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Evidence of Iranian Involvement in Iraq?; Guerrilla Marketing

Aired February 1, 2007 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone.
Tonight: a sex offender shocker, a 29-year-old man who pretended to be a seventh-grader. He enrolled in several schools. Police say he's a sexual predator. And what's worse, the so-called family he lived with, they're alleged predators as well. How could it happen? Find out tonight.

Also, that marketing stunt gone awry in Boston, it terrorized the town, sent a chill through the country. The two men behind it could face felony convictions, years in prison. Yet, today, as you will hear for yourselves, they sound like they're having the time of their lives.

We begin, however, tonight, with the growing battle at home over the war in Iraq and potentially with Iran. Unlike the last time around, lawmakers in both parties are pushing back hard.

Listen to the grilling that Republican Senator John McCain gave General George Casey today. He's the outgoing commander in Iraq, now President Bush's choice for Army chief of staff.



SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: That we have a failed policy and we are not winning?

CASEY: Senator, I do not agree that we have a failed policy. I believe the president's new strategy will enhance the policy that we have.

MCCAIN: So, you disagree with the secretary of defense, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Admiral Fallon that we had a failed policy?

CASEY: I do, Senator. I do not believe that the current policy has failed.


COOPER: That skeptical tone will carry over next week, as the Senate debates a resolution condemning the president's troop buildup. A vote is set for Monday. So, with all the tough talk on Iraq and Iran, where is the proof? What evidence does the Bush administration really have about Iranian involvement in Iraq?

And, for that, we turn to CNN's chief international correspondent, Christiane Amanpour, in Tehran, in Baghdad, Michael Ware, and Suzanne Malveaux in Washington.

Suzanne, let's start with you.

The Bush administration has delayed the release of evidence which reportedly supports its accusations that Iran is backing militias in Iraq. Why?


A national security official was telling me, the reason why is, there is a debate within the administration over what to do here. There is one camp that believes that there's a lot of pressure from Iraqis and Iranians, friends of the Bush administration inside Iraq, who say, we need more proof. They believe that the Bush administration perhaps is exaggerating its case. They want that proof out there.

And there is the belief here that, if you release that super- secret evidence, declassify it, you will see evidence that links Iranians transferring weapons and hardware to these Iraqi militia.

The NSC is concerned, however, that, if you do that, there's going to be major blowback from Washington, that there are going to be more accusations of warmongering.

So, what's going to happen here? We understand that it is likely they're going to declassify that information, but this official saying, look, they're going to scrub it well -- that, of course, meaning that they don't compromise sources. They also say there's not going to be any daylight between these intelligence agencies, the NSC, the Pentagon, that they are all going to come to agreement on what this intelligence is, whether or not it's appropriate, and it's going to happen very low-key.

COOPER: Suzanne, also, there's this new national intelligence estimate on Iraq, which is going to be given to members of Congress tomorrow. It's already creating some controversy. What? What about it?

MALVEAUX: Well, you know, members of Congress are going to get this. It is called "The Prospects for Iraq's Stability: A Challenging Road Ahead." They will get it tomorrow afternoon, as well as in the morning.

This is the controversy here. They're already upset here. They said: Look, we have been asking for this six months ago, back in August. They're just producing it now. They say they were not able in any way to get a full picture of the intelligence before weighing in on whether or not Iraq troop surge was correct or incorrect. And they say the Bush administration produced the last national intelligence estimate in 2002 in three weeks to make the case for war. So, they believe that this is something that is long in coming.

COOPER: We will be watching tomorrow. Suzanne, thanks.

If lawmakers needed any more evidence that Iraq will be a tough place to fix, if possible at all, they got plenty more today. Two bombings in Hillah, south of Baghdad, killed at least five dozen people -- 30 more bodies in Baghdad, gunmen targeting college students elsewhere -- and, in Iran, reports that the government has refused to let U.N. inspectors set up cameras at an underground nuclear plant.

As we said, Michael Ware is in Baghdad for us tonight. And Christiane Amanpour is in Tehran.

Christiane, the number-two U.S. military commander in Iraq, General Raymond Odierno, said that Iranians are supplying Iraqi militias with a variety of powerful weapons, including Katyusha rockets.

How are Iranian officials, at this point, responding to the accusations?

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, directly, not. The government has not responded directly. There have been many days of holiday over the mourning period.

But, unofficially, I have been talking with sources with very close connection to the government. And they say: You have got to show us the proof. They say: We would be really surprised to hear that we are supplying our own allies, Shiites, to kill the very people who liberated them, the Americans.

This is what their -- what their position apparently is. They say that they want a democratic and freely elected government in Iraq, which they say exists right now, and that, yes, their position is that they want the U.S. -- quote -- "occupying forces" out, but only have they have laid the groundwork for the possibility to get out, and not to get out precipitously, which would leave -- quote -- "Iraq in a bigger mess than it is in already."

COOPER: Well, it will be interesting to see if the Bush administration releases what they say is this evidence.

