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, it`ll probably end very badly for him because he`ll probably end up getting pulled out of the car and getting beaten by several police officers.
COHEN: But that being said, you know, is there a defense to the charge of fleeing and eluding the police, aggravated fleeing and eluding the police? Sometimes there is, but that would be in emergency situations, where they`re doing it because of a life of another or they`re doing it by threat of another. If there`s a passenger in the car who`s holding him by gunpoint saying, Don`t slow down, don`t slow down, there`s a completely different scenario than if someone`s just running from the police.
But Woody is absolutely right that most of these cases you see, they are suspended driver`s license or DUI, and they`re in a state of mind that is not the proper state of mind when you`re looking at this because you only make things worse on you if you`re going to flee and elude the police.
And you know, can he face a life sentence if he murdered someone while this occurred? I mean, it certainly can add up the time because of -- if he`s fleeing and eluding in the commission of a felony offense, then, yes, he can certainly look at very serious, serious charges that are added on to his quote, unquote "suspended license," which it could be that`s the only reason he`s fleeing is because he does have a suspended license.
But clearly, he`s, you know, taking some lives into his own hands by going through these streets at the speeds that he`s going through. But also, let`s remember that if the police back off of this chase and they let the helicopter do the work, it may not turn into such a dangerous situation because he may slow down when he thinks the police aren`t following him. And that`s their own protocol that they have to follow.
BREMNER: Well, absolutely. And Woody, when do the police back off a -- off of these kind of chases, something like this?
TRIPP: Well, it does -- it depends, Anne. And there`s a lot of different circumstances and scenarios. Both I as an officer and I as a supervisor have to weigh certain things out.
BREMNER: Oh, look at him go now!
TRIPP: Absolutely. And this is a situation as he`s proceeding -- Brad was absolutely right. We back off. We put the helicopter on it. But here`s a situation where they`ve done that, and this person is still a greater risk, whether he`s actually being pursued or whether the helicopter -- he has no idea the helicopter`s above him. So this is a person who is...
BREMNER: He thinks he`s doing great, then. He thinks...
BREMNER: There he goes, right?
COHEN: And he has absolutely created a greater risk to the public. He`s got to be stopped. There`s absolutely no doubt in this case.
BREMNER: This guy`s unbelievable! I mean, this is never going to end. What do you do with people like this? I mean, you -- what about the -- can you use the spikes? Can you do the...
TRIPP: You have the spike strips. And as you recall, we`ve had several officers now throughout the country in the last month or so that have been killed trying to lay spike strips.
TRIPP: You literally have to get in front of this out-of-control three or four-ton vehicle coming at you at 60, 70, 100 miles an hour to throw these things in front of it. You have the pit maneuver. But again, that can only be done at speeds of around 30 to 35 miles per hour max.
BREMNER: OK, Joe Gomez, what`s happening now?
GOMEZ: Oh, look at -- oh, he`s -- he just blew through an intersection right now! Earlier, we saw this guy almost clip a pedestrian who was trying to cross the street. I mean, Lord knows what would have happened had he actually hit that guy! He must be going at least 50 miles per hour, and a guy was walking across the street! That`s -- that`s just nuts!
GOMEZ: Right now, he`s going down a couple of -- oh, he just blew through another intersection there! Looks like he almost clipped somebody, and now he`s beneath some trees right now. We can`t really -- really see what`s going on. But this is -- oh, you know, look at -- look at the time of day right now. This is obviously a very busy point in the afternoon, and this guy is just going nuts out there on the street.
There`s tons of innocent -- oh! And he`s just -- he`s blowing through another intersection! Where is this guy going? Why is he going so fast?
GOMEZ: It`s going to be -- it`s going to be a matter of time before this ends tragically!
BREMNER: Yes. And this is, like, must-see TV, can`t look away, you can`t -- you got to watch it, but you can`t look away from it. It`s like a train wreck. But there he goes. He`s unbelievable. You know, what`s he running from? What is his problem?
And Bethany Marshall, I got to ask you, why do people run away from the police?
BETHANY MARSHALL, PSYCHOANALYST: Well, I`m scared just watching...
MARSHALL: He has blown through about seven intersections. Just a moment ago, he almost ran over a pedestrian. And did you see in that roundabout, he actually turned around and blew right past the police.
And we know that 64 percent of these guys who flee, these suspect -- these pursuit suspects, 64 percent believe during the pursuit that they are going to get away with it. What tells me -- what that tells me is that their emotions outpace their ability to think about what`s happening to them.
