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JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

911 Call Captures Horror of Family Massacre; Extreme Weather Events Increasing; Drooling Driver Caught; Farm Bill Amendment Bad News for Animals

Aired November 1, 2013 - 19:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Tonight innocent children caught in the middle of a horrific family massacre, with the whole terrifying drama captured on 911 calls we will play for you to hear right now. You can hear the cries of panicked children on these tapes. It`s utterly devastating.

And it didn`t have to happen, because the killer warned on Facebook that he was losing it. But nobody picked up on those warning signs. Why not?

When it was over, six people were dead inside a small South Carolina home: The 27-year-old shooter, his girlfriend, the girlfriend`s parents and her two young nephews.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 911, may I help you?

BRYAN SWEATT, KILLED HIMSELF AND FIVE OTHERS: I`m about to take my life.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Killed two children, his ex-girlfriend and her parents before turning the gun on himself.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Suspect received one gunshot wound to the head, self-inflicted.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let four children escape before he opened fire.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just got four kids with my daughter. Somebody just

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Once you see a horrific scene like this, it never leaves you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The shooter, 27-year-old Bryan Sweatt, was a desperate man with very little to lose. He had a long criminal history, including mostly burglary and theft arrests. He was due in court this coming Thursday. And get this: he was facing up to 30 years in prison if convicted.

He was writing scary postings on Facebook, threatening for example, to drive his truck into a pole. Nobody listened. Instead he execute his girlfriend and her family.

I`m not saying that he needs to be excused. Far from it. We need to stop these warning signs.

Sweatt also had a seven-month-old daughter with his girlfriend, and that child was spared. Hmm. Police say the couple had been arguing recently about custody. Another red flag.

And then Wednesday evening, he made this terrifying call to 911.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 911, may I help you.

SWEATT: Yes, I need an officer to (ADDRESS REDACTED).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What`s wrong?

SWEATT: I`m just stressed out, and I`m about to take my life. And I mean...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What`s your name?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Please put it down.

SWEATT: It`s unknown.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. Do you have a weapon with you?

SWEATT: Huh?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you have a weapon with you?

SWEATT: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you have, sir?

SWEATT: A .44. Get in there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bryan, don`t point it at me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What`s going on?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, hang up after the dispatcher says, "What`s going on?" You can hear the children whimpering in the background. It`s horrific. Seconds later, six people were dead in the home you`re looking at.

Good evening, I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell. Thank you for joining me. We have a fantastic Lion`s Den panel tonight to debate all this. Straight out to HLN contributor and investigator, Jon Leiberman.

Who did this creep execute before killing himself? And how did a 7- month-old and three other little kids escape to a neighbor`s house?

JON LEIBERMAN, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, I`ve got to tell you, Jane, I mean, as horrific and horrifying as this is, and this is one of the worst mass murders I`ve ever seen, and you and I have covered thousands of these, this could have been even worse. Luckily, this suspect allowed four of the younger children to escape and go to a neighbor`s house just in time.

Here`s what happened. This guy was actually lying in wait, waiting at his estranged girlfriend`s parents` house. Waiting with duct tape for when his estranged girlfriend, her parents and two of her nephews came home to this house. At this point, police say, he duct-taped these people and he executed them.

And I`ll tell you what, Jane. We have learned that he and his estranged girlfriend were found in one room, her parents found in another room and the other two little boys found in another room. He separated these groups. It is absolutely horrifying.

But as I said, for some reason, he let go the 7-month-old, the one that`s the center of the custody battle here.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Because it was his kid. It was his kid.

LEIBERMAN: Exactly.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. the nephews, the innocent 9- and 11-year-old boys, you can hear them whimpering in the background before they -- those kids died, the ones you heard whimpering in the background.

Now, the shooter had posted some very creepy messages on Facebook, blasting his girlfriend for keeping their baby away from him and threatening to run his truck into a pole. He also had this 30-year prison sentence hanging over his head.

