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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Interview with Miriam Carey's Sisters; Shutdown Showdown; Interview with Man Who Helped Stop Attack on Family
Aired October 4, 2013 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Erin, thanks.
Good evening everyone.
Millions saw the pictures, a city felt the terror, a woman lost her life, and a little girl lost her mother. Now, in the aftermath of the Washington, D.C. chase and shooting, we're learning who the woman at the wheel actually was. Only on this program tonight, Miriam Carey's sisters talk about the Miriam they knew and the mental illness she was fighting. Dr. Drew Pinsky joins us as well.
Also tonight, from blizzards to a massive tropical storm to a damaging tornado, what you need to know about some ugly weather coming our way or already here.
And later, the man in that picture, just one guy, standing between a badly beaten driver of an SUV and a pack of angry bikers who were attacking him. Just one guy who made a difference. He joins us tonight only on 360 and his story will inspire you. That and new report that an undercover police officer was part of the ride that day allegedly saw the attack and did nothing to intervene. We have new reporting on that. We begin though with the latest on the woman in the car in Washington. Her story.
Before authorities fired the fatal shots, before she rammed the White House barrier then raced with her baby daughter in the car to Capitol Hill with the chase in her life came to an end.
Before all that, something motivated Miriam Carey to do what she did. Tonight, we're learning she had been grape ling with mental illness. In a moment I will ask her sisters about that. But first, I want to bring in Deborah Feyerick.
So, you are learning about Miriam Carey's possible motivation to go to Washington. What do you know?
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Sure. I mean, this is a 300-mile trip from Stamford, Connecticut down to Washington D.C. She went. She drove down there on Thursday.
Now, according to her boyfriend, back in December, he called police. He said that she was suffering from postpartum depression, that she was delusional. And one of the things that he told the police, according to one of our sources, is that he told police that she believed that president Obama was monitoring her home through electronic surveillance. Also that somehow he had put her city of Stamford on lockdown. So all of this behavior that actually wound up getting her into a mental evaluation back in December, and papers were found relating to that evaluation, Anderson.
COOPER: And I talked to her sisters about that. They actually dispute some of what the boyfriend has reportedly said. You have also been talking to your sources about medications that she might have been on. What have you heard?
FEYERICK: Yes, this is an interesting thing is that authorities went into the apartment and did an entire search. What they found is they found a discharge paper from the mental health evaluation that she underwent back in December. That's about ten months ago. And in those papers, there were prescriptions for medications to treat both symptoms for bipolar disorder. There also schizophrenia and then antidepressant.
So, there was a lot going on. It's unclear. Initially, we have been told that there was medication but there were prescriptions at the very least. And I think when you spoke to the family, they acknowledged that indeed she was on medication.
COOPER: Right, they said she had been on medication but that she had been tapering off that medication under doctor supervision and the recommendation of a doctor. That's what Miriam told, her sister Amy, and you are going to hear from Amy in just a moment.
But it is interesting because Amy categorically says and so those does the other sister says that her sister, Miriam, was not schizophrenic, did not have bipolar disorder but instead, had postpartum depression and psychosis.
What do you know about this envelope? You were reporting on this last night that she reportedly left behind, I guess, for her boyfriend.
FEYERICK: She did. There was an envelope that was taped to the ground by her door and written his name. Initially they thought there was a letter inside. It was a sugary substance mixed with a corn substance. It was very bizarre and that's what stalled the speed of the investigation because they had to send a hazmat team into the apartment to make sure there was nothing that could potentially contaminate or make anyone ill inside that apartment. But there was that envelope addressed to him with a substance. They don't know why.
COOPER: All right, Deborah Feyerick. Appreciate the reporting.
So, this obviously, I mean, goes without saying a horrible moment for Miriam Carey's two sisters, Amy Carey Jones and Valerie Carey. They spent part of the day today with authorities identifying their sister's body. It's hard to imagine what that has been like and what the coming days and weeks they are going to be like for this family. It takes a lot to endure that.
And still more to talk about it. But they want people to know about the sister and new mother that they loved. I talked to them earlier.
COOPER: Valarie and Amy, I can't imagine how tough this is and what you're going through. I'm sorry for your loss. Amy, what do you want people to know?
AMY CAREY-JONES, MIRIAM CAREY'S SISTER: I want people to just understand that Miriam, she was a young 34-year-old vibrant woman. And she had a lot of dreams and aspirations. She was fun. She was loving. She was very nurturing to her daughter. She was a new mom and she was excited about that.