Look, you can see right now because as he goes through that intersection, someone could have hit him right there. Now, Woody Tripp is right. These guys are normally deadbeats and low-level offenders. They are not serious criminals. Why? Serious criminals have lower levels of anxiety about getting caught. And because they have low levels of anxiety, they stay highly organized in high-pressure situations.
Look, look, look! They`re getting him right now. They`re grabbing him out of the car.
BREMNER: There he is!
MARSHALL: Oh, my God! Did you see that woman jump out?
BREMNER: Yes. Absolutely.
MARSHALL: This guy -- see, to prove my point, he`s highly disorganized. A very hardened criminal would have been much more organized and would not have fled in the first place.
BREMNER: Gomez, what`s going on here?
GOMEZ: She`s trying to get something out of the (INAUDIBLE) Look at that woman! She`s getting out of her car! She`s got something in the back! My God, is that -- what could it be? Is that her -- is that her kid?
BREMNER: Oh, my God!
GOMEZ: What is she trying to get out? I think it`s her kid! Oh, my God! She`s trying to get out her little baby from the back seat as that car is going backwards and they`re coming down -- that perp on the street! This could have ended badly! Had that guy carjacked that car with that beautiful -- oh, my God! With that little baby in the back seat -- look at him! There he goes! We can see it happening again.
And that mother gets out. She`s running! she`s trying to get her baby out of the back, out of the -- oh, my God! Look how this could have ended so badly! There she goes. She`s trying to rip her baby out of the back to save her baby`s life from this crazy psychopath who`s trying to just carjack her in the middle of the street! Oh! Wow!
BREMNER: Unbelievable. Unbelievable. And she`s so lucky.
BREMNER: And she freezes for that one moment. You see her there. You see her there, Joe?
BREMNER: I mean, she looks back to the car and...
GOMEZ: I can see her!
GOMEZ: And you can see the car moving backwards for a second. She must be thinking -- she must be thinking, What would have happened had this guy got in my car and my little baby girl is in the back and this guy is obviously running from the cops. He doesn`t care about his own life or anybody else`s. Here`s this beautiful mother and her little baby.
Look! She`s opening the door, getting her little baby out of the back! Wow! That`s all I got to say. This is -- this is a wild chase!
BREMNER: I`m Anne Bremner, filling in for Nancy Grace.
Hot car chase in Miami. Joe Gomez, what`s going on?
GOMEZ: Well, this is something straight out of a movie, Anne. Right now, we`ve got a "Bonnie and Clyde" scenario working out here, a husband and wife apparently in that white van right there, fleeing from police. One of them had apparently tried to snatch a purse from a woman at a Walgreen`s, and then they jumped into the van and the took off!
And here they are, topping speeds around 80 miles per hour out there on there on that interstate just north of Miami Beach. Oh! You can just see that! He almost knocked one of those, like, cop cars there on the side. They`re just weaving in and out of traffic.
This is a very busy intersection. It`s daylight. Obviously, a lot of traffic on this main thoroughfare just north of Miami Beach here. I mean, that`s a big van! If that hits somebody, if that hits a car, it`s going to cause some damage, that`s for sure!
BREMNER: Well, and the wife -- I mean, there`s -- this is a husband and wife team, like you said, "Bonnie and Clyde." I mean, what`s her part of this with the perp?
GOMEZ: Well, apparently, she`s the one behind the wheel!
GOMEZ: I mean, it sounds to me like perhaps her husband did the dirty work...
GOMEZ: ... you know, went in and tried to rip some woman off, to try to grab her purse. And then while honey`s in the driver`s seat, you know, she -- he jumps in and they just take off. Where they`re going now, I mean, who knows. This is obviously a very populated region, so it`s doubtful they`re going to outrun the police on this one, Anne.
BREMNER: Well, he just says...
GOMEZ: But I mean, it`s...
BREMNER: Yes, he just say, Hit it, right?
GOMEZ: Exactly! He probably just says, Hit it, honey! Let`s take off!
GOMEZ: You know, and here they are. You know, they`re going on the interstate. Wow, that was a dump truck or something! That could have been catastrophic! So yes, they`re doing -- they`re going about, like, 80, 90 miles per hour on the interstate right now. Police are hot on their tail, though.
It`s still unclear why they`re not doing any spike strips or anything like that yet, possibly because there`s so many people out there on the interstate at this point. It looks like it could be around rush hour drive, Anne. What do you think?
