Return to Transcripts main page


Crews Battle Five Wildfires in Colorado; "Lost At Sea Without A Compass"; Woman Tracks Down Alleged Killer; Wild Fans and Dodgers/Diamondbacks Game

Aired June 12, 2013 - 05:30   ET



CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The pictures tell the whole story. Colorado on fire. Homes destroyed. Thousands evacuated including 800 prison inmates. This could be just the beginning.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): And tracking a killer over decades. One woman's heroic story helping catch the man who killed her father 26 years after the murder.

ROMANS: And brawl on the baseball field between the Dodgers and Diamondbacks. What ignited this all-out fight? Whoa!

BERMAN: I've got to tell you, I woke up, on Twitter, all people I follow on my baseball, people say this was something. This was a crazy, crazy fight. A lot of bad blood involving big-time stars in this game. We're going to show you the whole, ugly messy thing.


BERMAN (on-camera): Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. I'm a very excited John Berman.

ROMANS (on-camera): I say so. I'm Christine Romans. It's only 5:30 in the morning in the east and Berman's already excited with that story.

BERMAN: Already excited. Developing this morning, crews battling five, count them, five wildfires in Colorado. State emergency management officials say the Royal Gorge fire has forced the evacuation of 800 inmates now from a prison in Canyon City. The worst of the fire is the Black Forest fire near Colorado Springs. That has already burned at least 7,500 acres, destroying dozens of structures. It forced thousands to evacuate their homes.

At this point, firefighters have zero containment. Zero. And the weather this morning not their friend at all. Conditions are hot, dry, and windy. Indra Petersons is tracking this for us. Not a lot of relief in sight, Indra.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: You know, unfortunately, there's not. The temperature is still going to remain warm. A lot of upper 80, even 90s, but it's the low humidity. I mean, take a look at the country right now. This clearly shows but look how dry it is in this area. A lot of red flag warnings are up there. It looks like for the next several days, the forecast is not even changing.

In fact, the only thing we are seeing is a chance for thunderstorms about two days, but dry lightning. That can only enhance threat from more wildfires. Of course, any lightning strikes were out there. So, we saw the contrast for a lot of humidity on the east to dry on the west, but the other contrast we're seeing this morning, and look at all these warm temperatures and then notice it's cooler to the north.

All of this is actually setting up a big picture today for severe weather again. The other ingredient we have is a low that was actually in California to cruise over the jet stream. And now, notice, with all of this and all these ingredients, we have a threat for severe weather. In fact, today, it's a heightened threat. We have a moderate risk area out there today.

And that includes big cities. We're talking about Chicago, Indianapolis, even in Columbus, Ohio. We're looking at the threat not only for tornadoes, but especially some very strong winds out there. And what I want to point out is through tomorrow, this threat watch will shift to the east. So, once again, in the mid-Atlantic states, we're going to be talking about that threat for severe weather. Similar what we saw just a few days ago.

BERMAN: All right. Indra, thanks so much.

ROMANS: All right. The Baltimore area has recovered from at least three confirmed tornadoes now. All three were classified as EF-0 tornadoes. The weakest category with maximum wind speeds ranging from 65 to 80 miles per hour. They packed a mean punch on Monday. One of them demolished a homeowner's garage. Scattered debris across more than half of his four-acre property.


DENNIS DAVISON, HOMEOWNER: Tornado came right through the back here, to the backyard, right over the garage. It went down through here and disappeared. It's just so intense, I mean, and so quick. You couldn't really see anything. It was just like a dark white cloud full of rain and debris.


ROMANS: The twister count could go up. The National Weather Service is checking possible tornado damage in five other spots in Maryland.

BERMAN: New York mayor, Michael Bloomberg, unveiling a new plan to help protect his city from superstorms like Sandy and the effects of global warming. Bloomberg's plan calls for a giant removable flood walls to be built around lower Manhattan, 15-to 20-foot levies will be constructed in parts of Staten Island.

The series of gates and levies would help protect Brooklyn from storm surges and new dunes will be constructed on beaches in Staten Island and Queens. The price tag for this, not cheap at all, some $20 billion.

ROMANS: All right. Nobody seems to know the whereabouts of Edward Snowden this morning. The man who told the world about the NSA secret data mining operations is staying in the shadows so is his girlfriend, Lindsay Mills. We don't know much about the mysterious woman Snowden left behind, but she wants the world to know she's struggling. More from Miguel Marquez.


