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Roadside Stop Reveals Man in Car Trunk

Aired December 4, 2012 - 19:00   ET


KYRA PHILLIPS, HLN ANCHOR: That does it for us, we`ll see you back here tomorrow night, 5 p.m. Eastern Time. JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL starts right now.

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: It`s something out of a movie, but it was all very real, and it was all caught on tape. You will not believe what cops discovered inside a trunk. And in a moment, I will talk live to the quick-thinking detective who made that astounding discovery.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, cops make an extraordinary discovery and it`s all caught on tape. We`ll tell you what police say happened to 22- year-old Shawn Bloemer as he was kidnapped and tied up as the secret lies in the trunk of his car. Now everybody`s got a different explanation as three suspects face serious charges. We`ll tell you how you could escape a similar jam.

And terror on the train tracks. Cops say a man tries to reason with an out of control transit rider and pays the ultimate price as he`s pushed just as a train roars up. We`ll show you the security video of the shouting match moments before the deadly impact. Now there`s a manhunt for the suspected killer.

Plus did this 5-year-old boy`s kindergarten teacher put him in a small, dark room as a punishment, and then she forget about him and leave him there when everybody went home after school? Should the so-called isolation punishment be allowed? This little boy`s furious father is demanding answers, and he joins me live tonight.

And "Rico`s Rescues." Last week we asked you to help save Barney and, boy, has he been on a whirlwind journey since. We`ll tell you how he narrowly escaped death and introduce you to his new family.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Caught on tape, the astonishing video from a routine traffic stop.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s a man tied up in that trunk, fearing for his life. Police say three suspects kidnapped the Circle K clerk at the end of his shift in Jeffersontown. They`re accused of roughing Bloemer up and then stuffing him in the trunk of his own car.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was just scared, I didn`t know what their intentions were.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight you won`t believe why this man was found inside the trunk of his own car.

Good evening. Jane Velez-Mitchell coming to you live.

Here is the incredible dash cam video. Cops say 21-year-old Shawn Bloemer was closing up a gas-station convenience store in Louisville, Kentucky -- he`s a clerk -- when he was attacked, tied up and stuffed into the trunk of his own car. Listen as he explains the terrifying event.


BLOEMER: Stood me up, put a towel around my head, tied my wrists with a T-shirt, and put me in the trunk of my car. Right before they closed the trunk, they said, "This isn`t personal. We need your car."


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Police say the three young suspects, Joseph Davis, Brittany Elder -- yes, a young woman is allegedly involved -- and Trent Blye tried to steal a tire from Shaun`s car. When he caught them in the act, he says one suspect attacked him and forced him into the trunk.

Cops say the suspects then drove around for about four hours trying to buy drugs, Shawn says, as he lay helpless and bound in the dark trunk. He thought he was going to die, but then a miracle of sorts. Cops spotted expired tags and pulled the car over in a routine stop. Shawn, who says he`d passed out several times because of the intense heat, came to at the perfect moment, hearing an officer`s voice.


BLOEMER: And I heard a voice, and I could tell from -- you know, his inflection, what have you, that he was an officer. He came back and asked about insurance. And that`s when I started kicking and punching on the hood yelling.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: You see here the cops wasted no time, they ripped the three suspects from the vehicle. You see them doing it. Then they open the trunk to find the stunned victim inside. Take a look at this. Now they open up the trunk and there he is, he literally pops out of the trunk. We`re going to see it over and over again, because it`s just extraordinary.

Let`s see the final video there of, boom, there he is inside the trunk. Look at that. And tonight...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Twenty-five years of law enforcement, my heart was beating extremely fast.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And tonight the story gets stranger as the four people involved, the victim and three suspects, tell wildly different stories. I`m taking your calls on this unbelievable rescue.

And tonight we`re going to go straight out to a man who`s a hero in this case. Detective Daniel Goldberg out of Louisville.