She always talked about teaching. Her field was dental hygienist. And she wanted to go further and give back in the field. She -- health was everything that she lived for. And she just was a wonderful person.
People need to see she was more than the suspect that was driving the car.
COOPER: Does any of this make sense to you, Amy?
CAREY-JONES: No, it -- we're still trying to put the pieces together. It's very sudden. It still doesn't seem real. We're just waiting for the real story as to exactly what happened to come out.
The investigation is still going forth and we're very interested to know what happened. We don't know what happened.
COOPER: Amy, did you know she was in D.C.?
CAREY-JONES: I didn't know she was in D.C. I was on my way to work and the call was very sudden. I was told and I think I found out just the same as everyone else on the news.
COOPER: So, what was your initial reaction? I mean, obviously the horror of it all, but what went through your mind?
CAREY-JONES: That that could not have been my sister. I immediately went to turn on the television to see what was being reported, and I just saw the same clip over and over, the car. I did recognize her car and it just didn't seem real.
I'm still in shock. I'm still trying to deal with this, very emotional for me.
COOPER: It probably still doesn't seam real.
CAREY-JONES: No. I don't know when it ever will seem real.
COOPER: Valarie, do you have any idea why she may have driven down to D.C.? I mean, there are all sorts of, you know, reports that she had been having emotional problems, that authorities, according to some authorities, there were drugs for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and for depression found in her house. Does this make any sense to you?
VALARIE CAREY, MIRIAM CAREY'S SISTER: What I can say and will say is that my sister was not a bipolar, schizophrenic individual. And I can't say as to why she was in D.C., but regardless of the reason that she was there, her life shouldn't have ended there.
COOPER: Do you have questions about the reaction by law enforcement?
CAREY: Well, that's something that has to be looked into further. This is the reason why the family is here. We're here for answers in D.C.
COOPER: Amy, there are sources saying last year police had been called by your sister's boyfriend who reported that she was acting irrationally or delusionally. Is that something you knew about? Is that something that were concerned about?
CAREY-JONES: I'm not going to feed into things that he reported to the press. I just know that my sister did experience postpartum depression with psychosis they labeled it, which came along with treatment of medication and counseling, which she did. And she had her challenges with that. And that's what she was being treated for.
COOPER: So as far as you know, she wasn't bipolar, she wasn't schizophrenic, you believe it was postpartum depression.
CAREY-JONES: It was postpartum depression with psychosis. That's what her diagnosis was. And she worked very closely with her doctor to taper off the medication and just get the counseling she needed to deal with that diagnosis.
COOPER: How was that manifested in her life? Was that something you saw in her life?
CAREY-JONES: No, we -- it wasn't something that was displayed. It was a momentary breakdown where she had to go and have emergency care. Once she understood what the diagnosis was, she knew how to move forward. She had her challenges as a new parent, and I always spoke closely with her.
I am a parent. I have two children. So, you know, just like anyone else she had questions and we dealt with that as a family, but there was nothing out of the ordinary.
COOPER: Did she seem in recent days to be off medication or to be unstable?
CAREY-JONES: No, she didn't appear to be unstable.
COOPER: Again, the reports that she told her boyfriend that she believed President Obama was in some way electronically monitoring her home, did she ever talk to you about that?
CAREY: What I can say is she has never disclosed anything of that nature. And since my sister is not here to speak for herself, that statement in itself is very questionable.
COOPER: In the last time you talked with her, the last couple of times you talked with her, did you notice anything out of the ordinary?
CAREY: No. She was concerned about me.
COOPER: Just as any sister would be?
COOPER: Amy, how about you? When was the last time you talked to your sister?
CAREY-JONES: Our last conversation -- more through text message, my last time conversing with her was on Monday. And before that, it was a few days before that. We spoke often. She would -- She lived in Connecticut, I lived in Brooklyn. So she frequently came down to Brooklyn so that our mother can baby sit her daughter to accommodate her schedule. She did stop by often.
COOPER: And when you talked to her on Monday, how did she seem to you?
CAREY-JONES: Normal, regular. It was just, you know, business as usual, you know.
COOPER: Do you think you will ever get the answers you're looking for about what happened in your sister's mind, in her life?
CAREY-JONES: We will never know what Miriam was thinking in those last hours before she -- before she died. We can only speculate. Our real concern is why, and were things done properly? Like was there some other way that she could have been helped, so that it didn't end tragically.
COOPER: We got to take a quick break. Again, Amy and Valarie said that Miriam had recently tapered off the medication she had been taking under a doctor's supervision.