Michael, you spoke to Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki earlier this week. Does he see Iran as much of a threat in Iraq as the United States does?

MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, no, not at all, Anderson.

I mean, he sees Iran in a much different way. I mean, the problem for the Iraqi prime minister is that he's caught between a rock and a hard place. He has the U.S. administration and the military here essentially underwriting his so-called democratic government.

Nonetheless, Iran remains a partner. I mean, there's a shared land border. There's a lot of, you know, population that shares ties across that porous land border.

And, don't forget, the prime minister comes from a Shia political alliance of parties, most of whom received shelter from Saddam by Iran or continue to have support from Iran to this day. Indeed, the prime minister's party, when it fled Saddam, went to -- partly to Syria, and mostly to Iran.

COOPER: Christiane, an interesting moment in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee -- former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft once again urging the U.S. to pursue diplomacy with Iran, the suggestion, obviously, the Bush administration has rejected, at least on this issue.

What is your sense from talking to Iranian officials? How open would they be to talks?

AMANPOUR: Well, I think they do want to. And they have made that representation in the past.

Certainly, officially, it's really difficult to get a straight answer on this. But, unofficially, those people who I have been talking to say: Look, we were -- and they use the word partners with the United States over the war in Afghanistan, when the Taliban was kicked out, and we helped the United States, in a very constructive way, usher in the new democratic government of Hamid Karzai.

And even the U.S. admits that. So, these very same people are saying that: We should be having the same kind of cooperation in Iraq. "We know -- who knows Iraq better than us?" they say. We were at war with Iraq for eight years. We have this long border, as Michael pointed out. So many of the leadership and, by the way, the Badr Brigades, the militias, the people in Iraq now who are in the armed camps, were inside Iran. We know a lot, and we can help a lot. And we can help the Americans a lot.

So, on this side, many of the officials are wondering why they can't get to talks to -- with America about this issue.

COOPER: And it's interesting, Michael. What can the Iraqi government really do? This spokesman for the Iraqi government said they won't allow any attacks from Iran against American forces or British forces in Iraq. But they also stress they want to maintain good relations with Iran.

And you talked about the prime minister being between a rock and a hard place. How does the government balance the two? Can they move against these Iranian agents?

WARE: Absolutely not. I mean, this government has no power whatsoever to move against the Iranian agents or the massive Iranian networks that work within this country. I mean, remember, the Iranians helped harness a lot of these Iraqi exiles during Saddam's regime. They put thousands of them into the Iranian armed forces, turned hundreds and thousands of them into covert networks, which are still operating today.

I mean, as the Iranian ambassador here in Baghdad once said to me, when I challenged him that Western intelligence says there's covert ops running out of your embassy, he goes: Well, this is an embassy. And the CIA is here, and MI6 is here.

And what we see, for example, within the Iraqi government, how they balance it, there's competing intelligence agencies that operate within this government. One is backed by the CIA and the U.S. government. The other one has been backed by the Iranians. So, they're just trying -- they have to live with this situation.

COOPER: A difficult situation, indeed.

Michael Ware, thanks. Christiane Amanpour, thanks -- covering the story from both Tehran and Baghdad tonight.

Michael actually returns in our next hour. He and I sat down recently for an in-depth look at the war, what he calls, actually, four wars unfolding at once. That's coming up at the top of the hour -- his thoughts on his near-death experience at the hands of al Qaeda gunmen. We're calling it "Iraq: The Hidden Wars." Again, that's at the top of the hour.

We got hundreds of e-mails about this broadcast, people saying it clarified things for them in Iraq, what's happening on the ground, what's really happening on the ground. I urge you to watch it.

Bad as it is in Iraq, authorities say there are people out there plotting to bring Baghdad-style acts of terror to cities in the West.

Yesterday, police in Great Britain say they broke up one such scheme -- some new developments to report on that tonight.

CNN's Nic Robertson has the late details now from Birmingham -- Nic.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, from a source close to intelligence here, we learned something quite startling about the person who was the intended victim in this alleged plot to kidnap a British Muslim soldier and then behead him.

He wasn't, according to this particular source, just any British Muslim soldier. He was one working on intelligence. He was using his Pakistani roots in Afghanistan with the British army, in a cultural environment that he was used to, with a language that he was used to, to undermine the Taliban.

And that cuts deep back here, because there are some people here that have sympathies with the Taliban. And, according to this particular course, the group that intended to kidnap him were aware of the work that he was doing, the intelligence work, and this helped, for them, center on him and decide that he should be the victim, because, in their eyes, working in Afghanistan essentially to undermine their brothers -- Anderson.

COOPER: Which then raises the question, did they gain that information in Britain or from some sort of contacts in Pakistan or in Afghanistan?

Is there any more information about whether these -- these -- these alleged -- or whether these suspects were working on their own or with a larger group?

ROBERTSON: It's really not clear.