Detective, you are one of those officers right there as first you see the suspects pulled out of the car and then the trunk opens and the individual inside gets out. What ran through you? Describe these very, very tense moments.

DETECTIVE DANIEL GOLDBERG, LOUISVILLE POLICE (via phone ): I was pretty shocked, actually. We didn`t know exactly was in the trunk originally. But it was pretty shocking that it was a store clerk.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What did you hear? In other words it was a routine stop, expired plates. There may have been a broken taillight. You get there, you`re talking to them, you say, "Give us your insurance." So far it`s normal. Then what happens?

GOLDBERG: Well, actually, I backed up also Fred Wilson. I was on my home in my off-duty car, saw he had a stop. Fred had asked me to walk back up and get the front passenger`s identification. And I walked up, and at that point when I was asking the front passenger for his id, I heard something kicking the trunk. It kind of sounded like, I guess, something rattling the metal in the trunk. And I asked the passengers what that is. Nobody answered me. I heard it again. At that point I got them at gunpoint and asked for Fred to come up here and give me a hand.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And was your heart pounding? I mean, let`s face it: when you talk about somebody or something in a trunk, it`s usually very bad news. What went through you emotionally?

GOLDBERG: No, ma`am. I mean, as a police officer, it`s your job to be the one person to bring the calm to the situation. So I was more focused on everybody`s hands and getting cars out there to get anything else.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, was there a moment where you were, like, "Oh, my gosh, is he dead or alive?" Very badly injured, OK?

GOLDBERG: I was pretty concerned for him, yes. The trunk was hot. We were pretty worried about him, and he was certainly pale, clammy. And our biggest worry once we got them secured was of course, how is he doing? We got him back and got him some water and got him into a cool area.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. We`re getting a video here from the convenience store where it all began. And was he tied up?

GOLDBERG: Yes, ma`am. He was tied up. And it was also a really hot night. It reached, I think, in the upper 90s in Kentucky that night. It was a real hot, balmy night.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. We`re just getting this video released to us. And that`s why this story is breaking right now.

Well, stand by detective. Excellent work, excellent work. The three suspects -- this is bizarre -- they all had very different versions of what happened the night they were pulled over and police found Circle K Clerk Shawn Bloemer in the trunk of his own car.

Listen to what one of the suspects, Joseph Davis, said during his interrogation.


JOSEPH DAVIS, SUSPECT: I never once knew anyone was in the trunk of that car. I never touched anybody, never did any of the things that they said. They said -- I think I heard one officer say, "They tied him up or something like that." I never once put my hands on him, period.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Vinnie Parco, private investigator, do you buy the idea this this individual had no idea that there was a man in the trunk of the car that he was riding around in?

VINNIE PARCO, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: Absolutely ridiculous story. No, they were looking for drugs. They robbed a car so they could get around so they could get the drugs. They probably hit every drug spots. That`s why you had the guy in the car three or four hours. And once they got their drugs, they probably would have let him go, but you know, he could have died in the meantime.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Listen, I`ve got to say, Jon Lieberman, investigative journalist, these kids may have thought they were on a joyride, OK? They were driving around looking for drugs. But right now they are facing charges that could land them in prison for years and years: kidnapping, wanted endangerment, car theft. When a joyride involves tying somebody up and putting them in the trunk of the car, it`s no longer a joyride, That is, cops say, kidnapping.

JON LIEBERMAN, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Well, here`s what makes it even worse, Jane. According to court documents, this was premeditated. At least one of the suspects went into the convenience store a couple of different times, bought chips, made some small talk with the victim. They knew exactly when that store closed. They knew what exit the victim was going out. They knew what car the victim had there.

Luckily for the victim in this case, he had expired plates and he had that cracked light in his tailpipe, because he actually saw one of the police officers through the cracked light in his own tailpipe while he was in the trunk. So luckily his car had those issues.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And one of the strangest aspects in this story is that there is a woman involved in all of this. Now, you can see this is the surveillance video.