BREMNER: Well, it looks like it. And I can`t see where the police are right now. But you know, it looks like rush hour.
GOMEZ: There they are!
BREMNER: Not rush hour in Seattle or California. We have a lot more cars. But they seem to be at a steady clip, you know, hit it, "Bonnie and Clyde," off they go. I thought most of the perps in these kinds of cases were men, not women.
GOMEZ: Yes, it would seem so. Maybe -- you know, maybe she`s -- maybe she`s the dominant -- the driving force. Maybe she`s the decision maker here in this relationship, Anne.
BREMNER: Well, there it goes. You know, give women a little power here. I kind of like to hear that. Yes.
BREMNER: And we should hear from Dr. Bethany Marshall, author of "Dealbreakers" and psychotherapist. Aren`t they usually predominantly men, the perpetrators in these kinds of cases?
MARSHALL: Out of 10,000 violent incidents involving vehicles, only 461 involve women.
BREMNER: There you go.
MARSHALL: So definitely, they`re mostly men. However, honey fits the profile. And how honey fits the profile is that, usually, these perps, they flee for low-level offenses...
MARSHALL: ... and what they were going to get in trouble for for the original offense is much less than what they`re going to face for leading police on a high-speed chase, which actually looks like it`s not so high speed right now because it looks like they`ve pulled over into a neighborhood.
BREMNER: Right. That`s what I`m just seeing. Like, Joe, what are we seeing right now? That`s so dangerous.
GOMEZ: All right, now they apparently -- yes, they apparently pulled into some residential area, Anne. It`s hard to tell because, you know, coverage is spotty at this point. But it looks like they may have even tried to -- oh! They`ve got somebody down! Oh! They may have the husband down! It looks like police are toughing (ph) somebody up! They got him down!
BREMNER: There they go.
GOMEZ: Look, Anne, they`ve got him face down! He could run, but he couldn`t get away, it looks like. I wonder where his wife`s at, though. Is she still back in the car or (INAUDIBLE) But there he is, face down on the ground! His days are over! He snatched that woman`s purse at that Walgreen`s, and now he`s going to face justice!
BREMNER: It`s always worse.
GOMEZ: They`re turning him over now.
BREMNER: It`s always worse. They never do any better when they run from the cops. And you know, you see the same perp, you know, he`s down on the ground with the guns out and everything else. I mean, it`s just a very, very bad ending for him.
And didn`t he say something about, I love my daughter, or something like that, I mean, something about his family, I mean, like, a family affair? What is he thinking, and what`s going to happen to him next?
Back to the lawyers. Sue Moss, what happens to this guy?
MOSS: Oh, this guy is definitely going to jail! These people are bonko! I`m surprised they weren`t riding in a white Bronco!
MOSS: I mean, honestly, you think you`re going to get away from the cops? You think you`re going to get away from the helicopter? These guys can hear that there`s a helicopter going overhead! They know they`re going to be caught! But instead, they continue to take the risk and put the entire public in jeopardy!
BREMNER: Brad, I mean, do you -- what do you...
COHEN: I don`t know if I can beat that.
BREMNER: Is there any defense for this guy?
COHEN: Well, like I said, the defenses that I raised before would probably be the same defense, if it`s an emergency or something. I don`t know if I can beat that fantastic rhyme, but what I can say...
BREMNER: Never. No one can.
COHEN: Yes, no one can. She`s amazing. What I can say, though, is that when it comes to fleeing from the police, the only people that I`ve ever seen get away from the police in a high-speed chase are usually the guys I represent on motorcycles. Everybody in a car gets caught and then...
BREMNER: There`s a tip!
COHEN: ... they suffer the consequences.
BREMNER: There`s a tip for our listeners, our viewers, I guess.
BREMNER: It`s about the only way out, right?
BREMNER: I`m Anne Bremner, in for Nancy Grace.
A hot car chase in Las Vegas, Nevada. Joe Gomez, what`s happening?
GOMEZ: Well, Anne, they don`t call this place "Sin City" for nothing, it looks like!
GOMEZ: I mean, police (INAUDIBLE) shots being fired at an intersection, and the suspect hops in his car. And there he goes! He`s on his way on the interstate right now, topping speeds at 80 miles per hour. You can see the cops, they`re hounding this guy!