Let`s listen again to his 911 call and analyze how eerily calm he sounds.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nine-one-one, may I help you?

SWEATT: Yes. I need an officer at (ADDRESS REDACTED).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What`s wrong?

SWEATT: Oh, I`m just stressed out, and I`m about to take my life. I mean...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What`s your name?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Please put it down.

SWEATT: It`s unknown.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. Do you have a weapon with you?

SWEATT: Huh?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you have a weapon with you?

SWEATT: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you have, sir?

SWEATT: A .44. Get in there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bryan, don`t point it at me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What`s going on?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Horrible. Seconds later the massacre began. Now, listen, Lisa Lockwood investigator, author of "Undercover Angel", I want to get your reaction to how eerily calm this guy is and he talks about being suicidal. He doesn`t talk about being homicidal. Why do those end up being connected?

LISA LOCKWOOD, INVESTIGATOR/AUTHOR: Exactly. Here we have a case of a domestic situation. The man had really nothing to lose because he realized he was going to be put in jail anywhere between 25 to 30 years. He had a situation where he was trying to get custody but also knowing that he wouldn`t be able to see his child. So what he wanted to punish his girlfriend and punish her family and have her be able to witness that. It`s very common in domestic cases that it`s about punishing the individual, punishing the estranged lover and allowing them to witness a family be executed. The warning...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me talk about that. Radio personality, Debra Mark. Look, so many people post so many weird things on Facebook. If you called the cops every time you saw a weird Facebook posting, that would be a full-time job.

So it`s so easy, in retrospect, to say, "Oh, my God. He said he was going to ram his truck into a pole. We should have called the cops." It`s not that simple. How do you discern just people being idiots from people being homicidal?

DEBRA MARK, RADIO PERSONALITY: Well, that`s what`s so scary about this. Because we all see these crazy things on Facebook from time to time, and we don`t know what we should take seriously.

But I think this is a wake-up call, because if we start seeing these things on Facebook, you know what? We need to investigate, because things do happen. Obviously.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And I got to say, it`s a warning to people: Don`t post idiotic, dangerous-sounding things on Facebook, because you might be mistaken for somebody who is actually extremely dangerous.

Now before he opened fire, the shooter let four children go. Thank God. I wish he would have let everybody go. I wish he hadn`t killed anybody. But among those he let go, his own seven-month-old daughter. The one he had been arguing about in the custody dispute. Now, they all raced to a neighbor`s home, and the neighbor made a harrowing, harrowing 911 call. Listen to it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just got four kids at my door that says that somebody just killed their momma.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She`s got four kids. They`re saying somebody just killed their mother.

Listen to me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get back there and lock the door. Everybody in one room.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Listen. Tell me, who`s the oldest one there?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They -- they -- She is only like 4 years old.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That`s the oldest one?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Listen to me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m trying.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You`re OK.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hold on. Take the baby. OK.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The oldest one from the residence is 4 years old?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think so, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ask her what he saw.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. Hold on, hold. I got to calm down.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That`s OK. We have officers already on the way because we got a call. But I need to know...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want you to calm down for a minute. OK. I want you to tell me what you saw.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She heard the gun?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She heard the gun.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. Bryan Sweatt took their mother in the back of the room, and they did hear a gun go off, Michelle.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I need to know if...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You stay where you are. We have everybody coming, and you just take care of those children for us, OK?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They`re in their room.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They`re in the house?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Whoa. They`re what now?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There`s two other children in the house.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How old?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Probably 6, 7 -- 9. He`s so small.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And (REDACTED) is 11.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There`s an 11 and a 9-year-old still in that house.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, Jesus.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: "Oh, Jesus" is right.

Look at this man. This is the face of evil. This is the face of cowardice. If you want to kill yourself, well, that`s one thing, but to kill anybody, but especially innocent 9- and 7-year-old [SIC] boys.

Jon Leiberman, thank God these other children got out of there. But who do these kids belong to, all these other kids that made it to the other side?