Certainly -- certainly, the police are not releasing any information about that. People close to the intelligence side of this operation say they don't believe there was a direct al Qaeda link. They do, however, believe that it's sort of part, as they term it, of the larger al Qaeda franchise -- that is, the groups that support the al Qaeda ideology -- and that's what was motivating them, and that, if -- that, if they had been successful in this particular case, it would have been a huge motivational boost for the groups here, who haven't had any kind of success for well over a year now -- Anderson.

COOPER: Interesting that they were able to zero in on this one very important British soldier.

Nic, thanks for the reporting.

Like the U.S., Britain has enacted sweeping anti-terror laws, but with some pretty mixed results. Here's the "Raw Data" on it.

Between 9/11 and September of 2005, 895 people were arrested under the U.K.'s Terrorism Act of 2000; 294 suspects were charged. Only 23 were actually convicted; 496 were released.

Straight ahead tonight: It looked like a terror attack prevented at the last minute. It scared the daylights out of, well, Boston and a lot of the country. Then, things turned pretty weird. Today, they turned outrageous.

Take a look.


COOPER (voice-over): Accused of terrorizing Boston, facing years in prison, now they're talking.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's also not a hair question. That's also not a hair question.

COOPER: Talking, yes, but what are they saying? Performance art, guerrilla marketing? Terror and the law, you won't believe how it all comes together. Later: a seventh-grader with a secret.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't understand how a 29-year-old male can be misunderstood as a seventh-grader.

COOPER: Good question, because police say he was a sexual predator. And that's not the half of it. Wait until you hear about his so-called family -- ahead on 360.




PETER BERDOVSKY, DEFENDANT: Hold on a second. Hold on a second. For example, Afro, I think, comes kind of from the '70s. But then again, there's other styles, like the greased-up hair, when they actually used grease.

Now, I'm not totally sure where that comes from, whether or not it's from the '20s or from the -- it's definitely not from the '60s, I don't think.

QUESTION: Can you try taking this seriously?

BERDOVSKY: The '60s sort of -- we're taking this very seriously.

SEAN STEVENS, DEFENDANT: Yes. Please don't interrupt.


COOPER: That was Peter Berdovsky and Sean Stevens talking to reporters today outside a Boston courthouse. They're charged with setting off yesterday's bomb scare.

Reporters had plenty of questions for them, but the two men only wanted to talk about one thing: hairstyles, mostly from circa 1970s.

If that sounds kind of surreal, well, it was. It was clearly intended to be. But the charges on the table are serious. And, tonight, there are new allegations of a possible cover-up.

Here's CNN's Jason Carroll.


JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It wasn't supposed to be a joke, but the two men accused of causing a security scare in Boston seemed to be in a joking mood following their arraignment.

PETER BERDOVSKY, DEFENDANT: What we really want to talk about today, it's -- it's kind of important to some people -- haircuts in the '70s. We really want to discuss the style of them.


SEAN STEVENS, DEFENDANT: We -- we feel it's really important, because we think it's been a big inspiration on how people live their lives today.

CARROLL: After pleading not guilty to disorderly conduct and to a felony charge of planting a hoax device to cause panic, Peter Berdovsky and Sean Stevens staged a bizarre impromptu press conference.

BERDOVSKY: I feel like my hair is pretty perfect. But, altogether, I want to redirect this on to the topic of haircuts in the '70s.

CARROLL: Their attorney said they're performing arrests. Both work for a marketing company hired by the Cartoon Network, a Turner Broadcasting outlet, which also owns CNN, to promote a show called "Aqua Teen Hunger Force." They planted electric light boxes depicting a cartoon camera in locations around Boston.

Authorities suspected the devices were bombs.

DANIEL GRABAUSKAS, GENERAL MANAGER, MASSACHUSETTS BAY TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY: I guess I'm trying to figure out how, in this day and age, some company and their executives could be so clueless as to attach electronic devices around transit hubs and around a lot of people, and just not tell anybody. It's kind of crazy.

CARROLL: Turner Broadcasting executives say, it was not a promotion campaign, not a hoax, and they did not realize their devices were causing the scare until hours after police shut down parts of the city late in the afternoon. That's when a Turner representative called police.

But Peter Berdovsky may have known much earlier that afternoon the devices were causing a problem.

(on camera): "The Boston Globe" reports, he wrote friends an e- mail saying a representative from Interference Inc. called him early Wednesday afternoon, saying he should keep quiet. Interference Inc. did not return our calls. Turner says they don't know anything about it.

(voice-over): Similar devices had been placed in 10 cities for weeks without incident.

Twenty-two-year-old Todd Vanderline spotted the devices in Boston two weeks ago, even posting pictures of them on his Web site. Vanderline says, many people from his generation are familiar with this type of so-called guerrilla advertising.

TODD VANDERLINE, STUDENT: It's a simple little -- it's a Lite- Brite. I mean, it's tough to see how they can tie that together as a bomb. CARROLL: Boston city officials will ask Turner Broadcasting to compensate them for hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on manpower.

GRABAUSKAS: And I think that they ought to pay up.

CARROLL: A costly price, all for a cartoon.