I mean, a lot of this -- this is a very busy stretch of highway here, so -- oh! He`s (INAUDIBLE) he`s almost hit that truck there! My goodness! So this guy is in a very dangerous spot. He`s not slowing down. The cops aren`t slowing down, Anne. Looks like this could get ugly really fast.
BREMNER: Well, we better bring our police expert in, then. So Woody Tripp, these do get dangerous, don`t they. I mean, I represent police officers in Seattle, and I know in these kinds of chases -- how do you know, number one, if somebody`s armed or whether they might use deadly force against you in a police chase?
TRIPP: Well, you don`t. And you also have to take into consideration all the other possibilities, Anne -- suicide by cop.
TRIPP: There`s just so many things that are going on in your mind as you`re pursuing this vehicle. And Brad was right, you`ve got to be an absolute idiot at this point to try to flee from the police. I mean, there`s just so many things that we have at our disposal -- spike strips, dogs, helicopters, the FLIR system, forward-looking infrared. There is just so many things that are there.
But one thing about a motorcycle, whether you`re right or wrong, or whether you start to get away, it`s that sudden stop at the end that kind of equalizes it all out.
BREMNER: Well, there you go, the great equalizer. How -- in terms of the stop, of, you know, trying getting the car stopped and then taking the suspect down, Woody, is there just -- we see every time, the guy`s down. He perp`s down on the ground, face down. All the officers have guns out. Is that standard operating procedure every time in one of these car chases, at the end of the day?
TRIPP: Well, it is and -- because you don`t know what you`re facing. And yes, 90, 95 percent of the time, it is some person with a suspended license. But it`s that other 5, 10 percent of when it`s not. It is that guy, the bank robber or the armed robber who you didn`t know just robbed a store and you happened to get in behind him. So there`s always that possibility. And as you know, Anne...
TRIPP: ... and as all the viewers know, we get people killed every day in those type of situations in reference to law enforcement.
BREMNER: The stats are just unbelievable and unacceptable. So what are seeing now? I mean, we had shots fired in this case. I mean, we have a very dangerous case out there in "Sin City," Las Vegas. Joe, bring us up to date.
GOMEZ: That`s right! Looks like they just -- he (INAUDIBLE) somebody and the cops pulled in. Bam! They got him right -- they got him pinned down on the highway! Guns are drawn! This guy`s going to jail! Whatever he`s done, he`s going to -- he`s going to be locked away for a long time! Thank God they got this guy off the streets, though, and this didn`t end badly, Anne.
BREMNER: I`m Anne Bremner in for Nancy Grace. Wild car chase in Van Nuys, California. Joe Gomez, what`s happening?
GOMEZ: This is a strange one, Anne. This guy only -- his only failure was -- he failed to yield and he just took off from police. So who knows what he`s running from. But it must be something bad if he`s going at high rates of speed around 50 miles an hour on these surface streets. Right now we could see an intersection here, it looks like somebody is trying to skate on through, but is it happening? Will it happen? Who knows? There we go. We can kind of see something going on. There he is. He`s trying to get by. And there he goes. He`s taking off. The traffic is stopping and he`s finally going back on the surface streets. And away he goes. And off the police go as well. Who knows what he`s running from. Like I said, he just failed to stop at a street sign and he just took off from the cops. He could have a long rap sheet. Maybe he has a gun in the car, maybe he is running from the law. Who knows exactly what`s shaking, Anne.
BREMNER: It`s just why are people so stupid? Why do they do things like this because this could wreck their lives forever? I mean, Woody, what is going on with these people? I`m mesmerized by these, we all are. We can`t stand to look away from it, these people are doing it, but how can people be so dumb?
TRIPP: Well, you know, Anne, there is a marked difference in this one. If you look at this in comparison to the others, this is much more methodical, much more precise.
BREMNER: Yes, that`s true.
TRIPP: In fact, I want to call this guy the polite getaway driver.
BREMNER: OK, right.
TRIPP: There is a marked difference there. And when that`s happening, that`s telling me, if I`m in that back car, that I`ve got a different kind of guy here. I`ve got something a little different. I need to watch this a little closer. It is much more methodical, much more calm. That suggests to me that I have a real bad guy in the car.
BREMNER: A courteous criminal. He`s very methodical about it.
I always -- I prosecute these cases, I defend cops, and I always had jurors ask me, why don`t you just shoot the tires out? Why don`t the police just go shoot those tires out of the car? Why don`t they do that, Woody?
TRIPP: Because you`re using deadly force. And when you`re using deadly force in a situation that doesn`t call for deadly force, then you`re putting yourself at peril, the law enforcement officer.