LEIBERMAN: Yes, and like you said, thank goodness they got out of there.

Two of the kids are neighbors. One is one of Chandra`s, the estranged girlfriend`s, children from another relationship. And then one is the 7- month-old that she shares with this brutal killer. So four in all, two related to the woman and two who are simply neighbors.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me tell you something, parents out there. Mothers. If you have a child, you a responsibility to make absolutely sure -- and this is my rant. You have a responsibility to make absolutely sure the man that you are with is not dangerous. He doesn`t have a rap sheet. OK?

This guy had a rap sheet. This woman had to have known that. I`m not blaming the victim, because she`s dead. But I`m trying to make sure that this doesn`t happen to other children. OK?

If you are a mother and you are a single mother or divorced mother and you are dating somebody, do a background check. And if they have a rap sheet, seriously consider ending that relationship, especially if I`s a rap sheet that involves violence at all whatsoever.

I want to go out to the phone lines. Ron, Iowa, what have you got to say? Ron, Iowa.

CALLER: This fellow was already a convicted felon?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes.

CALLER: How is it all these violent felons get guns? Do they steal them? Do they buy them? Do they get permits? How do -- I didn`t think we gave guns to felons?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, anybody can get a gun in this society. Let`s be real about it, OK? If they get it legally or they get it illegally, guns are out there; they`re all over the place. We had shootings du jour. We had the shooting at LAX today. You know, it`s every day we`re seeing people gunned down. Just the way it is.

Next, we are talking -- well, we`re talking a horror of a completely different nature, but it`s really horrifying. Stay right there.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My dogs kept making noise and I thought -- and I said, "Shh, shhh," a couple of time. And then I heard dripping. So I got up and, you know, the carpet was wet. And it just got worse and worse and worse.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Waist deep in the water, flagging everybody down.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It looked like a river.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The water came too fast. There wouldn`t have been time to get the people out of the houses.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The water was so bad...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I couldn`t...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s happening again, another wildly destructive case of extreme weather with absolutely terrifying and deadly consequences.

Take a look at this unbelievable video from Kansas. A stool bus filled with kids on their way to school. The driver loses control of the bus while crossing a flooded roadway and the bus with all the kids on it overturns, slamming into a flooded and dangerous creek.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We climbed out and got on top of the bus. I thought I was going to die.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, you heard him. He thought he was going to die. And of course who wouldn`t? Look at that situation.

And this is just Kansas. This massive, massive storm stretches all the way from Michigan to Texas affecting millions of people. People are evacuating and racing away from their precious homes left and right in Austin, Texas, where there`s more than a foot of rain. And remember, this is right on the heels of that Oklahoma tornado. One of the wildest tornadoes ever recorded.

Plus, the Arizona fires that killed 19 heroic firefighters this summer.

It feels like we can hardly recover from one horrific weather catastrophe before another one slams on. Straight out to What`s going on with the latest?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The latest is that the death toll stands at two. Two men are died in this flooding.

But we expect that number to rise over the weekend. Tragically, in that flooding, they think that there was a mother and her eight-8-old child who were trying to escape the flooding that somehow got in the plane. They found her car, her car was empty. They believe that the mother and her 8- month-old child were swept down river. They have not been found.

And that came on the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, as we just said. It caused almost 200 deaths and -- take a look at this -- billions of dollars in damage on the East Coast of the United States.

I personally say we stop debating whether or not humans are part of the problem, part of the cause. The weather is getting hotter and hotter. The seas are getting higher.

Ninety-seven 97 percent of scientists now say manmade climate change IS real. This is not JUST a figment of our imaginations.

And the U.S. National Academy of Sciences finds that several attempts of extreme weather are on the rise and that manmade climate change is likely responsible and that things are only going to get first. Tonight we debate it.

Bob Deans, from the National Resource Defense Council, how do we get people to wake up and realize we`re putting our own kids in danger by willfully ignoring the impact of our reckless behavior that contributes to global warming?