Jason Carroll, CNN, Boston.


COOPER: Well, we want to mention again that Turner Broadcasting System, which owns the cartoon, "Aqua Teen Hunger Force," is the parent company of CNN.

One question tonight is whether Turner and the marketing company it hired should have realized that such an unorthodox ad campaign might pose a danger in a post-9/11 world.

Joining me now is CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.

Jeffrey, good to see you.

You know, these two guys were arraigned on a felony charge of placing a hoax device. And I want to read the law under which they were charged, because it's -- it doesn't seem to apply. But -- but -- but you're the expert.

The law says, "Whoever possesses, transports, uses, or places any hoax device or hoax substance with the intent to cause anxiety, unrest, fear, or personal discomfort shall be punished. The term hoax device shall mean any device that would cause a person reasonably to believe that such device is for endangering life or doing unusual damage to property, or both, by fire or explosion, whether or not contrived to ignite or explode automatically."

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: I think the key phrase here is with the intent to cause anxiety, unrest, fear or personal discomfort.

You know, whether you -- when you do a hoax, you meant -- you mean to persuade people that there's a bomb somewhere, and there are not.

COOPER: Right.

TOOBIN: That's -- you're intending to cause anxiety.

As far as I can tell, they were intending to promote this truly awful-sounding program. But I don't think that counts as terrorism. I just don't see how they are possibly guilty, under this crime for which they were charged.


COOPER: And these guys performed at this press conference. They were only taking questions about hairstyles...

TOOBIN: Right.


COOPER: ... which, you know, people find either annoying or amusing. I always like seeing the media kind of, you know, be made fun of.


TOOBIN: "Why aren't you taking us seriously?"



COOPER: "We're in the media. You should take us seriously."



COOPER: "... should hold a press conference."

But, I mean, is that going to work against them?

TOOBIN: Well, I mean, certainly, this is a case where prosecutorial discretion will come in, you know, whether a prosecutor wants to really go after them or cut them a break.

And, certainly, a performance like that is not going to encourage a prosecutor to say, OK, let's take a plea bargain. Let's get rid of this.

But, you know, maybe their lawyers read the statute the way I did, and said, you know, you can be as big a jerk as you want, but you're not guilty under this law. And they may say, you know...

COOPER: What about this report that Peter Berdovsky allegedly, according to a friend of his, sent an e-mail to a friend, in which he said he was told by the other -- this company, Interference Inc., they -- they told him to be quiet?

TOOBIN: Right. There are partial e-mails quoted in various press reports today.

It certainly seems like, at some -- you could maybe spin it into some sort of obstruction of justice. But, at that point, they might not have known they were under investigation. Being quiet is different from lying to the authorities.

I don't really -- certainly, a lot of what went on here, starting with this whole ridiculous project itself, was inappropriate and dumb. And -- and the e-mails fall certainly into that category. But whether they're criminal certainly seems unlikely... (CROSSTALK)

COOPER: I got an e-mail last night which was funny from a viewer who was suggesting that maybe the Boston police force should hire some stoned college students to help them out, identify with future threats, because I guess people who watch this cartoon who -- I guess, who are adults would instantly recognize this character.

TOOBIN: So, all those college students, you know, eating Fig Newtons in their dorm room, they're actually training for a career in law enforcement...



COOPER: That's right.


COOPER: That's good, yes.

TOOBIN: I'm glad to see that that's...


COOPER: So, you -- yes. Jeff Toobin, thanks.


COOPER: We will get e-mails, I know.

To some, it's a crime. Others call it a new way of doing business. The high risk and high rewards of guerrilla marketing, that's next.

Also tonight, a story that is simply unbelievable: a convicted sex offender accused of posing as a child. This guy enrolled in school, in a couple of schools, and stayed in the schools for months, as a -- posing, allegedly, as a 12-year-old boy.

That's just the beginning -- the shocking crime when 360 continues.


COOPER: Well, under the cover of darkness, that is -- what that video is showing, them, apparently, men accused of wreaking havoc in Boston -- the videotape of the stunt that could land them in prison.

They may have thought it was a performance, but it was also about promotion, the kind that doesn't cost that much. We're seeing it more and more. And it's got a name.


COOPER (voice-over): Remember the subservient chicken? What looked like a homemade viral video...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chicken, just the way you like it.


COOPER: ... was actually part of a savvy ad campaign hatched up by Burger King.

Welcome to guerrilla marketing, Madison Avenue's version of "Punk'd." The costs are cheap, the tactics undercover, unconventional -- and, the bigger the buzz, the better.

KARL CARTER, GTM INC. MARKETING: This has become more and more mainstream. I think it's really going to become a test of creativity and innovation, and also making sure that you know the rules, and operate within them.

COOPER: They come in all shapes and sizes. Two years ago, Sony hyped its portable PlayStation by plastering buildings with spray- painted images.

The's anti-tobacco ads use shock value to send a message on smoking.

So did an Asian network to promote the show "CSI." It put up mock crime scenes in bathrooms, garages, even a locker room.