Drew Finlan, criminal defense attorney, this is surveillance video of, well, at least some of the suspects, according to cops, at the Circle K before the kidnapping began.

And I have to say again, it just baffles my mind that people can destroy not only their lives but their family`s lives. And again, they`re accused. They deserve their day in court. I don`t know. I wasn`t there, but if it`s true that they went there and they stuffed this guy in his car, that they could literally shatter their lives over something as ridiculous as a joyride?

DREW FINLAN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Jane, absolutely, one of the most misunderstood crimes in America is kidnapping.

When we think of kidnapping, most people think of the Lindberg kidnapping. Those are once every 20 years. Kidnapping is a concept called aspertation (ph). It`s movement against your will. It could be three inches; it could be three feet.

In this case they`re looking at being charged with putting somebody in a trunk and driving around. It`s really classic kidnapping, and they`re all responsible for the acts of one another. That`s where it gets tricky. And you are so right in terms of the amount of jail time. It will be enormous.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. I mean, years and years and years.

Now, on the other side of the break, we`re going to talk about motive, because yes, it may have been a joyride, but it was a joyride with a purpose in mind, to get drugs. And we`re going to talk about what drugs came up in this story, according to the victim. Stay right there.



BRITTANY ELDER, SUSPECT: He`s just laying there. And I`m talking to him, saying I`m sorry this happened.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And that is the female suspect of the three suspects accused of kidnapping a Circle K clerk and putting him in the trunk of his own car and then driving around for four hours before some very smart detectives and other officers stopped them on a routine traffic stop and may have indeed saved this guy`s life. It was very hot in there, and he was passing out.

You know, this story could remind you of something you`ve seen in a movie. Take a look at this clip from the very famous movie "Out of Sight."


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don`t seem all that scared.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don`t act like it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you want me to do, scream? It won`t help much anyway.

This is not going to end well, these things never do.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: People see things in movies and they think, oh, let`s try that. They have absolutely no idea that they are putting themselves, basically, in a situation where they could go to prison for decades.

Want to go out to the phone lines. Dee, South Carolina, your question or thought? Dee, South Carolina.



CALLER: I`m calling about the little boy who was locked in the closet.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we`re going to get to that in a little while, ma`am, so if you hang on, we`ll talk to you about that. So hang in there. But we`re focusing now on a grown man locked inside the trunk of a car.

Detective Daniel Goldberg, you were one of the officers who discovered him. Do you believe these stories with two of the suspects saying oh, we didn`t know, and try to pass it all off on the third suspect and saying he`s the one responsible.

GOLDBERG: Well, I`m not the lead detective, but I mean, they obviously heard him kicking in the trunk. If I heard him, they heard him. So...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, that settles that.

Jon Lieberman.

LIEBERMAN: Well, I was going to say, these aren`t the brightest suspects in the world. I mean, the motive here is pretty clear. They had their own car in the parking lot of this gas station, and they had a flat tire. And the female allegedly goes in and asks for a tire iron, so it`s pretty clear that they needed transportation to where they allegedly need to buy drugs.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, here`s the crux of the issue, in my opinion. It always boils down to what the motive is, and is the motive of an addictive nature?

Local news reports say the victim, while inside the truck, remembers a man approaching the car and talking about heroin. Heroin is a huge and growing crisis among young people. We recently covered it, Vinnie Parco, because rock superstar Bon Jovi`s 19-year-old daughter allegedly overdosed on heroin. Luckily she survived. But that happened just a couple of weeks ago.

And Vinnie, we were talking to addiction specialists who said this is an epidemic among young people because heroin is so cheap. It`s become very cheap now compared to some other drugs. What do you know, Vinnie?

PARCO: Well, it`s very cheap. They`re getting it from Mexico. They`re getting it coming in in droves, and cocaine is always very expensive. And even though that`s the superstar drug, what`s happening now is they`re getting heroin from all different places and people -- it`s the in thing to do now. They skin pop first, and then they do main line and then they die, very simple.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Right. And I don`t know if these suspects were on heroin. What we do know is that the victim heard...