BOB DEANS, FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS: Well, Jane, certainly our thoughts and prayers go out to these families in Austin and Europe and elsewhere where that are suffering from the terrible disasters. You can`t name one specific weather event and peg it to climate change but what we know is that claimant change is the stage this weather plays out on and climate change is driving us to more extreme weather. And here are a couple of reasons why.

As air gets warmer it holds more moisture. That means that when we do get a deluge, we`re getting bigger deluges. And that`s been documented by the American Meteorology Society.

We know also that when oceans get warmer they hold more energy. That means that when a storm like Sandy lingers over the Atlantic Ocean`s warmer waters, it packs a bigger wallop. Climate change is imposing huge and growing costs on us right now. It threatens our future; it`s impairing out children. We need to do something about it.

All right. Well, on the other side, Bernie Rayno, senior meteorologist, Accuweather.com. Bernie, I understand that you don`t think climate change is a real phenomenon?

BERNIE RAYNO, ACCUWEATHER.COM: No I didn`t say that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes.

RAYNO: What I`m saying is this. Are we as humans changing the climate? Of course we are. We`ve been changing the climate since we stepped on this earth with just regular living, and of course, CO2 is a small part of it. The real question is how much are we changing it? And I don`t believe that has been answered.

You have mentioned at the top of the broadcast that it`s getting warmer. That`s actually incorrect. There`s been no warming globally over the last 12 to 13 years. And some of the computer models -- in fact let me change that. All of the computer models that are used by the IPC have busted.

Now getting back to what`s been going on, well, the climate has always been changing. It`s been changing since the dawning of time. You can`t say that the floods in Austin and the floods in Denver have anything to do with climate change. You can`t just pick one event. However...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me tell you something. Are the polar ice caps melting? Because what I heard is that the animals are starving because they have no ice to stand on. And the last time I checked when the ice is melting, it`s getting warmer.

RAYNO: You`re getting into something totally different, that the earth is warning. It`s not warming. It`s been standing still for over the last 12 to 13 years. That is not the data in the scientific community. The earth -- the ice is melting because the Atlantic has been warming, and it`s been in that cycle for quite some time.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Sir...

RAYNO: You talk about severe weather. Severe weather is down. Hurricanes are down globally. So we have to stop...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Really?

RAYNO: ... with the severe weather, because I don`t think -- yes, I think it is. Now listen, just because it`s happening in your back yard doesn`t mean that it`s because of global warming. Now, my heart`s...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m not in Austin. It`s not happening in my back yard but Hurricane Sandy happened in my back yard in New York City. And then you had the Oklahoma tornado and then you had the Arizona fires and you have the wildfires going...

RAYNO: ... 30-year low.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wait a second. Let me bring Bob Deans back. Let me bring Bob Deans back. You had your say. Let`s get a response from Bob Deans.

DEANS: Thanks, Jane. The 15 hottest years on record globally have all occurred since 1997. Anyone who wants to check can go to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Web site and document that for themselves. The hottest year on record in the United States, 2012.

We had ranchers between the Ohio Valley and the Rocky Mountains liquidating their herds because their pastures were burning up. We had farmers in Kansas losing corn. We`re seeing this. And we can do a couple of things about it. The president mentioned one today: We need to protect ourselves against these impacts that we`re seeing right now.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me take the brief break. I enjoy this debate. I thank you for all.

Get ready to rumble. We`re going to take a short break, and we`re going to come back with some more debate on perhaps the most crucial, crucial issue facing everybody, humans and animals today. Stay right there.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It wasn`t tater came too fast. There wouldn`t have been time to get the people out of the houses. We need to do something about it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re debating what`s causing all of this. Oh, has this been since the beginning of time? Well, I don`t know. Very smart people like the current mayor of New York is spending millions and millions and millions of dollars trying to shore up the island of Manhattan because he believes that, well, scientists, 97 percent of them are saying that we`re getting warmer, the seas are rising and all of our coastal communities are becoming more threatened.