Some go for laughs. Golden Palace paid to have its name slapped across the front of a British streaker famous for disrupting major sporting events, like the Super Bowl.

Even HMOs are getting into the act. This was how UnitedHealthcare pitched its insurance coverage.

But, as we have seen in Boston...

DANIEL CONLEY, SUFFOLK COUNTY, MASSACHUSETTS, DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Those responsible for this reckless stunt are held to account for the damage they did in the city.

COOPER: ... the line can be crossed.

CARTER: You always have to be aware of the environment that you're going into. You need to go in and try to talk to every pertinent city body as possible, to make sure that they know that you're in the city and you're being a responsible citizen on behalf of your client.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: We don't listen to people who don't like us.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: Even so, tonight, millions of people who never heard of "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" are probably talking about it. If that's the point, mission accomplished.


COOPER: And here is a look at one of the Mooninites. I guess that's what they're called.

We didn't get this one from eBay, though we noticed that some of them are actually on sale on eBay right now. One seller will apparently hand over this outer space delinquent if you shell out more than $2,000.

CNN's Gary Tuchman joins us with a 360 news and business bulletin -- Gary.


It's a chilly night here in the Southeast. A winter storm blanketed parts of the western Carolinas and north Georgia today. Up to four inches of show fell in some spots. Schools were closed, and flights were grounded at area airports. More than 2,000 homes and businesses lost power in North Carolina.

On Wall Street, a record day -- the Dow hit a new high, 12673, up 52 points. The Nasdaq added nearly five. And the S&P gained seven points.

ExxonMobil posted a record $39.5 billion in profits in 2006, the largest ever by any U.S. company. You do the math, that's about $4.5 million an hour.

And here's something you rarely hear about, a thief with a conscience. Joanne Robinson lost her purse containing her will, $12,000 in bonds, and two rings at a Kansas supermarket nine months ago. Last week, the purse arrived in the mail with all of its contents, including a money order for the $89.20 in cash the thief took from the purse. The sender included a note explaining why he kept the purse and asking for forgiveness.



TUCHMAN: ... that is my kind of thief.


COOPER: That's amazing.

Some guilty pleasures coming up -- the question is, will they make you fit or fat? 360 M.D. Dr. Gupta answering your e-mails about exercise and diet.

Also: a story tonight that will, well, certainly ruin your appetite.


COOPER (voice-over): A seventh-grader with a secret.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't understand how a 29-year-old male can be misunderstood as a seventh-grader.

COOPER: Good question, because police say he was a sexual predator. And that's not the half of it. Wait until you hear about his so-called family -- ahead on 360.

Pulled over and pregnant and bleeding.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She just gave me a long line of excuses, says she's bleeding.

COOPER: She says she belonged in the hospital. They gave her a cell. Now she's taking them to court -- ahead on 360.



COOPER: The video you're seeing right there was shot by CNN's Michael Ware when he was embedded with American forces in Ramadi. Coming up in the next hour of 360, Michael brings you to the stories you haven't heard about the war. He says there are actually four wars in Iraq, not just one. He'll lay it all out for us. We're devoting the whole hour, our next hour to the conversation with Michael Ware. You'll also hear about his close brush with death. Listen.


MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: These men intercepted my vehicle and, with grenades with the pins pulled so that they were live, pulled me from the car and with my own video camera, now preparing to film my execution.


COOPER: How Michael escaped and his unparalleled insight in Iraq. What you need to know. It's an encore of our special, "Iraq: The Hidden Wars". It starts at 11 p.m. We really got hundreds of e- mails from -- we aired this once before, hundreds of e-mails from people saying it was the best explanation they have heard about the war in Iraq.

What Michael says is really four separate wars going on all at the same time. That starts in about 30 minutes. I hope you'll watch it.

Right now, though, Casey Price, a young man who seemed like any other seventh grader. He was shy, enjoyed recess and he did his homework. Away from school, he liked to ride his bicycle and his skateboard, but police say that Casey was actually an impostor. They say the seventh grader was actually a 29-year-old sex offender who conned his way into several schools in Arizona with help from his so- called family. And wait tell you hear about his family.

CNN's Dan Simon reports.


DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He used makeup and razors to make himself look young, say authorities. The case as strange as it is shocking.

Twenty-nine-year-old Neil Rodreick, a convicted sex offender, was somehow able to enroll in four Arizona middle schools over the last two years, each time posing as a 12-year-old named Casey Price. Parents and students are asking the obvious.

MICHELLE JACKSON, PARENT: How did it happen? How did you not know? How did a 29-year-old man with wrinkles on his face pose as a 12-year-old?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He told me that he was 12 and he was Greek or something and Greek people looked older.

SIMON: Investigators say Robert had accomplices, then posing as his grandfather and uncle, who went to the various schools to enroll him.

(on camera) And the story gets even more bizarre. Authorities say the alleged grandpa and uncle truly thought Rodreick was 12. They say the three lived together and frequently had sex with one another.