In a moment, they're going to elaborate on that. And I'm going to talk to Dr. Drew Pinsky for his perspective. Let us know what you're thinking. You can follow he me on Twitter @AndersonCooper. I'm tweeting tonight.
Also, later in the hour ahead, just who is playing games with the government shutdown while millions pay the price? We'll tell you. Keep them honest ahead.
COOPER: Hey, welcome back to the program.
Before the break, you heard Amy Carey-Jones and Valarie Carey talk about the sister that they knew and loved and still love. They want people to know she was a bright ambitious woman, a loving mother, 34-years-old. They also acknowledge she had been dealing with serious mental illness. We talked about that and the treatment she was receiving in part two of the exclusive 360 interview.
COOPER: The care she got when she had the psychosis and the depression, how long ago was that? Do you know?
CAREY-JONES: The diagnosis came a little bit after her birth of her daughter, maybe a few months after.
COOPER: And her daughter is about a year old, is that correct?
CAREY-JONES: Her daughter is a year, she's one year old.
I did recently ask her about the medication. I talked to her often about that. And she told me that the doctors told her that she didn't need the medication anymore, because the plan was for her to come off of the medication within a year and they were confident that she was better. They tapered her off her medication and she said she felt fine.
COOPER: Do you know for a fact that the doctors recommended she get off the medication, or is that something she told you?
CAREY-JONES: No, that's what the plan was. The plan of care for a patient that has depression with psychosis is medication and treatment, and not to have long-term medication like bipolar or schizophrenic. She didn't have history of any type of psych history, so that is why they told her one year. And they did go with the plan.
COOPER: I -- as you said, you -- I mean, I can't imagine the horror of seeing this on television and witnessing this as other people did. Do you, Amy, have questions about those final minutes and how police responded?
I mean, you said you want to find out what happened. What aspect in particular do you want to look into?
CAREY-JONES: We have a lot of questions. I'm sure, as a lot of viewers when you read the information you see what the media is reporting, it just doesn't add up. And personally, I feel that, you know, as professionals, there has to be another way instead of shooting and killing an individual. I do feel that there could have been something else that could have been done.
So our goal is to figure out what happened.
COOPER: What kind of mom was she?
CAREY-JONES: She was a great mom. She was very nurturing to her daughter. She's made sure that she got the care that she needed. She spent time with her. She was very happy to be a mother.
COOPER: Do you know how your niece is doing now? Do you know what's going to happen with her?
CAREY-JONES: We don't. We're still trying to find out. We're not sure. We just were told that she's safe.
COOPER: Valarie, is there anything else you want people to know about your sister?
CAREY: My sister just totally didn't deserve this, and there are going to be a lot of different stories being told from people who may claim that they know her who don't know her. My sister was a loving mother. She was a law-abiding citizen. She had no political agenda, and she did not deserve to have her life cut down at the age of 34.
COOPER: Do you know if when she had episodes in the past, what they centered around or what she would talk about in those cases?
CAREY-JONES: She seemed to be overwhelmed, a lot of stress. She had a lot of events occurring in her life. And she was diagnosed with depression with the psychosis. We found out about it. She dealt with that, and there was not moments of her walking around with delusions. That's not what was going on.
COOPER: Well, Amy and Valarie, again, I'm so sorry for your loss and please give my condolences to your mother, as well.
And I wish you peace and strength in the days ahead.
COOPER: Before we go any further, it bears repeating, no one can know precisely what motivated Miriam Carey. That's -- there's a lot we can know about the illness she had and plenty to ask Dr. Drew Pinsky about. He's an addiction medicine specialist and host of HLN's "DR. DREW ON CALL."
So you hear postpartum depression with psychosis.
DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST, HLN'S "DR. DREW ON CALL": Yes. Yes.
COOPER: Explain that.
PINSKY: So postpartum depression is a very common condition. It's different than the baby blues. It's very common after people -- a woman's body is flooded with hormones, suddenly let down. They can feel depressed. Sometimes it can become a major depression that actually bleeds into a psychotic episode where they hallucinations and delusions.
That's different from a postpartum psychosis which is much more uncommon, more associated with bipolar illness in the family history or in the individual history.
COOPER: So postpartum psychosis is different than postpartum depression with psychosis.
PINSKY: Correct. And in my experience with postpartum psychosis, it's wild. They're wildly psychotic. The last woman I saw with that was throwing water on people because she believed they were on fire.
COOPER: So listening to the sisters, you say -- they are very informed about what their sister was going through.