Now Bernie Rayno, you`re a senior meteorologist with Accuweather, and I`m so delighted to have you on. But you`re basically saying 97 percent of scientists are wrong?

RAYNO: No, that`s not what I`m saying. What I`m saying is, No. 1, the statistics show. Everybody keeps on saying the climate is warming. For the last 15 years it`s not warming; there`s no data about that. It hasn`t happened. Two...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, wait a second. Hold on one second.

RAYNO: It hasn`t.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to stop.

RAYNO: OK.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Because the other gentleman, Bob Deans of the Natural Resources Defense Council, says yes, it is warming. So let`s figure that one out.

RAYNO: I never heard him say that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, he did. He said, Bob...

RAYNO: I heard him -- Go ahead.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Go ahead.

RAYNO: ... say he`s not looking at the information. Go ahead.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let`s figure it out. Let`s figure it out.

Bob, are you -- you said on our air that things were getting warmer, correct?

DEANS: We`ve had the 15 hottest years ever since 1997 globally. Now, I think what the meteorologist is referring to is the rate of change, and that has leveled off some. But it`s a little bit like this. You know, when you`re climbing upstairs, you get to a level and you`re not climbing anymore, but you`re going to keep climbing. There`s no question about that. And 70 percent of the warming is...

RAYNO: There`s no question about that.

DEANS: ... is taking place in the ocean, in the deep ocean water.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. So when the oceans -- when the oceans warm up, the temp -- the sea level rises. And let me give Bernie Rayno a chance to respond to that.

RAYNO: Sure. Dr. William Gray talked about this, that the IPC has come out with this report. It`s the cycle of the deep ocean, the oceans. Dr. William Gray talked about this in the `70s, and he talked about how the circulations act as a thermostat to regulate the temperature of not the United States but the world.

Now over the last 15 years we haven`t warmed.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right.

RAYNO: None of the global computer models have shown that. Now -- and there is a belief that, as the AMO goes in its cool cycle, and it will be, we also have the cool cycle of the PDO, that temperatures are going to start dropping. That remains to be seen.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I don`t know those acronyms. But Bob, I want to give you a chance to respond. We`re almost out of time.

DEANS: Sure. I mean, the best indicator is you mentioned the arctic ice. Jane, we`ve lost enough arctic ice to cover the entire eastern United States east of the Mississippi River over just the past 30 years. How do we know that? Because the Pentagon sends a satellite over that ice 14 times a day. We have 30 years of pictures that prove it. There`s no question about it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is something that all of us should think about. Every time you use a plastic water bottle, every time you eat a burger, every time you drive a giant truck or a car, think about it. It`s affecting our planet. I believe so.

Ninety-seven percent of scientists apparently believe so, and I very much respect everybody getting together here and discussing it, however you feel. We have to talk about this. That`s the most important thing.

Let`s keep the discussion going on the other side.

Cameras were rolling as the driver of a truck gets into a five-car accident. But that`s just the beginning of a really bizarre story that goes halfway across the country and involves -- well, you`re just going to have to wait and see on the other side.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This drooling driver, 36-year-old Darren Braun, passed off, the driver sped off nearly hitting the hero worker.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was just one loud crash and then an immediate front crash.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Police think he was under the influence.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Then all of the sudden he jumped out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Braun jumped a fence and ran.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He hid in a hotel room for a few days.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was really scary, his (inaudible) flipped over and made sure that everything goes ok.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Something is clearly wrong with him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, take a look at this wild video. Everybody is talking about it and once again our prisons in America are filled with more people than any other country in the world but it seems like those who really belong in the slammer, Exhibit A, like this hit and run driver are not locked up, they`re roaming free.

Cops say 36-year-old Darren Braun was caught slumped over the wheel, look at him drooling in his lap blocking traffic on a major Atlanta, Georgia thoroughfare. When a highway responder approaches his car, the seemingly drugged out man wakes up, snaps out of it and he starts arguing with the guy and then he speeds up and creates a car accident. You see the car accident right there -- ok -- a five-car collision he provokes.