And when the fake relatives learned that Rodreick was actually 29 and not 12, they became visibly upset.

(voice-over) Rodreick and a friend who allegedly helped him conceal his true age and the two fake relatives have been arrested and charged with numerous crimes, including fraud. Three of them have been charged with failure to register as sex offenders. The men have pleaded not guilty.

As for how Rodreick was able to hopscotch to various schools, one administrator says he blended in well.

RHONDA CAGLE, IMAGINE SCHOOL SPOKESWOMAN: He was a quiet student. He turned in his homework. There were no administrative or discipline issues.

SIMON: Why he changed schools so frequently isn't clear. In one case, though, he was kicked out for poor attendance. Rodreick's alleged ploy came to an abrupt halt when a school director grew suspicious of his age, first thinking he might be an abducted child.


COOPER: Dan, this is one of the strangest, certainly, cases I've heard of in a long time. And it's kind of confusing. So basically, this 29-year-old guy was pretending to be a 12-year-old boy enrolled in school, but he was living with three other sexual predators already convicted on past crimes, already guy whose had served jail time and two of them actually were molesting him, believing he was a 12-year- old child. Is that correct?

SIMON: That's right, Anderson. You know, as one law enforcement official told me today, you just can't make this up.

Now, in terms of Rodreick, they don't believe he was molesting any of the kids at school. That's something they're still investigating. But they don't believe that at this time. But they say they did find a videotape and he is having sex on that type with someone they believe is a minor.

As for those other two people, those two alleged relatives, the person who said he was an uncle and the other guy who said he was a grandfather, in that situation this is really strange. They've been charged with attempted molestation, and you know why, Anderson? Because, again, they thought Rodreick was only 12 years old. It just gets stranger and stranger.

COOPER: So even though he wasn't 12, they can still be charged with attempted molestation, because they had the intention of molesting a child?

SIMON: That is exactly right.

COOPER: A stunning case. Dan, thanks.

Joining us now from Polden (ph), Arizona, is the school leader who grew suspicious and -- and basically ended up bringing this man to justice. Dawn Gonzales, director of the Omega Springs charter school.

Dawn, thanks for being on the program and great work on your part. How did you realize -- first of all, when you first met this guy, Rodreick, what did you think? Did he appear like a 12-year-old?

DAWN GONZALES, DIRECTOR, OMEGA SPRINGS CHARTER SCHOOL: I don't know that he appeared 12, but he did appear to be a teenager.

COOPER: What was he like?

GONZALES: He was dressed like a teenager. He is shorter than I am. I'm 5'6", you know, so it was -- he's a small person. He had a cap on. He left his cap pulled down very low. He had glasses, kept his head down a lot.

COOPER: And he tried to enroll in your school. While you guys were checking the paperwork, you allowed him into the school to spend the day, to take classes, to start taking classes. He claimed he had been home schooled.

Did you meet his -- was it his grandfather, his alleged grandfather or his pretend uncle who tried to enroll him?

GONZALES: It was his alleged grandfather, Lonnie Stiffler, that tried to enroll him in our school.

COOPER: And how...

GONZALES: I didn't ever meet him.

COOPER: You didn't meet him. But you saw him there.

GONZALES: Yes, he was there.

COOPER: How did you figure out something was wrong?

GONZALES: As parents, you know, we just questioned that. But as we started going over the paperwork that was provided for us, we found discrepancies in dates and names that made us start questioning. So we then, in turn, contacted authorities in other states that were listed on these...

COOPER: So you started checking up on his paperwork and you found out, what, that some of it was fabricated?

GONZALES: That's correct. They -- other agencies contacted us back after we faxed them the papers, and they said these are not ours. They are fictitious.

COOPER: And I understand...

GONZALES: So we immediately called our sheriff's office.

COOPER: You called the sheriff. I understand you actually might have thought at the time -- you didn't realize he was a 29-year-old. You thought maybe he was an abducted child, is that right?

GONZALES: That is correct. I never, in our wildest dreams, did we believe that he was an adult.

COOPER: And when you -- when it was all revealed, when the police came and told you, "OK, actually, this guy is 29 years old," what went through your mind?

GONZALES: Sheer amazement. Shock. We were just flabbergasted. It was the most bizarre thing we'd ever heard of.

COOPER: Yes, I mean, because you know, we all hear about predators, but the idea that someone would actually systematically try to enroll in school is just kind of shocking. For you the lesson is educators beware?

GONZALES: Yes, definitely. You know, we are always very cautious of adults coming on campus, but I think now every educator needs to be aware that we also need to be aware of the children that are coming on our campus and get to know them and their families and just make sure that they are who they say they are.

COOPER: There are other schools that he attended for several months. He was only in your school for a day, and thank goodness it seems like at this point no one was harmed in your school. Dawn, again, thank you for your quick work and thanks for talking with us tonight.

GONZALES: You're very welcome. Glad to do it.

COOPER: All right. You take care now.