PARCO: They look like they`re on -- they look like they`re on heroin.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We can`t judge. But let me ask you this, Drew Finlan, given that the victim said he heard talk of heroin, should a drug test have been performed, and might have a drug test been performed on these suspects?

FINLAN: I would imagine that it has been done, and it should be done.

And Jane, I want to add, Heroin is on a surge and one of the big reasons it`s on a surge is that so many kids around the country were using oxy and the federal government and the states have become so hard on oxy. They have made the transition from oxy to heroin and that`s why it is surging, particularly in suburbia, around the country, it is out of control right now.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And one of the other things the expert told me is that kids can get hooked on heroin, again, we don`t know if they were using heroin, just the victim heard somebody talking about it. Is you can smoke a joint and it can be laced with heroin, and you can get a taste for it that way, and proceed to doing it full on. On the other side, how you can get out of a trunk, god forbid you were ever stuck in one.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Emergency inside trunk release. This is an emergency trunk release handle provided as a safety measure in case a person is accidentally locked inside the trunk.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, and that was just a YouTube video showing a little bit of how, hypothetically, if you`re in a trunk, you can get out. I don`t know if we can show a little bit more of it. But essentially, the -- some of the modern trunks have a little latch where you can pull it. There`s a handle. And it glows in the dark and you can actually pull it.

Let`s see if it shows you that. Now, as we`re looking for that, this is the glow-in-the-dark pull handle. As you`re looking for that, there`s also, if you have a car where you have an automatic trunk release in the driver`s side, that doesn`t happen just magically. That happens because of a series of cords. And so you can sometimes, if you are locked in the trunk, find that cord that triggers the opening of the trunk and pull that cord. And that`s like a plastic cord. That would also possibly open the trunk, and there`s also like a little tool kit inside the car.

LIEBERMAN: Actually you can use the carjack to actually pop-up the trunk lid, as well.


LIEBERMAN: The carjacks that are in many trunks are good too. Also try to kick out the taillights, getting out through the taillights is a good way to get out as well. And also, a lot of cars, the back seats fold down. And so a lot of times, there`s a release lever in the trunk or near the trunk, as well. That`s something else to look for.

Vinnie Parco. We were looking at old cases that involve people being trapped in a trunk, unfortunately most of them end with the individual being deceased so this is a miracle story. There was a case where someone had a cell phone inside the trunk of a car.

PARCO: You got to be lucky to have a cell phone when you`re kidnapped. It`s not something that`s going to happen right away. But you could have one, you could call.

Also what the gentleman said about the taillight, you pull out the taillight, if your hands are free, and if a cop sees there`s no taillight they might pull over and a repeat of what happened today night happen another time.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: yes. And also it`s also important while it`s very good for you to keep your cell phone with you at all times n because there`s a GPS device built into your cell phone now. And it can track you where you go. So in the authorities can follow the teams. police can follow the pings. A lot of reasons to have your cell phone with you all the time.

Thank you, fantastic panel.

Tonight Nancy Grace has the most shocking DUI crashes caught on camera. A respected ER doctor accused of sending her car airborne, plowing into traffic.

A topless woman who led cops on 128-mile-an-hour car chase and a whole lot more. DUI car chases and crashes caught on tape at 8 p.m., just a little while on HLN.

On the other side of the break, we are going to talk about a horrifying mystery of a man pushed onto subway tracks and a hunt for this mystery killer. Stay right there.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just heard people yelling. The train came to an abrupt stop, you know, three-quarters into the station. And that`s when I heard a man was hit by a train.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The video shows the suspect cursing and arguing with the man.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I had a guy come at me, and he was just like yelling at me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People are just standing in fear and shock not knowing what`s going on.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The suspect, who appeared to be a panhandler, pushed Mr. Han down onto the tracks. There was am pm

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You almost heard like a thud. Wasn`t sure if it had anything to do with the man being struck.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: A horror show inside a New York city substation that could serve as a cautionary tale.