After that horrible crash the driver suddenly makes a run for it. We`re catching this all on tape which is so bizarre, bolting up a hill and you could see him climbing over a barbed wire fence -- there he is -- and getting away from cops.

Now cops believe he was high on something. Drugs comes to mind and witnesses agree.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He stopped in the middle of the road blocking traffic. He`s either drunk or very sick or something is -- something is clearly wrong with him.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Something is not right about him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Turns out Darren Braun -- there he is -- has a rap sheet a mile long for drugs. Cops say he`s a menace to society. It gets even crazier. Two weeks after that Atlanta hit-and-run where he disappears over the fence, he`s arrested all the way up in Maryland by chance during an undercover drug operation unrelated to the car crash. And guess what; at the time he was disguised as a woman -- can`t make this stuff up.

"Lion`s Den", he`s facing multiple drug charges but cops say he won`t be charged for the hit-and-run in Atlanta unless he comes back to Georgia.

Radio personality Debra Mark, are you kidding me? You know, a lot of people could have been killed, a lot of cars were smashed. This guy seems to be clearly dangerous and he`s out right now partying somewhere possibly not behind bars.

DEBRA MARK, RADIO PERSONALITY: This story gets me so angry. How dare you go and whether you`re on drugs or you`re drinking or whatever and get behind the wheel? And what`s so ridiculous about this Jane, is that we see him trying to get away. I mean come on, seriously, do you think we`re not going to catch you?

It`s craziness. I don`t understand these people. It gets me so angry. It makes me not want to drive especially -- I`m in Los Angeles and that`s pretty scary. But it happens all over the place.

And it`s pathetic. And every time I see this video I just shake my head -- with the drool coming out, it`s just disgusting.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Listen. I don`t drive. I try not to hit the roads on Saturday night because I know that more people are out there drunk and high. And I`ve actually seen people -- once I saw a guy driving the wrong way down a freeway right past me. And this is what people do when they`re high. That`s why I said this guy needs to be behind bars.

People on the run are going to go to extremes to disguise themselves and hide out. They`re going to do some odd things. And cross-dressing and taking on a woman`s identity not for any personal reasons but just to hide from the cops -- right.

Listen to police describe how this drooling driver disguised himself after racing away from the scene.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He hid in a hotel room for a few days and then fearing capture, disguised himself as a woman and took a bus up north.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: This reminds me of the cross-dressing, accused killer, Robert Durst, the millionaire who was suspected and then found not guilty of murdering his neighbor even though he admitted to kind of chopping him up. Durst shaved his head and eyebrows, wore a wig and took on a woman`s identity who turned out to be his alter ego.

Straight out to the "Lion`s Den" Lisa Lockwood, investigator, sometimes they do it because it`s just for disguise. What do you make of that, taking on a woman`s identity.

LISA LOCKWOOD, INVESTIGATOR: Well, this guy obviously is a complete menace. I worked patrol early in my career and all I dealt with were DUIs. People who sleep at the wheel, drooling just like than; then reckless driving, fleeing the scene of a personal injury accident. The guy is a complete wreck.

Now we`re worried about not being able to get him extradited back to be able to pay the piper for what he already did. So here`s a guy with a long rap sheet. He`s going to do whatever he can to try to hide his identity and not go back to jail.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jon Leiberman, I believe there are a lot of people behind bars in America for non violent drug offenses. Clear them out, get them into treatment. We don`t need to lock up more people than the population of some eastern European country.

But then I always end up covering stories where there are people who are clearly a menace who need to be behind bars. This guy -- we catch him on tape fleeing the scene of a five-car collision after drooling in the driver`s seat and they catch him then in Maryland, cops say in some kind of drug deal. He bails out on drug charges and he`s not going to be extradited to Georgia to face the hit and run. Why not?