Another case making headlines tonight. A woman suing police, saying they caused her miscarriage. The alleged incident was all caught on tape. We're going to play you the tape. You're going to hear for yourself what the charges are based on and see what you think, next on 360.


COOPER: Quick programming note. On a special edition of 360 tomorrow, the truth about slavery today. It's happening right here in America. What we found, well, it's horrific. Young girls forced to sell their bodies, caught up in a cycle of violence, a crime that's happening in plain sight. Some call it prostitution, but these are children we're talking about, and it is a form of slavery.

Listen to this.


RACHEL LLOYD, FOUNDER AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, GEMS: I mean, it is really hard out here for a 13-year-old girl who's being sold night after night after night. The girls have experienced multiple kidnappings, both by other pimps and by the johns.

And I agree, we need to think of another word than that, because a 13-year-old doesn't have a john. He's a sexual predator. He's a child molester.


COOPER: We're talking about the streets of Atlanta or New York or Los Angeles around the country, happening here and around the world. Our special edition of 360, "Invisible Chains: Sex, Work and Slavery", starts at 11 p.m. Eastern tomorrow night.

Police in Kansas City, Missouri, are accused of an unthinkable crime, deliberately ignoring a pregnant woman's please for medical attention during a traffic stop.

Sofia Salva claims that he reportedly and repeatedly -- I should say repeatedly told police officers that she was pregnant and needed help. A tape of her arrest was recently made public. It's from the dashboard camera of a police cruiser. Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, open the door. Turn your car off.


SALVA: Because of my one light?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, not because of your one light, because you have a fake temp tag in your back window. That temp tag was not there 10 minutes ago. I watched you put it in the window. Where did you get it?

SALVA: It was in the car.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was in the car? Why wasn't it in the window?

SALVA: Because there is no and I'm having a miscarriage.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, you didn't have any tape. So you got the tape, and you put this fake -- fake, not real -- Missouri temp tag in your window.

SALVA: I have a problem. I'm bleeding and I took this car, and I want to go to the hospital.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, do you have a driver's license?

SALVA: I don't have anything on me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't have any ID or anything? Stay right -- don't move.

SALVA: I'm bleeding. I have three months baby inside.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Do you have a driver's license?

SALVA: I don't have. I live across (UNINTELLIGIBLE) I want to go to the emergency room. I took this car from friend.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. She's just giving me a long line of excuses. Said she's bleeding?

SALVA: Can you check me out?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't -- she's not a doctor.


COOPER: Well, Salva suffered a miscarriage a day after being thrown in jail. She's now suing the police department for, among other things, wrongful death. The officers have been suspended, pending an investigation.

Joining us for some insight on the case is Chuck Bowens, a former deputy U.S. marshal and regional director for Barry Security.

Chuck, thanks for being with us. There's a lot obviously we don't know about what happened before this tape started to roll. Let me just start, though, by asking what's your reaction to the clip that we just played? Did the officers make a mistake by not getting her medical attention?

CHUCK BOWENS, FORMER DEPUTY U.S. MARSHAL: It would appear to be that way.

Anderson, the question that I have in this situation is what is contained in the rest of the tape in the camera? We have a very small piece, if you will. And there's a great temptation to rush to judgment. And I would caution viewers to not do that.

So there's much to be revealed, if you will. Normally, the -- a stop of this nature would last maybe 20 to 30, 35 minutes. The question in terms of warrants and that sort of thing, which in some of the tape that I've seen, has been revealed. There were warrants out for her, so the officers, in protecting themselves, were cautious, if you will, at this point thus far.

COOPER: I just want to play another clip from this -- from another part of the tape. Let's watch.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, come out of the vehicle for me. You got her?


SALVA: I'm three months pregnant and I'm bleeding.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. Why are you driving to the store then and putting a fake temp tag in your car? Come back here.

SALVA: I put it because I wanted to go to the hospital.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, put your hands on the car. There we go. Spread your feet. Do you have any weapons or anything on you?

SALVA: It's just my underwear.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your underwear? You got weapons?

SALVA: I'm bleeding. I don't have any weapons.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm not going to check your underwear.

SALVA: I want to go to the hospital (UNINTELLIGIBLE). I want to go to the hospital.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How is that my problem? Here, have a seat right there on the curb.


COOPER: It's -- I mean, it's not my job to judge police, and they've got -- God knows, it's probably one of the toughest jobs there is. This woman had an arrest -- guess warrants out for her, an arrest for trespassing, mistreatment of children, several traffic violations.

At the same time, she is repeatedly saying, "I'm bleeding. I want to go to the hospital." And one of the officers even sees blood on -- either on her body or on the floor.

BOWENS: And at that point, in my training and most of the departments, I'm sure, in this nation, their -- their general orders and/or standard operating procedures would dictate that that individual receive competent medical attention. And that could be transporting in the form of transporting her to a hospital or calling for an ambulance, which is pretty standard. You call an ambulance to the scene and have her transported by competent medical technicians.