PINSKY: They seem -- Miriam's sisters seem extremely well informed about this condition and get exactly what she was dealing with. It has nothing to do with psychology of the individual, although sometimes a lot of stress in those people's lives, but it's not a psychological thing, it's not a personality thing. These are lovely people whose biology has just been thrown completely off by the pregnancy.
COOPER: So when the -- when Amy says that her sister -- their treatment was that her sister was going to -- when she got medication that her sister was tapering off and had tapered off under doctor supervision over the course of a year, that makes sense?
PINSKY: That makes sense because postpartum depression is usually within that first year window and they usually can come off these medications. And while people make a lot of the fact that she was on medication for schizophrenia and bipolar, yes, those meds are used for that. They're used for a lot of other --
COOPER: So when reporters are saying well, they found medication in her house for schizophrenia and bipolar, the sisters are saying she wasn't schizophrenic, she wasn't bipolar.
PINSKY: I think they are absolutely correct. If I had been treating this woman, though, the one thing I would be concerned about, A, that I tapered her too fast to inappropriately early or that my anti-depressants have triggered a bipolar mania because the time, of course, this is a little weird that she became so psychotic over a year after a pregnancy is funny.
COOPER: It does seem clear to you based on what we know and again, there is stuff we don't know in the investigation going on that she likely had another psychotic episode.
PINSKY: It's clear. I mean, all this focus on the government. It's very common to people to be psychotic symptoms focused on authority figures, people in the media speaking directly to them, controlling their thoughts or beaming thoughts into their head and take action too. And that makes sense to them in the moment.
COOPER: Amy had contact with her sister via text message on Monday and said nothing seemed unusual. Hard to tell over text.
PINSKY: Hard to tell over text. People feel -- my experience with postpartum psychosis they feel bewildered. They don't tell people what they are thinking. They sort of they know something is wrong and they are just bewildered by it and they not connecting to reality normally and they can shut off --
COOPER: So someone having a psychotic episode can function, they can get from point A to point B and theoretically she could have driven from New York to D.C. even if she's having psychotic thoughts.
PINSKY: No problem, no problem. It certainly isn't the way to manage mental health. How of the do we have to report stories of mental health being inappropriately dealt with and then inappropriate horrible outcome.
COOPER: And again, the stigma that so many place on mental health issues, I mean, the silence that surrounds this, it's something that we -- it is unfortunate we always end up talking about it in the wake of something --
PINSKY: Yes and the thing that concerns me the most is people will point at somebody's episodes and go there is something wrong with these people when in fact, this is a lovely woman whose brain -- why should we treat conditions above the neck different than below the neck. The brain was misfiring on that day. They have treatments for it. The treatments are good. But we have to enforce them. We have to make sure people follow through on them. And we have to make sure insurance companies allow doctors to use their judgments to do what they need to do.
COOPER: Properly medicated and she could have lived -- absolutely.
PINSKY: And never have any more trouble with any of this potentially. Very sad.
COOPER: Yes, very sad.
Doctor Drew, (INAUDIBLE). Thank you very much. Good to have a doctor in the house. For more on the story, go to cnn.com.
Ahead, another "360" exclusive. This story will make you feel good about the power of an individual making a difference. The man who faced down some of those angry bikers armed with nothing but quiet courage. He didn't have a weapon. He stood between the bikers and SUV driver unconscious on the ground.
Also tonight, the shutdown acquisitions of game playing and possibly hints of the end game. We'll be right back.
COOPER: Hey, welcome back.
Late word tonight, the Pentagon may be close to announcing a plan to bring up to 400,000 furloughed civilian employees back to work. That's according to DOD officials. The announcement could come tomorrow. Big progress, if true, after another day of deadlock. President Obama on a lunch break with vice president Joe Biden restating his refusing to negotiating on it or the debt ceiling. House Speaker Boehner, meantime, lashing out at published comments of an unnamed White House official. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: This morning I get "the Wall Street Journal" out and it says well, we don't care how long this lasts because we're winning. This isn't some damn game. The American people don't want their government shutdown and neither do I.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Neither do the 5,000 defense contractors that could be out of work if the shutdown continues or the 800,000 federal workers that are furloughed or the kids and parents who won't have access to head start programs.
That said, "Keeping Them Honest," there is a lot of game playing going on and both sides talk about winning all the time. Here is Kentucky senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul in that open mic moment Wednesday night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: I think if we keep saying we wanted to defund it, we fought for that, but now we're willing to compromise on this, I think they can't -- I think I know we don't want to be here but we're going to win this, I think.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: There it is. The win word. As for game playing, just exactly what would you call about griping for memorials being closed when you voted to close them.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. RANDY NEUGEBAUER (R), TEXAS: How do you look at them and how do you deny them access? I don't get that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's difficult.