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The man at the center of the controversy left everything behind for his beliefs.

EDWARD SNOWDEN, NSA LEAKER: You have to make a determination about what it is that's important to you. And if living unfreely but comfortably is something you're willing to accept --

MARQUEZ: Snowden says he cut his ties cleanly with everyone he knew or was close to, including his girlfriend, Lindsay Mills, who lived with him here in Hawaii. Mills' father says his daughter dated Snowden for some five years, but met him only a few times.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's always head strong, convictions are right and wrong, and it kind of makes sense, but still shocked.

MARQUEZ: Snowden prepared for that shock, telling "The Guardian" "my primary fear is that they will come after my family, my friends, my partner, anyone I have a relationship with." Snowden told "The Guardian" law enforcement had already been in touch with Mills. In her blog "Adventures of a World Traveling Pole Dancing Superhero" just days ago, June 10th, Mills wrote, "My world had opened and closed all at once, leaving me lost at sea without a compass."

She and Snowden moved out of this rented home just outside of Honolulu on May 6th. He told "The Guardian" he left the Hong Kong May 20th telling Mills, he'd be back in a few weeks, but leaving the reason vague. What's curious, she also packed everything up and left for the main land.

(on-camera) As the story unfolds, the people in the neighborhood here are a little more cautious about going on camera, but one thing that several neighbors have told us that they found peculiar about the situation is that when they looked at this garage, they saw boxes all the way to the top of the windows here. The question is, where have those boxes gone and the contents of the house.

(voice-over) Mills' father told CNN his daughter is now on the west coast visiting friends. Just when she left Hawaii, still a question, so is whether she had any clue about her boyfriend's plans. On her blog, she says Snowden's family was in town on May 17th just three days before he left his life behind.

Her next post on June 3rd, she wrote, "The past two weeks have been a cluster jumble of fun, disaster, and adventure." Six days later, her boyfriend revealed he was the source of the leaked security documents, triggering as many questions as answers. Miguel Marquez, CNN, Honolulu.


ROMANS: Interesting. A showdown on the Senate over the growing problem of sexual assaults in the military.


ROMANS (voice-over): Armed Services Committee chairman, Carl Levin, plans to remove a measure championed by New York senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, from a defense bill, one that has bipartisan support. It calls for military prosecutors, not commanders, to decide which assault cases to try. Levin says he'll propose instead that senior officers review decisions by commanders who declined to pursue sexual assault cases.

BERMAN (voice-over): Opening statements get under way this morning in the federal murder and racketeering trial of accused former Boston mob boss, James "Whitey" Bulger. The 83-year-old spent 16 years on the run before being captured in 2011. He's charged with 19 murders, along with loan sharking, money laundering, shaking down bookmakers and drug dealers for protection money.

Prosecutors say that from the late 1970s through the mid-1990's, Whitey Bulger rose to the top of South Boston's notorious Winter Hill Gang.


ROMANS (on-camera): It took 26 years to find her father's killer. Now, Joselyn Martinez said she finally has justice. She tirelessly tracked social media for a decade. She spent less than $300 to hunt down the man she says killed her father. Because of her, that man is in custody this morning. Here's CNN's Poppy Harlow.



POPPY HARLOW, CNNMONEY.COM: It's like a dream for Joselyn Martinez.

What is your greatest memory of your father?

MARTINEZ: Those parties we had at the restaurant.

HARLOW: After 26 years, her father's alleged killer arrested. His capture thanks in large part to her.

MARTINEZ: My family told me you'll never get that man.

HARLOW: Joselyn was just nine when her father was murdered in 1986. Jose Martinez was shot and killed outside the New York City restaurant he and his wife owned. But the suspect, Juston Santos, fled to the Dominican Republic. The NYPD said the murder case was closed in 1988 after receiving information that Santos was jailed in the Dominican Republic. What the NYPD didn't know that just a year later, Santos was released.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They should not have closed the case.

HARLOW: In 2006, Joselyn started hunting online for her father's alleged killer, delving into websites like

What did you find? How did you find --

MARTINEZ: I didn't know I had so much stuff. I really didn't.