As you know, we have to have ability, opportunity and jeopardy. We can`t just pull a gun out like on TV, which we`re on, but --
BREMNER: We are on.
TRIPP: We are, but you can`t do that in reality. And TV is based on reality but reality is reality and we just can`t pull a gun -- though I would love to. I really always wanted to like 50 caliber machine guns mounted on my front bumper or a rocket launcher, but I just couldn`t do it. Here we are.
BREMNER: I can just visualize that, though. It is just quite a concept. There you go. But you know, what do we see now, Joe? He is still kind of being, like Woody said, pretty methodical, cruising along.
GOMEZ: He`s been very methodical. The cops are going at a slow rate of speed right behind him. You can see the police officer there with his flashers making sure no one comes up behind him. They`re going very slow, which is odd. Is this guy running out of gas, is he plotting something, is he going to jump out of the car soon? What`s going on? I mean, there he is. Right now he`s in the turn lane. And he`s -- oh, he`s going right into the opposite side of the road, and in incoming traffic. And there he goes there in the intersection. If somebody hits this guy, this is going to end badly.
He`s back on the road again. Here he is again, very slowly, I mean, what is going through this guy`s mind? Is he high on drugs? It is very odd that he`s just going so slow. But maybe he finally realizes that he`s not going to get away from the cops.
BREMNER: Everyone remembers the O.J. Simpson slow speed chase. Let`s bring lawyers back in. Susan Moss, Brad Cohen. Susan, what is going on here?
MOSS: Well, he may be driving a lot, but he`s going to end up with three hots and a cot. But you know what, I`ve got to disagree, I`ve got to disagree. I think he is using deadly force. A car is an inherently dangerous object. An inherently dangerous object. And when you use that object to potentially hurt others, by going through and crossing through turnways, by driving on sidewalks, you are using that. That`s the equivalent of shooting a gun up in the air. You are using --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The guy is going 20 miles an hour.
MOSS: You`re using this dangerous car, and you can hit pedestrians, safety people, other people in other cars. This is something that I think that deserves the use of deadly force to stop him from hurting others.
BREMNER: But are there any statutes out there that call a car a deadly weapon? Susan, are there ones that, for example, a deadly weapon allegation for enhancement on sentence or anything like that where they say the car is a deadly weapon?
MOSS: Well, it depends upon the speed that they`re going. If they`re going 25 miles an hour, no. But if they`re going 90 miles an hour, in some states that does up it to an inherently dangerous object. It`s a weapon like a sword, like a gun, like any other type of weapon.
BREMNER: So Brad Cohen, looking at this guy here, would you say that he`s right now, right now, I can`t tell exact speed, a deadly weapon?
BREMNER: He`s slowing down.
COHEN: I think he`s doing 5 miles an hour, he is doing maybe 20 miles an hour before. You know, and Woody brings up a good point. I do agree that when it is methodical, it is a different type of person you`re working with. But that also could mean that maybe there is some sort of emergency situation that this person is going through. It doesn`t always mean that that person is a criminal trying to escape from the police, because you would think they would gun it, you know? And in this type of situation, it looks like he`s driving a four-door sportsy type car, not a Mazda with a camper on the back, he could probably go a lot faster than 20 or 30 miles an hour.
Now, does that mean he`s looking to ditch? He may be looking to ditch. If he looks to ditch, that means they slow down to a certain speed and then they usually jump out and make a run for it and the cops all chase him down. They got dogs, they got helicopters, et cetera and they usually get their man. But it doesn`t look like that situation here. It looks like he`s really going 20 miles an hour. He`s got now --
GOMEZ: Coming out of the car. There he goes, the cops have their weapons are drawn. Where -- does he have his hands up? What does he have in his hands? If only we could get a better look at what he has in his hands. Oh--
COHEN: The hands are up.
GOMEZ: He`s giving up. He`s run his course. He`s going to go to jail. He finally realized that he can`t escape the police. And isn`t that the lesson that we all should learn here, is that if you run from the cops, they`re going to catch up to you eventually, Anne. He`s doing the perp walk. He`s doing the perp walk right there in the middle of the street.
BREMNER: Right. He`s doing the perp walk and then they do the perp takedown. Every single time, it`s like clock work. You know what I mean, Joe? It is like, you know, hey, we can teach the same thing, every single time. Get down on the ground.
GOMEZ: He knows he`s going to jail.