NEUGEBAUER: Well, it should be difficult.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is difficult, I'm sorry, sir.
NEUGEBAUER: Park services should be ashamed of themselves.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm not ashamed.
NEUGEBAUER: You should be.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People who aren't passing a budget.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It doesn't cost people money to come here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This woman is doing her job just like me. I'm a 30-year federal veteran and I'm out of work.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The reason you are -- is Mr. Reid -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, because the government won't do its job and pass a budget.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: It is Congressman Neugebauer, by the way, chewing out a park employee telling a person they ought to be ashamed. When we saw that, of course, we wanted to know more. For the past two days we invited that congressman from Texas to come on the program and explain why he's lashing out at some low-paid park worker when he is still earning a paycheck and making their money. They have health insurance. We got nowhere on that, by the way. It doesn't seem to want to talk. Neither does the CNN producer that caught up with him. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Can you talk to us, please? This is your chance to explain your interaction with the ranger.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Tell us about the park ranger.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Funny how they love being on camera when they are chewing out a park employee but when you actually surprise them with a camera and ask them to explain their activities, he is doing the old I'm talking on the phone thing. I just can't stop and talk.
No luck there. Our invitation, of course, the congressman stands. We will be here all next week. We are not shutdown. We welcome you on the program any time. I will come on early and talk to you.
Again, publicly, no end to the standoff in sight. The question is, what about behind the scenes?
Chief congressional correspondent Dana Bash working her sources joins us with the latest.
So Dana, are any negotiations going on anywhere? I mean, is there any movement at all?
DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No, that's the short and honest answer. There is nothing going on. The only discussions that are going on are within each party's leadership walls, trying to figure out what their next move is, mostly rhetorically but in some cases, especially looking ahead to the debt ceiling inside Republican House Speaker John Boehner's office trying to figure out how they are going to craft something that maybe could make Democrats move off the in negotiation pledge.
COOPER: It is deathly quiet behind you, I got to say. Does it look like all of this will end up getting wrapped up together with the fight over the debt ceiling? BASH: It does look that way. Now what I'm told is that the house speaker has been having those conversations that I mentioned with some of his closest confidence and advisors in the Republican caucus and they are trying to come up with a package not about Obamacare, they moved off of that in these discussions, but about the economy specifically about the debt, something that can take home to constituents, Republicans and not just the Tea Party right, but also even moderates tell me they feel they need to take something home to say, you know, we addressed the problem with the debt in this country and in exchange for that, did agree to raise the debt ceiling.
The speaker is making very clear in private and public, he's not going to do anything that is clean on the debt ceiling. He is not going to do a pass, anything that doesn't extract something with regard to the debt from the president and from Democrats.
COOPER: Also today the federal government announced a critical part of the Obamacare web portal is going to be taken down for a portion of the weekend to try to fix the glitches that were plaguing it. It is pretty stunning that you know, the signature piece that was on the agenda for the Obama administration has been plagued by so many problems with their web site.
This is, I mean, first of all, this administration when they were running for office, you know, they had a much vaunted online effort, the fact that they couldn't get it together for this signature piece of legislation. What is the reaction on Capitol Hill?
BASH: As you can imagine, it was sort of a nanosecond before Republicans jumped on this. The House speaker, his office put out a statement saying it's an unmitigated disaster, saying it's a system- wide failure much more than glitches and asking how can the administration require people to pay taxes, meaning penalties for not purchasing something on a web site that doesn't work?
Again, obviously, making the point that they were right, that this should be delayed until things get worked out, kinks get worked out. There is no question that they feel vindicated inside the Republican Party and you know what? You said it, the fact they are taking this entire system down gives them material.
COOPER: Yes, the flip side, of course, is people do have months and months in order to actually sign up.
BASH: That's true.
COOPER: It's not like they are being tact next week or anything, but still, it is -- I mean, I don't know. I assume somebody is getting yelled at from -- who set this whole thing up. Dana, appreciate it, thanks.
Digging deeper, I want to bring, chief political correspondent, Candy Crowley, and on the phone senior political analyst, David Gergen. Candy, let me start off with you. So we saw Speaker Boehner there getting mad and saying this unnamed White House official talked about naming and we saw Rand Paul talking to Mitch O'Connell off mic talking about they think they are going to win this and the messaging is right on. I mean, is this game playing? Is that what is going on here?