A 58-year-old dad argues with a panhandler and then gets pushed in front of a speeding train to his death. And now a manhunt is on for the killer.

Jane Velez-Mitchell back with you.

Take a look at this photo on the cover of "The Washington Post." It happened just moments before it happened, and it`s heartbreaking. Look at that man, he`s right there, and you can see the approaching train. You can see the man on the track, and his name is Han Hee (ph). Or Hee (ph) Han, rather. He is struggling to climb back onto the platform to safety as the train barrels toward him. Second later, as other passengers scream, the man is crushed by the train. How did this tragedy happen?

Here`s video of the victim arguing with another man on the platform moments earlier. Now, the victim`s face is covered, but cops say the other man was panhandling begging for money with a cup and mumbling, and the now- dead man got into a heated argument with him. Watch this.


KI-SUCK HAN, KILLED BY PANHANDLER: You leave me alone. Take your (EXPLETIVE DELETED) over there, stand in line, wait for the R train, that`s it.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The "New York Post" reports witnesses heard the victim warning the panhandler, "You`re scaring people."

Then the panhandler screamed back, "You don`t know who I am." Witnesses claim the panhandler then grabbed this man and threw him straight onto the tracks just a couple of feet away.

Now a massive manhunt is on for this mystery suspect. We have some breaking news on that front. Police say he may be emotionally disturbed. What can we learn from this, though? Are we all vulnerable in places like train stations? Have you had any scary moments at platforms involving strangers? Call me 1-877-JVM-SAYS; that`s 1-877-586-7297.

Straight out to Curtis Sliwa; he is internationally famous as the founder of the Guardian Angels, a group that patrols the train stations and the streets. Curtis there are a lot of fights that happen in train stations. Of course, thank God most of them don`t turn deadly, but it`s a very dangerous place to have an argument, is it not?

CURTIS SLIWA, FOUNDER, GUARDIAN ANGELS: It is, and the area has so many emotionally disturbed people who have been released by mental facilities, they seek sanctuary in the subways, they can panhandle there, and they can ride the trains back and forth.

And generally, they`re babbling, screaming at inanimate objects. You know, they see something we don`t, Jane. Unfortunately, if you think you`re going to be a couch shrink or a psychologist and engage them in conversation, particularly when they appear to be out of control, you may well end up being victimized as was the case of this Korean American man who was thrown on to the tracks.

So understand, as long as they`re babbling, they`re talking to themselves, be safe and secure, but don`t try to engage them. Don`t try to calm them down because you may have an actually -- a negative impact on that. You may have the reverse effect on that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, it`s so ironic. This happened in New York City, but it`s a danger anywhere people take mass transit. And just two nights ago, I was on the train and I told somebody I was with, don`t get next to the edge. Stand back. And the feeling was I was being a little paranoid, but with good reason. As a native New Yorker, I have seen crazy things happen on the subways.

Jon Leiberman, you also take this very stop every day. You have some breaking news on this story.

JON LEIBERMAN, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes. Well I was down there today. The police presence was huge. And it turns out around 1:30 today a transit police captain saw somebody matching the description of the guy you just saw on the surveillance video and in the pictures. And they brought him into custody and they`re currently putting him in line ups and questioning him.

The good thing according to cops is they have a lot of witnesses, so they`re bringing him through right now, but police at this point believe that the person they have in custody is the person responsible for being the subway pusher. We will keep you updated.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Let`s go to the phone lines. Caleb, Kentucky, your question or thought? Caleb? Caleb? Hey, how are you doing? Your question or thought? Hi.

What`s your thought, Caleb?

CALEB, KENTUCKY: Yes, ma`am, I was just commenting on the subway. I`m good?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, you`re good, go ahead.