BREMNER: Yes, he`s going to jail and he`s going for a long time. Unbelievable.
Well, you know, these kinds of cases, I mean, I don`t understand, you know, and Woody, you can help me out on this, I mean, do they ever end well, other than the motorcyclist and they go up to Mexico, but do they ever end well for any of these people?
TRIPP: They really don`t. And that`s the whole point. It is not going to. And even Susan, it pains me to my heart that I`m sounding like a defense attorney now, but can you imagine, Anne, me hanging out my window with my shotgun shooting at a car as we`re driving down the road at 80 miles an hour? I mean, I am sounding like a defense attorney now. But we can`t. And they don`t end well. You`re going to go to jail. You`re not going to pass go, you are not going to collect $200. And you`re absolutely going to jail.
BREMNER: I don`t even understand, just go back to the lawyers, just for a second here, got to talk the law again, but, Susan, and Brad, I don`t understand how these cases are even plea-bargained. Because frankly, I think they`re so dangerous in neighborhoods, to kids, moms, carjackings, to the police, I mean, issues of liability for the police and the danger to the police and everybody else in the path of somebody like this, why are these cases ever plea-bargained? Should they be?
COHEN: Anne, Anne, it is just like every other case. You look at the bulk of the case. You look at the person`s prior history. You look at if they were under the influence. You look at mitigators. You know that, I know that, even I dare to say even Susan knows that.
So what we`re trying to do is we`re trying to get a picture of that individual, a picture of the person to say, do they deserve to be in prison for this or is this something that they went home to their mom`s house, they got high, and they sat on the coach eating Captain Crunch, got in the car, realized their license was suspended and was doing 25, 30 miles per hour, never actually put anyone in harm, and we`re going to give them probation and give them a second shot.
MOSS: Well, what makes this case different, what makes it different is all the publicity. There have got to be strict and harsh sentences so people don`t have the urge to go out and want to be a reality TV star on their local news channel.
BREMNER: I`m Anne Bremner in for Nancy Grace. Another hot car chase in Houston, Texas. Joe Gomez, what`s happening?
GOMEZ: You said hot car chase, Anne. And that`s right, because it is about -- averages of 100 degrees out here in Houston.
This guy is out here on the Katy freeway. And this is a very busy interstate. I drive on this thing all the time. The guy was crossing over to some HOV lanes, it looks like. He`s running from police because he apparently stole a cell phone from an AT&T store, a $400 cell phone. So this guy is fleeing from police because he had stolen a cell phone. That`s going to be a pretty cheap reason to go to jail, if you ask me. But that`s where this guy is headed if he gets arrested for evading the police.
Right now this guy is topping out at 80 miles per hour. Very dangerous circumstance right here, because obviously if he knocks out, if he hits anybody, things are going to end badly. Right now it looks like he`s on some surface streets, trying to navigate his way, just zoomed by another car right there. He`s picking up speed. It is curious to know where he`s going. But he`s obviously zooming in the opposite lane of traffic as well. I mean, if somebody hits him spot on, if somebody hits him spot on, Anne, can you imagine the damage this guy would cause? We`re talking about -- he could kill somebody.
BREMNER: He`s like a human projectile, Joe. I always thought Houston had a lot of traffic. Am I wrong? Why isn`t he stuck in traffic yet? He should -- he`s just flying. There`s nobody around.
GOMEZ: Well, I mean, this is -- in this particular corridor, you had recently opened it up, and it looks like it is kind of a later part of the day where traffic is winding down. And he`s after all, he seems to be heading westbound on the interstate, where it is kind of the opposite way for rush hour traffic. He`s stopped, he`s backing up, he`s going the -- he`s going the opposite lane of traffic now. Oh my God, he`s going down the exit ramp it looks like in the opposite direction. This is so dangerous.
BREMNER: Oh my God.
GOMEZ: He just almost hit a car. He just almost hit another person, oh, my God, did you see this? Wow.
BREMNER: It`s crazy.
GOMEZ: This guy is going to kill somebody, Anne.
BREMNER: It`s all about a cell phone.
GOMEZ: And he`s on his cell phone. Oh, my God. This is -- all about a cell phone.
BREMNER: But now he`s back on his own way. You know, Woody, I look at this, it`s all over a cell phone. He`s going the wrong way in traffic, he`s a total human projectile and he could kill somebody any second, and it`s about a cell phone. Woody, don`t you also as a cop look at how serious is the offense that he`s running for? So don`t you worry about that with liability, if you go chase the bad guy that, like, stole a Twinkie versus the bad guy that robbed a bank, don`t you look at that for liability? It`s better to have the more dangerous guys you`re chasing if there is going to be somebody hurt?