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's messaging. I mean, call it what you want. The amount of work being done in Washington to get something settled is inversely proportion to the number of news conferences and times people appeared on camera. So we had nothing but that this week, which means, as Dana told you, nothing is happening behind the scenes.
This is about jockeying for position while they try sort of internally to figure out in the Democratic and Republican side what it is they will or won't do. Publicly they have been stuck on the same position for a couple of weeks at this point, and I think it's pretty clear it will kind of, this whole conversation, is going to flow into the debt ceiling.
And I don't think they will have some big old package that comes as a compromise and, you know, a super deal because they've tried that before and it hasn't happen, but again I think Dana is perfectly right at some point Republicans feel the need if you're going to raise that debt ceiling, which is already at $17 trillion, Republicans feel they need to have some cuts, something to take home with them.
COOPER: David, how do you see it? Are you surprised the lack of negotiations, the lack of movement?
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST (via telephone): I am. The news is Americans are starting to demand negotiations on both sides. The new poll out tonight has 60 percent of Democrats -- and 60 percent of Republicans saying the House Republicans ought to compromise. That's the good news. The bad news is in Washington. They are game playing. There is a childish game of pin the tail on the donkey. Everybody knows that everybody in Washington is getting hurt, who gets hurt the worst.
COOPER: So what does -- I mean, did Candy, David talk about compromise. What does a compromise look like exactly?
CROWLEY: I don't know because I don't think they know. It's really hard as a reporter to figure this out because the principles are still trying to figure this out. In the meantime, sticking with their positions and they -- the president has said for I don't know how long, I'm not going to negotiate on a debt ceiling. This is money we've already spent.
You have an obligation to do this. I'm not going to do it. On the other hand, I think it's going to be difficult as David points out, with public pressure but also administration's responsibility, the debt ceiling is to say here are the following 13 things that will happen that are horrific if we do not raise the debt ceiling.
And it's going to be difficult going down the line to argue the horrific things will happen if the debt ceiling is raised, but we refuse to negotiate. So I think the pressure is going to be on all of them and everybody sticks to their positions until they don't anymore. COOPER: David, do you see where the perimeters of a negotiation would be? What is the give on each side?
GERGEN: I think there could be a negotiation, Anderson. I think we won't get there until next week. I think the public pressure and anger will rise and financial markets will get rattled and that will put pressure on. I think if the Republicans would promise President Obama we will not -- we will give you a clean debt resolution. We will not try to dismantle healthcare in exchange. In exchange, we want a short opening of the government, a short continuing resolution for a safe four weeks and then enter serious negotiations about entitlement and tax reform.
I think that has some promise to it. I do think there is going to be some turn of negotiation before this is over, but it's got to be done within the context of the president not breaking his vow he would not negotiation over the debt ceiling but have a four-week period of six-week period before the shutdown again.
COOPER: David, Candy, appreciate it, thanks.
Up next, breaking news, an off-duty undercover New York City police officer was one of the bikers present during the confrontation between bikers and an SUV driver. Also, the Good Samaritan, you're going to meet him tonight. He risked harm to himself stepping in to stop angry bikers from attacking the SUV driver even more.
Also, breaking news in Nebraska, tornadoes touching down causing extensive damage, the latest on that.
COOPER: Welcome back. Some breaking news, we just learned new information about that motorcycle mayhem here in New York. An undercover New York City police officer was one of the bikers on the ride. He allegedly witnessed the confrontation, a biker smashing in the driver's side window of an SUV, caught by another biker's helmet cam. The officer was off duty at the time, a member of a bikers club. A source telling our Susan Candiotti tonight the officer did not intervene to stop the confrontation and did not tell his superiors that he was there until Wednesday. It's unclear if he violated police department policy by waiting so long to report it. Internal affairs is investigating.
Meanwhile, police are questioning this man, seen opening the door of the SUV before it then takes off on the highway running over someone. They say he is not under arrest, and police tell us they have now identified the biker who used his helmet to smash the window of the Range Rover and are preparing to arrest him. And they also said that after the window was shattered, the driver was pulled out of the SUV, thrown to the ground, beaten and slashed in the face. That part of the attack was not caught on video, but as that violence was unfolding, a neighborhood man who was walking by saw it, knew he had to do something. So he stepped into the street to protect the driver until police arrived.
He joins us exclusively tonight.
Sergio, I understand you were on your way to church when you saw what was going down. What did you actually see at first?