CALEB: Yes, ma`am. I think kudos be on your sobriety, first and foremost, Miss Mitchell.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you, thank you very much. I`ll be God willing 18 years sober in April.


CALEB: -- to be aware that the (inaudible) of both stories it seems like to me that really the downfall of the victim was that they weren`t really paying attention to what was going on around them. I have been in New York. I`m actually here in Louisville now and up here, I`m originally from Alabama and I`m from a smaller town. And any time I`m in a downtown metro area, I always watch my back or what`s going on around me a lot more than what I do when I`m at home, just because of the simple fact of being in an unfamiliar area. I think everybody needs to more or less to pay attention to what goes around him.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: You are making excellent-points Caleb. The fact is that there are many, many tourists who ride these subways. They come from all around the world, all over the country, and they are often unaware of the dangers of a lot of these emotionally-deranged people.

Here`s another case of somebody falling onto the train tracks. Watch this incredible video, this time out of Boston.

Now, in this case that we`re about to see, a woman seems intoxicated. She`s stumbling around the platform. And then she literally topples, boom, onto the tracks -- how scary. Passengers rush over and tried to wave down the oncoming training -- telling it, begging it to slow down. Please stop before it hits this woman.

Just in the nick of time, the driver manages to stop the train. Another foot and she would have been crushed. Now thankfully that woman survived.

But Vinnie Parco, in the case we`re discussing tonight out of New York, the "New York Post" is reporting that the victim`s widow told police her husband had been drinking and that they had argued before he left the house. Now, again, it could be a factor because if you don`t have all your wits about you, you don`t have that gift of fear that sometimes warns you, hey, stay away from this person. You lose that when you`re drinking.

VINNIE PARCO, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: Well, you know, if this goes to trial which I`m sure it will. The defense is going to use that as part of their defense strategy. He might have been intoxicated and maybe he got into an argument with him. And who knows what he said to him. We didn`t hear what he said.

It`s possible that he might have exacerbated the conversation to the point where this man felt threatened himself and pushed him off the platform. It doesn`t make it right or wrong, but who knows what went on with this guy if he was drunk, if he was a little high and was tipsy himself and he just didn`t have his wits about him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Take a look at this incredible video. We got it from channel 7 in Australia, a baby`s stroller rolls off the platform -- we`re going to show it to you in a second and on to the tracks and then it is immediately hit by an oncoming train. The incredible part of this story, the great part is the baby survived. The child was barely scratched even though the train pushed the child more than 100 feet.

Curtis Sliwa, as the founder of the Guardian Angels, you have been patrolling the subways in New York City -- which are similar to subways all around the world -- for decades, what would you say to people about this as a cautionary tale?

SLIWA: Well, first off, in terms of the emotionally disturbed person, you shouldn`t back off like sheep. What`s not shown in that video is that all the people were huddled to the far end of the station; they witnessed this guy being thrown into the tracks. There was still time -- maybe some of the men there could have easily jumped down in there and maybe dragged him to safety. That`s a possibility.

And I also ask, the photographer was so busy clicking away, he seemed to be relatively close. Nobody seemed to really care about the guy who was stuck down there with the oncoming train. So I fault a lot of the people for not taking any action.

And in terms of when you`re on a subway platform -- whatever -- as you pointed out, it could be in London, it could be in Tokyo, it could be in Boston on the T, it could be in New York City on the IRT, INB, BMT. Understand that when you fall on to the tracks, you`re not left with a lot of room to move.

Those platforms are high in New York City and you really got to be in good physical shape to get back, so stay far away and be wary of the emotionally disturbed people, of which there are many out there who are having conversation you think at you, Jane, but really they`re talking to people who look like you but are not you, who are imaginary in their own minds.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, absolutely. Now, I do want to say that the photographer was also flashing his camera numerous times to try to warn the conductor of the oncoming train, who by the way was in shock when he was removed and he obviously suffered a tremendous trauma. The conductor had to be removed on a wheelchair with oxygen masks, he`s traumatized as well. What a horror story.