JON LEIBERMAN, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: No, that`s the thing. They`re never going to extradite him to George to face this. The two silver linings in all of this, frankly Jane, are number one -- luckily, nobody was seriously hurt. The cars that he hit -- all those drivers only had minor injuries. And the other thing we`ve learned, Jane, is he actually did carry car insurance on that truck that he was driving so the other drivers will be able to get their damages paid for from his car insurance. It`s ironic that a guy with such a rap sheet actually did do the right thing in one instance and that is carry insurance so these people will be able to at least financially not be hurt.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Unbelievable because he could have killed a lot of people.

LEIBERMAN: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Look at these cars.

Christine, North Carolina, what have you got to say about this -- Christine?

CHRISTINE, NORTH CAROLINA: You know it`s bizarre. And I was born in Laguna Beach and lived in Hollywood. And I mean the people drive like nuts and they`re dressed crazy. Like you said, you have to walk. If you don`t walk you`re going to get run over and get killed, you know. And it`s just --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me just put it this way.

This is actually -- this video is from Atlanta, Georgia and then he was captured in Maryland. Actually Hollywood has nothing to do with this for once -- right.

But, obviously DUIs are happening all over the country and because of the prescription drug epidemic that I keep talking about, it`s not always that people are drunk or high on illegal drugs. Quite often they`re popping legal prescription drugs that they`re using for the wrong reasons.

Up next, what in the world has this woman so very upset? We`ll tell you.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here`s your Crazy Video of the Day. A reporter and crew from our Washington, D.C. affiliate WUSA is attacked by a young woman who is also allegedly spraying mace at them. No charges filed. The crew was covering a home invasion when this woman came outside and made her feelings clear.

This is scary. As a journalist, I find this very scary.

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(EXPLETIVE DELETED)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can`t --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don`t do this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (EXPLETIVE DELETED) don`t touch me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got that. I got her. I got her.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight our mascot Rico is recuperating from a minor surgery. He`s doing quite well. So in his place we`re joined by Foxy Girl, my other wonderful rescue.

Foxy, there is a crisis tonight involving nine billion farm animals. And our viewers can help speak for those voiceless pigs and cows and chickens.

The House and Senate right now are talking about passing a new farm bill and there`s an amendment that critics say would completely wipe out the very few farm animal protections laws that exist like California`s Prop 2 which outlaws inhumane pig gestation crates like the one you`re looking.

This as the USDA plans to speed up poultry processing lines. Critics say that could mean millions more turkeys and chickens could be boiled alive.

These are pressing issues but tonight`s breaking news, this video from Mercy for Animals -- the latest undercover expose from that organization. They went inside Pipe Stone Systems Rosewood Farm in Minnesota and they say they uncovered horrifying abuse, so horrifying in fact that we can`t show you hardly any of it.

Don`t take our word for it. Go to mercyforanimals.org and see the video for yourself. It`s on mercyforanimals.org. This farm supplies pork to Wal-Mart. We reached out to Wal-Mart for comment and they responded quote, "We think the animal handling in this video was unacceptable. We`re currently conducting our own review of the situation. We have been working on a new comprehensive auditing and tracking program for pork to help ensure that we purchase only from farms that are certified to meet the highest standards for the treatment of animals."

Now we reached out to Pipe Stone for comment and they responded "We absolutely do not condone any type of willful animal abuse. As soon as we were notified by our sheriff`s office about a complaint of animal mistreatment, we immediately conducted our own internal investigation which resulted in the termination of one employee. Additionally the sheriff`s office and a veterinarian that they selected visited the farm the same day and found no abuse or mistreatment. We remain absolutely committed to animal welfare."

Nathan Runkle, executive director of Mercy for Animals, that`s what the company says -- the company where you set an undercover investigator to videotape. What do you say about what you uncovered? Can you describe it for us?

NATHAN RUNKLE, EXEC. DIR., MERCY FOR ANIMALS: Well, our investigator found thousands of pregnant pigs confined in tiny stalls so small that they couldn`t even turn around or lie down comfortable for nearly their entire lives. We documented workers cutting off the tails and ripping off the testicles of fully conscious piglets without any pain killers. Workers taking baby piglets and slamming them head first into the ground trying to kill them and workers beating, punching, slapping, throwing and dropping pigs and piglets.