SERGIO CONSUEGRA, HERO BYSTANDER IN SUV-BIKER ATTACK: I saw a friend of mine. As we approach the corner, on 178th and (inaudible), right there, I saw the USV.
COOPER: The SUV.
CONSUEGRA: The SUV, I'm sorry, approaching, and I saw the tire (ph) that was in pretty bad shape.
COOPER: One of the tires was actually--
COOPER: It was gone.
CONSUEGRA: It was gone, yes. And I explain to him, listen, maybe this family, maybe they are looking for a place to fix the tire, and suddenly there was (inaudible) of motorcycles coming from all over the place, and stopping the motorcycle and throwing it on the floor (ph) and then rushing in to break the windows of the SUV.
COOPER: Did you actually see -- because in the video, we see one motorcyclist take his helmet off and use to the break open the driver side window. Did you actually see that?
CONSUEGRA: Yes, when he stopped, he took his helmet and started hitting the window of the passenger car. Also, there was another guy hitting the other window, and there was another one hitting the back of the USV. I didn't know what was going on, and when I started seeing this, then I saw another one approaching the other door. He opened the door -- I mean, he started breaking the glass. He finally opened the door, and he grabbed the lady in front of the USV -- SUV, and he grabbed her by her arms, and he was pulling her out of the car.
COOPER: So there was a motorcyclist who actually was pulling the wife out of the vehicle.
CONSUEGRA: Yes, she started screaming, and then we saw the baby. That's when we started seeing the baby inside the car with her, you know, and everybody started screaming no, no, not the lady, not with the baby, please don't do that. I scream, too.
So in that moment, I saw a man getting knocked out in the floor, and they started hitting him with the helmet right on the floor.
COOPER: They were using their helmets to hit the driver.
CONSUEGRA: Yes, yes, real hard.
COOPER: About how many people--
CONSUEGRA: There was a lot of blood all over the place. COOPER: Was it one person using a helmet or was it--
CONSUEGRA: No, no, a couple of them, yes. They were big, too. Yes, real big, big guys. And that's when like I started thinking I got to do something because nobody is doing nothing, and they are going to kill this family. And basically, this doesn't -- it doesn't sound good to me, I mean, like, I got to do something.
So I basically, I didn't think about it. I just went inside there, I scream "not the lady," and he somehow heard us saying those things. He stopped. So when he stopped, I approached the man, because I saw him almost dead on the floor. So what I did was I confronted these people, and I stood between them and the man lying on the floor, and I say to them, that's it. Let her go. Let it go, man. That's it. It's done. You know, don't continue doing it. You're going to kill the man.
COOPER: So you were actually standing between one of the people who was hitting the guy with the -- with his helmet and the man on the floor, the driver.
CONSUEGRA: Yes. Yes.
COOPER: You stood between them.
CONSUEGRA: Between them, yes, there was many.
COOPER: Were the motorcyclists saying anything back to you?
CONSUEGRA: Yes, one of them screaming, say with the helmet on top of him, and he say, no, because -- because I told him please stop, don't -- let it go. And then one of them, a short guy, he say no, because he ran one of us. So I didn't (ph) understood what he was saying. Because I didn't know what happened before, you know? Before anything else.
COOPER: He was saying that the driver ran over one of the motorcyclists.
CONSUEGRA: Yes, that's what he said, that's what I heard him saying. But when I -- I kept -- you know, I didn't want to talk to him, engage in any -- whatever situation that happened before, so I kept saying the same thing, you know. I stood my ground, and I look at them in they eyes and they look at me. So basically, there was a little tense moment of maybe couple of seconds looking at each other, and they somehow got -- I don't know how they -- they stopped. Somehow they stopped.
COOPER: Was the driver of the SUV who was on the floor, was he conscious, was he saying anything?
CONSUEGRA: No, no, he wasn't saying anything. He was just lying there bleeding. That's the moment when I turn around and went like this, protecting the family, and I said to myself, I'm not going to move from here until they go, you know? So that's -- that's how they somehow took a picture there. COOPER: In New York, oftentimes you see something happening, you just walk away.
COOPER: You actually -- you moved toward what a lot of people--
CONSUEGRA: Well, my family -- I have ten kids. And when I saw the lady with that baby, that's when it hit me, and I say I have to do something. Even if I take a chance here, even if they hit me or whatever they do, I'm going to have to do something.
Now in my mind, I try not to confront them. You know, I have the idea of like letting them know that I'm not there to confront them, but to protect the family, to stop it, you know, to avoid somebody getting killed. So that's what I did. So I kept my (inaudible) and hands so they could know that I'm not--
COOPER: You're armed with a (inaudible).