TRIPP: You absolutely have to, Anne. You have got to weigh all that. And as a supervisor, it comes down to me to call that chase either let it go or call it off. And, yes, in Texas, everything is big except some people`s brains. And in this case, here we got a guy, you know, with a cell phone, going the wrong way. So yes, I`m going to call off that chase at that point. If I can put an area unit on him, then that`s what I`m going to do. The risk far outweighs the public safety in this case.
Then again, you know, some here on the show may want me to go ahead and shoot the tires out. Again.
BREMNER: I might raise my hand on that one.
TRIPP: We just can`t do that. As much as I want to, we can`t do it. It is too much of a risk.
BREMNER: Now he`s running. Joe, what`s he doing now? He`s on foot. He`s running around. Where are the dogs?
GOMEZ: He`s hit some residential area, Anne. Oh, this is terrifying. What if he comes about some unsuspecting innocent person who is just out there watering their lawn or something like that. And here this guy comes barreling through -- look, the cops have him pinned down now, guns drawn. Where is going to go? Oh, hands are up, hands are up.
BREMNER: It always ends this way.
GOMEZ: Can`t go anywhere now.
BREMNER: It ends the same every time.
GOMEZ: It ends the same. Thank God it ended this way, thank God it ended this way, Anne. Oh, there we go. They took him down. He knows he`s going to jail. Wow.
GOMEZ: Look at that, they`re all on him. They`re all on him.
BREMNER: Sometimes we put into this, you know, Woody and Joe, we put in the police dog. Right? If the cops don`t get him and take him down, we have got the dog, you know, the dog will go down and get the bad guy, right?
TRIPP: Absolutely. And the dog is coming, believe me, the dog will come and it will bite you. And it is going to keep biting you. So you don`t want to get to that point. You`re already an idiot doing this and then to get out, oh, yes, the dog is going to bite. And it is going to hurt really bad.
BREMNER: Yes, and I fought the dog and the dog won. You don`t run from the cops, I mean, in these kinds of cases, you know, in terms of these guys, at the end of the day, oh let`s look at this again. We`re looking at him again. There is the cop with his gun out. Hey, Joe?
GOMEZ: He knows he`s had it. He knows he`s had it, Anne. He finally gives up. This guy -- this guy ran through neighborhoods on this hilltop and the cops -- that`s a classic takedown. I wonder what that guy has in his backpack?
BREMNER: He`s probably got --
GOMEZ: If he stole a cell phone, he`s wearing a backpack, what does he have, drugs in there or something? He could have anything in that backpack. But it`s obviously very dangerous. They don`t know what he has on him.
BREMNER: Maybe he has a TV.
GOMEZ: They took him down pretty quickly.
BREMNER: Maybe he has a TV, iPad, you know? A bunch more cell phones. And everything else.
GOMEZ: He`s watching himself fleeing from the cops on his cell phone.
GOMEZ: That`s right. This is scary, though, because, really, this is a quiet neighborhood and this guy just comes bustling in. I mean, if some innocent bystander could have got in the way of this guy and his escape, who do you think is going to win out in that case or he could have taken a hostage, something like that. But thankfully it looks like police have apprehended this guy, took him down. And I would like to see what he had on his person and exactly why he ran from the cops for just stealing a cell phone? Going to jail over a cell phone, Anne.
BREMNER: Well, it`s like "Les Miserables" or something, yeah, I mean, it is unbelievable. They could make a big play or a movie about this guy. He`ll be a reality star like Sue says.
But the thing is, someone like this, OK, they may get (ph) the cases too, Brad, you know, where they sue the cops. They go through something like this, the cops pull the guns out and they say, I`m a victim, they shouldn`t have pulled the gun on me, they shouldn`t have put the dog on me, you know, and I`m suing for violation of my civil rights. Would they have a case in a case like this when they get out of the car and the cops have the guns out too?
MOSS: Absolutely not. But how about we should sue him for all the costs that it took us, all the costs that it took us to actually capture him. How many officers had to give up what they were doing at the moment to be in pursuit with him? How much damage was done to the cop cars that had to go to the side of him. How much time and how much money did we spend on maintaining those cars on that helicopter? Lots and lots of money went to capture this guy. And the fact that they pulled their guns on him so that he would stop, after he was racing through at 100 miles an hour, through Houston, I think that`s warranted.