Now, time for our must-see video: an American magician was a guest on a Dominican TV show when the host unexpectedly pours a flammable liquid on his head and it burst into flames. The magician has first and second- degree burns to his face and head. Doctors say he should recover with no visible scarring. A warrant is now out for the arrest of the TV host.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m hearing you.

And your viral video of the day, a brawl broke out at a South Carolina convenience store. A guy tried to steal two cases of beer right out of the fridge. The store clerk rushes out to try to stop him that leads to a fist fight. Unbelievable nobody was hurt.

You know what; don`t go to convenience stores, there`s cameras everywhere. You`re not going to get away with it. Ok. Can we just end this now once and for all?



JAMES CAGLE, SON WAS LEFT IN DARK ROOM AT SCHOOL: The door is closed, the lights was off and he was sitting on the floor.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Found on Wednesday in a Caldwell classroom hours after school got out.

CAGLE: He was cold, he was crying, he was scared.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: This story is one of every parent`s worst nightmares. This five-year-old child -- look at this handsome little boy -- he fails to come home from school. An hour goes by, his panicked parents start searching for him. They actually go to his school. They find the kindergartner at his elementary school after hours.

This five-year-old child, they say, was left alone in a dark, tiny room scared and crying his eyes out. Punished by his teacher, and apparently forgotten by the teacher at the end of the school day. The dad told ABC News the school`s explanation for the so-called punishment just doesn`t cut it.


CAGLE: They`re saying, "Oh, the door`s unlocked, he could have gotten out." He`s five years old. If he was put in a room, he`s supposed to stay there. And then the teacher goes home.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Joining me now is that frustrated father, James Cagle (ph); thank you for joining us tonight. First of all, when you finally got to the room, this is school after hours, you`re going from room to room trying to find out where your little boy is. What was your reaction when you opened the door and find your son in there, what was he going through? Describe that scene?

CAGLE: It was actually about 1:00 in the afternoon. It was after hours for the kindergarten classes. My wife is actually the one who found him in the room. The school, they went out and looked for him. They were trying to tell us it was the school bus company`s fault that he wasn`t at the school.

They weren`t calling the teacher, they weren`t being very helpful. I know that, you know, my wife described it to me, when she found him, he was in the room, there was no light, he was sitting in the center of the floor, and he had been crying, he was crying, and he urinated on himself. He was in there for so long, they can`t even tell us how long he was in that room.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Is he still traumatized now? How does he feel now about going to school?

CAGLE: Well, all of my kids, even my child that`s in preschool, they love school. They get up looking forward to it every morning. But since this happened, Tanner, he hasn`t wanted to go back since.

You know, today, we put him in a new school, and still, me and my wife, we took him and it took us 20, 25 minutes, you know, to get him into the class and try to get him settled. And so, you know, it`s -- yes, he`s not -- he`s not doing very well.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We reached out to the school, we didn`t hear back. But here`s what the district told our affiliate KBOI.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`re taking steps to ensure that this doesn`t happen to any other child and that our procedures and protocols are in place to make sure that every child in Caldwell School District is safe.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: James, how do you feel about the school`s response, the district`s response? What`s happening with his teacher?

CAGLE: Well, the reason why we moved our child is because they won`t tell us what`s happening with the teacher. You know, it`s awful that we actually have to move our son, in the middle of a school year. He`s losing all his friends, he`s losing all the school work that he`s done because we don`t know and they won`t tell us what`s going on with the teacher. They say it`s confidential and so we`re not allowed to know.

You know, I think that the superintendent, you know, he`s probably doing the things he needs to be doing. I`m not sure what they are, because they won`t tell us. I`m definitely not happy with the school, you know, with their performance in it. You know an hour and 20 minutes after --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re saying that the teacher forgot your child. That`s what you`re saying?

CAGLE: Yes. Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I mean that`s -- go ahead.