CONSUEGRA: So that's what you can see in my photo there, so I kept it in my hand, so to let them know that I'm not ready to engage in any, you know, whatever situation there, any fight.
COOPER: You obviously, you know, you didn't see what happened earlier, but given what you saw in that moment of the motorcyclists, do you have any doubt that what they did was wrong in that moment?
CONSUEGRA: Yes, definitely. I mean, like --
COOPER: You're sure it was the right -- what they did was wrong?
CONSUEGRA: Yes, it was wrong. I mean, like, it was like hell in there.
COOPER: As a resident of the city, thank you for what you did, and I want to get your number because if I'm ever in trouble, I want you -- I want to know where you are in the city and I'm going to come to you.
CONSUEGRA: Basically, I just want to say that this type of situation, we have to end.
COOPER: Thank you for what you did.
CONSUEGRA: Thank you.
COOPER: An honor to meet you.
CONSUEGRA: OK. Very good.
COOPER: His name is Sergio Consuegra, and he's a well-known resident in Washington Heights, and everybody should thank him, because what he did is just something too few people do in a big city like this sometimes.
Coming up, the woman accused of pushing her husband after a cliff eight days after her wedding enters a plea.
More breaking news tonight, tornadoes in Nebraska and tropical storm heading for the gulf coast, we'll get the latest from Chad Myers.
COOPER: Breaking news tonight on a huge weather system impacting the quite. Tornadoes are touching down in Iowa after hitting Nebraska and it's causing blizzard and winter storm warnings in Wyoming, Colorado. A lot to talk about with Chad Myers live in the weather center. What is the latest we know about the tornadoes first of all?
CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: You know, still on the ground. Iowa, still on the ground, Cherokee, Iowa, I need you to take cover right now. A large violent confirmed tornado on the ground headed to your town. This started in Nebraska. Here in Wayne, Nebraska a couple tornadoes and not too far from Jefferson and Iowa and then this storm fizzled out around Hinton.
Another big storm through SLOAN IOWA, at least missed it by a mile of two and then up here toward Cherokee and that's the storm we're worried about now with the confirmed tornado still on the ground. We think of severe weather season as spring because warm air pushes cold air. Now, fall is cold air pushing away warm air.
It's still the clash, the warm and cold. It's snowing in the black hills. It's snowing feet of snow in the black hills, Wyoming 24, 46 inches of snow and wind blowing at 40 miles per hour with this storm. So yes, it's a big weather setup. There is warm weather here, severe weather here and tornadoes on the front. South Dakota parts of Nebraska. It even snowed in Boulder, Colorado that had the flooding a couple weeks ago.
CONSUEGRA: Crazy. What about Tropical Storm Karen. Where is it now?
MYERS: It's stationary and I don't like it what storms get stationary. They can die but spend more time in the water. So it's stopped for now. It's going to turn to the north and eventually on toward the northeast probably toward Florida. Here is the rub. That's what happens if you see this get stopped and not really make progress.
It can sit there, spend more time and get bigger. We're expecting this storm to get up toward New Orleans and turn to the right like that. There it goes and probably run over Pensacola. We have a lot to watch for you. The problem with this is not storm surge or wind for that matter, but if you get a 50 mile per hour wind, Anderson, this entire area is soggy, completely soggy. It rained more here than ever before, 50 mile per hour wind and the trees will go whap, millions of trees down.
COOPER: Chad, appreciate the update. Thanks. We'll watch it all weekend.
Pamela Brown joins me now with the "360 Bulletin" -- Pamela.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, an eyewitness says a man set himself on fire at Washington's National Mall today. The witness says he saw a gas canister near the man and several people used shirts to put out the fire. The man was airlifted to a hospital.
The woman accused of pushing her newlywed a husband off a cliff pleaded not guilty today in a Montana courtroom today. Jordan Lynn Graham is charged with first and second-degree murder in making false statements. Graham and Cody Johnson were married just over a week when he died on a hiking trail in Glazier National Park.
New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez is suing Major League Baseball and Commissioner Bud Selig for damages saying they were trying to destroy his reputation and career. They want to prove A-Rod was using performance enhancing drugs. He's fighting to overturn his suspension -- Anderson.
COOPER: Pamela, thanks very much. We'll be right back.
COOPER: We ran out of time for "The Ridiculist." That does it for us. "PIERS MORGAN LIVE" starts now. Have a great weekend.