BREMNER: Hey, Brad, that`s a question. Can there be restitution in a case like this, like Sue Moss says, for all of the cost of the investigation?
COHEN: No. 1, there can definitely be restitution for any damage done or an investigation that was done. The helicopter and stuff like that, that`s probably pushing it. In terms of if he hit a cop car or something like that, absolutely, you get restitution for that.
The more interesting question is the 1983 civil rights violation. And just by drawing guns alone, that`s probably not going to rise to the level of a 1983 act. But if there was some abuse after the fact, I mean, even if you are the hardened of hardened criminals, and I know a lot of the watchers won`t be big fans of mine, Woody probably won`t agree with me on this -- but if there was an abuse of force used and it is against an individual, that even has a prior criminal history, is not a good guy, but really gets beaten down and it is an abuse of discretion, and it is abuse of their policy, they would have a 1983 act. Just by pulling guns alone though on someone who`s a dangerous suspect, that`s not going to rise to that level. It needs to be way more than that, i.e. a Rodney King situation. It can`t just be I`m drawing my guns on you. They need to do a lot more than that.
BREMNER: The Constitution protects us all equally, doesn`t it? And great description.
TRIPP: It sure does. That`s why I`m a constitutional warrior. And I love the Constitution.
BREMNER: I applaud you for that. We all do. And hey, Joe, what`s going on now?
GOMEZ: We`re recapping the event. Now, this is where he got stuck. He hit the median and he realizes he can`t get the car out of the median there. So he jumps out, he bails out of the car, and he runs out into the street, and then shortly after -- there he goes. He`s slowly walking (inaudible) hit by a car. This is where this could come to a grizzly end. But instead he runs back into a neighborhood. And then afterwards gets caught by the police, and this perp is going to jail, Anne.
BREMNER: I`m Anne Bremner in for Nancy Grace. We go back to that hot car chase in Houston, Texas. Joe Gomez, can you recap?
GOMEZ: He`s going on the surface streets again, he`s back on the Katy freeway here. And this could have obviously ended up very badly because this is one of the most traveled highways in Houston if not all of Texas. I mean, thousands of people come through this thing on a daily basis. And certainly you know, late in the afternoon, as it is right now, slash evening, there`s going to be a lot of traffic, a lot of volume on this road. I mean, right now he`s going on the far right-hand side of the highway -- he`s back on the surface streets there now. But you know, he`s obviously close to the highway or anywhere around the highway. It`s very busy.
Here he gets trapped at the median again. Exits the car, trying to find an outlet, trying to find a way out. I wonder what`s going through this guy`s head? He`s just walking slowly, casually strolling down the street. After this hundred miles per hour high speed chase, he`s going on a brisk jog at the most here with a backpack full of goodies. He`s probably -- we know he at least stole a cell phone from the AT&T store. What else he has in that bag is totally unknown to us.
Here he goes into a residential area. And God forbid he runs into someone, some innocent bystander, some little girl who`s out playing with her doll or something like that. It`s very scary.
BREMNER: And speaking of -- yes, so scary. And speaking of what`s going through his mind, Dr. Bethany Marshall, what goes through one of these perp`s minds when they decide to flee? Is it they`re going to flee that day or they see the cops and the adrenaline goes in, and that`s what they`re going to do?
MARSHALL: Well, I can tell you what`s going through his mind. This is not just about a cell phone. This guy, as with all these perps, usually they have very poor mental health, poor decision making abilities. Often they have intermittent explosive disorder, impulsivity like ADHD, and they have multiple offenses in their life, usually low level, as I said before. Maybe he hasn`t paid child support. Maybe there are other low-level things, and when those lights go on, all he can think is I don`t know what I`m really in trouble for.
BREMNER: Thanks, everyone, for coming on the show. And what an honor it`s been to be here for Nancy Grace.
And tonight we stop to remember Army Staff Sergeant Kevin Witte. 27 years old, from Dirsley (ph), Virginia, killed in Iraq. He was awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and the Army Commendation Medal. He also served in Afghanistan. He loved reading and sky diving. He leaves behind his mother Kathy his sisters Jessica, Stephanie and Denise. His brother Jake, Dustin, John and Kevin Witte. A true American hero.
And thank you to all our guests. And to all of you at home, we`ll see you tomorrow night, 8:00 sharp Eastern. And until then, good night.