COOPER: Friends of mine who are police will say that, you know, a lot of times people will say, "I want to go to the hospital" as a way of delaying an arrest. But for her to repeatedly be saying that, as a -- you know, as a law enforcement officer, would that kind of overcome any suspicion you might have?

BOWENS: In my case, with my experience, yes, it would. And particularly when it was revealed that there was blood on the seat. That is an alarm bell that I personally, as a retired professional, would -- I would respond, if you will, by contacting the medical -- the emergency response threat (ph) system and getting competent medical personnel on the scene.

COOPER: As we said, there's an investigation underway, and I just want to read the statement from the police department in Kansas City. They say, "The behavior of the officers as depicted on the videotape is inconsistent with the values and policies of this department, inconsistent with the training they received in the academy."

Obviously, the investigation is still underway. We'll continue to follow this.

Chuck Bowens, I appreciate your expertise. Thank you, sir.

BOWENS: Thank you. Thank you for having me.

COOPER: Well, still to come, a change of pace, to say the least, something different when it comes to advice on dieting. Some common sense, how about that?


COOPER: You work out but you're overweight. Sixteen Thin Mints at once? You've got questions about dieting and health. Dr. Gupta has got answers and the bottom line, "Fit or Fat?"

Also tonight, the war in Iraq. Michael Ware's brush with al Qaeda killers and why he says America is now fighting four deadly battles, not just one. A 360 special, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: So we're now a month into 2007. Like a lot of people, you're probably having a hard time sticking to your new year's resolutions, especially if you're trying to shed a few pounds. Perhaps you've already given up.

Tonight, we're here to help you stay on track in a segment we like to call "Fit or Fat?" 360 M.D., Sanjay Gupta, is here to answer some of your questions on how to live a healthier life.

Hey, Sanjay.

All right. Lori Ann writes, "I live in wine country and often hear that red wine lowers cholesterol. Fact or just a case of 'vintners delusion'?"

Sanjay, red wine, what do you think? Fit or fat?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Vintners delusion, good wine allusion (ph) there.

Well, actually fit. We're going to give you a fit for that one. There are three substances to keep in mind when you're talking about wine. Antioxidants, flavonoids, and risveratrol.

The antioxidants sweep away all those free radicals, help you age more slowly. Flavonoids can actually ward off clots. Clots can actually cause heart attacks and stroke, so flavonoids get rid of those. That's a good thing.

And finally, risveratrol, this is sort of a magic substance, Anderson. It's sort of a reversing substance that can actually slow down aging. It works in rats. It appears to work in humans, as well, as far as making you live longer.

COOPER: Sounds good. James from New York asks, "I'm in the Army. We conduct intense physical training every morning for an hour, which keeps me in shape. But most of my diet consists of fast food such as Chinese take-out or pizza due to my lack of transportation."

Fit or fat? We seem to be getting this question a lot. What do you think, Sanjay, if you eat poorly but still exercise a lot, is that fit or fat?

GUPTA: Well, James, unfortunately, we're going to have to call that fat, but really, no fault of your own. This is a situation for a lot of people.

But diet is critically important. No matter how much you exercise, if you're making unhealthy food choices, you can still be raising your cholesterol level, lowering your levels of good cholesterol and raising your levels of the bad cholesterol. That can be a problem.

If you're eating Chinese takeout, perhaps you can make some healthier food choices there. Pizza is a little bit more difficult. Keep in mind, as well, if you're looking for six-pack abs, no matter how many sit-ups you do, no matter how much exercise, unless you alter your diet, you're not going to get there.

COOPER: Maybe that's why I don't have them.

Tracy from Illinois has an interesting question. She writes, "Today I'm going to eat 16 Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies. Would it be better to eat them all at once or spread them out throughout the day?"

So Sanjay, fit or fat? If you're going to eat them all at once or throughout the day?

GUPTA: Tracy, I'm sure you're surprised by the answer, but that is fat. There's no question about it: 16 Thin Mint cookies. You've got to be putting us on here.

But you know, you can eat cookies from time to time. No one is going to say no cookies, no sweets ever. But try and spread them out in terms of amounts and certainly over a number of days, as well. Thin Mint cookies, just keep in mind, they freeze well. You might want to save some of those for later, Tracy.

COOPER: There you go. Frozen cookies. Good idea. Sanjay, thanks.

SANJAY: Thank you.

COOPER: Mmm, Thin Mints.

Time now for our "Shot of the Day". It comes from Cancun, Mexico, a place known, of course, for Spring Break and tiny bikinis and now a really big baby.

Meet Antonio, a.k.a., Super Tonio. He weighs a whopping 14.5 pounds and he is 22 inches long. Wow! Super Tonio's parents say they're really proud to have such a big healthy baby boy. And after all, it runs in the family. His 7-year-old sister weighed more than 11 1/2 pounds when she was born.

Congratulations to the happy parents. A very cute baby there.

Up next, he calls it four wars, including a hidden war with Iran. CNN's Michael Ware's unique insight after years in Iraq. A remarkable hour conversation next on 360.


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