CAGLE: She put him in a room and closed the door and left him and went home -- with no light, no chairs, nothing. He`s five years old.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What did he do? What did he do to warrant this so- called isolation punishment?

CAGLE: That`s the thing is they can`t tell us. At first the teacher said she didn`t even put him in there. And after -- she called and she was speaking to my wife and she had her on speakerphone and we were listening and she was saying that she didn`t even put him in there. But, you know -- but later on she ended up saying that she did put him in there and she was really sorry and she forgot about him and she went home.

Now the reason why she came up with, because they were making a countdown chain for Christmas and he undid his link, you know --


CAGLE: And a few minutes later, I believe they also said that he may have been acting like a bucking bull rider. So either way, you don`t lock a kid in a room with no light.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely not. Absolutely not. Sir, our hearts go out to you. I hope your son recovers from the trauma of this incident. And, no, this is not an appropriate -- in my humble opinion -- punishment for a child breaking a link on a chain? I mean please.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That is not -- that is not the way -- right way to handle a situation like that. Keep us posted sir on what happened. We want to stay with this story. Ok?

CAGLE: Yes. The latest thing is that they have actually asked us not to attend the PTA meetings now.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, well, go and tell us what happened.

On the other side, we`re going to do "Rico`s Rescues", you can`t believe what`s happened there.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Time for our "Pet o` the day. Send us your pet pics to

Frisky Lew -- I love you. Let`s see who is next. Come on. Show me. Frisky is going to get all the attention tonight, I guess. How about basil and Nigel? They`re very chic and very BFF.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Time now for "Rico`s Rescues". Right little Rico?

Let`s save some lives. Huh, Rico? Rico? Hey, Rico. Rico.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ve got fantastic news tonight. Remember homeless Barney we had on our show last week? You remember Barney.


JANE GARRISON, ANIMAL ACTIVIST: This little guy. This is actually probably the most urgent dog that we`ve had on the show. His name is Barney. He is a one and a half-year-old male, eight-pound Chihuahua, super (inaudible). He is right now at a very high volume shelter in Los Angeles.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: There were only a couple of hours to save Barney`s life left. But thanks to all of you spreading his picture and information online from our Web site, word spread fast.

Here is the dramatic rescue as it happened. Look at little Barney scared, being handed over to his new mom, Kaitlyn. She is holding him and carrying him out of the shelter. But there is a twist to how all of this went down.

Jane Garrison, we were talking all weekend trying to make this happen. Tell us the story behind the story.

GARRISON: Boy, was this crazy. Barney appeared on the show. We got lots of calls, lots of e-mails but everyone was from outside the state. But we really wanted to save him. Every day I called the shelter. I checked on him. And it came right down to the wire.

On Saturday when I called the shelter to check on him, they told me that he was, quote, "a 24". And I said "What is a 24?" And they said, "That means he has 24 hours and then he has to go." And I said, "You mean that in 24 hours he`s going to be killed?" And they clarified and said "Yes, absolutely."

So we scrambled. I had my assistant go to the shelter to pick him up. We were going to send him to a rescue group in Oceanside, a wonderful group called Spot that agreed to take him until we could coordinate Jane with sending him somewhere in the country.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re going to meet the new mom after this.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Barney. Barney. Hey, Barney.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: There`s Barney in his new home -- so excited, so happy. Now, Kaitlyn Culley (ph), I understand that you went there just to pick him up to drive him to a sanctuary and you fell in love with him?

KAITLYN CULLEY, BARNEY`S NEW OWNER: Yes. Originally we were just going to drop him off and then we were just going to foster and after 24 hours, we`re like, no. No. We just have to keep him. How could you say no to this face?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You can`t. Now people have to know that shelter dogs can be very scared. He was scared. But now he`s changed. Tell us.

KAITLYN: Yes. He was terrified at first. He wouldn`t stop shaking. But he sat on my husband`s lap in the car and it was just -- it was love at first sight.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Love at first sight. Go to adopt a and save a life. Nancy Grace is next.