There`s an absolute culture of cruelty at this major pork supplier to Wal-Mart. And we feel that this should end and Wal-Mart needs to step up to the plate and take real action. These statements are meaningless. They must do away with these cruel crates.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And when this company says that "We conducted an internal investigation. We were notified by the sheriff`s office and we terminated one employee, and additionally the sheriff`s office and the vet that they selected visited the farm the same day and found no abuse or mistreatment," what do you say to that?

RUNKLE: I think the only thing that this factory farm is interested in protecting is its reputation and its profits. And I think that the local law enforcement`s lack of action stinks of corruption.

We have video evidence of workers beating and throwing animals. This is absolutely unacceptable. It`s been condemned by animal welfare experts across the country. And for local law enforcement to turn a blind eye to these animals suffering is absolutely unacceptable.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, when you look at these pigs in these crates, if you did that to, let`s say, Foxy and left her in a crate for however many months -- what are you talking about? Why is there a difference between -- you would be charged with animal cruelty if you do something to a dog and pigs have a higher IQ that dogs and these crates themselves are not illegal there?

RUNKLE: That`s right. Nine states in the U.S. have banned these crates because they`re so inherently cruel. The entire European Union has banned these crates. But unfortunately in Minnesota the crates are still legal.

We believe that this is animal torture. Keeping these sensitive and intelligent animals locked inside of crates where they can`t even walk or turn around is absolutely unacceptable and we need Wal-Mart to step up to the plate to address this issue and to stop dragging its feet.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: On the other side, what you can do as consumers, as American citizens. It is important to bear witness. It`s difficult but we`re going to give you action points on the other side where you can do something to speak for voiceless farm animals in general.

Stay right there.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Time for Pet of the Day. Send your pet pics to hlntv.com/jane.

Nelson -- you are not going to jail, you`re a pirate maybe. Let`s see what we got here. Figaro, Figaro, Figaro -- you make me sing. You are so beautiful. Luka, I don`t want you joining the army or the navy but you can have a lot of fun there on Halloween. And Benji -- Benji the cowboy on the range. Party tonight.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: The USDA is finalizing a proposal that would allow poultry people to accelerate their processing lines with the aim of well, making the food supply faster but it`s going to increase, experts say, the inhumane treatment of animals.

Now nearly a million chickens and turkeys are unintentionally boiled alive every year in U.S. slaughter houses often because fast moving lines fail to kill the birds before they`re dropped into scalding water. That`s according to the Agriculture Department.

KIMBERLY SILVER, NY COALITION FOR HEALTHY SCHOOL FOOD: It`s disgusting. It`s horrifying. It`s changes like this, processing the foods faster and quicker that`s leading to all of this health diet-related problems.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: The USDA says it`s long been committed to the human handling practices in slaughter and processing facilities. Nathan Runkle of Mercy for Animals, what do you say about this plan to speed up the lines where the chickens and the turkeys are shackled and ultimately killed?

RUNKLE: This will just make a bad situation worse. We have eight billion birds that are violently ripped from shackles and have their throats slit every year in slaughter houses in this country. And as this report shows about a million of them are dunked into scalding tanks of water and boiled alive.

These birds have no federal protection during their cruel and inhumane slaughter, and we need more oversight and more protection for the birds, not less.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And let me say this. Action point -- go to mercyforanimals.org and look at these videos for yourself. There`s something called the King Amendment which will wipe out protections for farm animals. Go to our site, hlntv.com/jane and find out what you can do and contact your representatives against the King Amendment.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now for your slice of happiness. These chickens having a good time, not on factory farms, hanging out with a doberman and they`re all just jamming down at the same bowl. See? Look at those happy animals and compare them to the chickens we just saw. You can do something about it. It`s a consumer issue.

Nancy`s next.

END