HARLOW: But after years of searching --

MARTINEZ: I think I have something. Let me look. Let me look. I said, oh, my God! I have this person at the background check right at the top.

HARLOW: She took what she found here to the 34th precinct in November.

MARTINEZ: Because November's the anniversary of my father's death and I get upset.

HARLOW: Police say it's only because of her efforts they were able to capture Santos.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obviously, she made a concerted effort, and it paid off.

HARLOW: A police source tells CNN after Santos was arrested in Miami Thursday, he confessed to murdering Jose Martinez.

What do you think your dad would say?

MARTINEZ: I -- you know, I think he would just hug me and smile. He would smile a lot.

HARLOW: NYPD detectives are now in Miami and plan to bring Santos back to New York Friday. He will be arraigned next week and faces second-degree murder charges.

Poppy Harlow, CNN, New York.


ROMANS: Turkey's prime minister will meet today with leaders of the protests now taking place in Istanbul. You're looking right now at live pictures from Taksim Square.


ROMANS (voice-over): Riot police are in place. So far, there's been no violence this morning. Prime Minister Erdogan says he'll listen to what they have to say, but he's not promising any changes. The protesters now in their 13th day. Two protesters have been killed since May 31st, 4,300 demonstrators have been injured just in the last week.

Supporters of the prime minister's AKP political party say they will hold a series of counterdemonstrations this week in Ankara and Istanbul.

BERMAN (voice-over): Some amazing video you just have to see here. A group of fishermen off the coast of Alaska, they were reeling in their catch when they got much more than just halibut. This is what they got. We're about to show you. It's coming. It's coming. Soon. That, that right there is a killer whale. Listen to the reaction.

They said, look at that." It was quite a reaction we just heard.


BERMAN: One of the fishermen posted the footage on his Facebook page.


ROMANS (on-camera): That is something. That is really something. All right. Coming up, baseball brawl. We're going to tell you what brought the Dodgers and the Diamondbacks out of the dugouts -- whoa! To express their frustration. Gentlemen, that's not the way supposed to be done.

BERMAN (on-camera): This is ugly. One for the ages.


BERMAN: Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. It was a wild scene at Dodger Stadium last night. The Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks chunking the ball at each other's heads. Things erupted after a number of players were hit, including L.A.'s price young rookie, Yasiel Puig. He took that one in the face. That is awful!

You just hate to see that miss. Completely ridiculous. These teams just throwing at each other and then emptying the benches in a bad display of machismo. It's the kind of thing you really should just never to see at a baseball park.

Now, we just showed that Yasiel Puig, the young Cuban rookie hit. That was ugly. And what makes it even worse, he is one of the bright shining stars in the game and one of the only bright spots in what's been so far a dismal season for the Dodgers. Here's Casey Wian.


CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tuesday night began with more smiles from Dodgers rookie sensation, Yasiel Puig, who entered the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks batting 500 and as the reigning national league player of the week, his first week in the majors.

A Cuban defector who last year signed a $42 million seven-year contract already has become a favorite of teammates and Dodger fans.

JOE PUENTE, DODGER FAN: I'm so excited to see Puig play, man.

WIAN: In the sixth inning, Puig was hit in the face by a 92-mile-an- hour fastball. He was down for several minutes, shook it off and scored when the next batter homer to tie the game.


WIAN: An inning later, his first major league bench-clearing brawl and his first ejection from a game. That's not likely to change the opinion of baseball experts who give Puig the ultimate compliment, a five-tool player who hits for average and power, runs fast and can field and throw.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have seen all five tools in the first three games in which he played. It's just been truly remarkable to see such talent and to see it immediately.

WIAN: Legendary Dodger scout, Mike Prieto, helped sign Puig.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need a player lane (INAUDIBLE) who will top the team. So, I'm very happy. Very happy.

WIAN (on-camera): Puig is not just helping out the Dodgers on the field. He's also helping out their bottom line. His merchandize like this T-shirt, a hottest seller ever for a first year Dodger player.

(voice-over) He's scheduled to appear a Southern California autograph show later this month. Depending on the item he signs, Puig signature will cost $149 to $299. Puig is no safe (ph). There's this April reckless driving arrest all in (ph) the minors and vague references to on the field maturity (ph) issues by coaches. But sports talk radio loves him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yasiel Puig, what a reckless and crazy young guy. And he's so much fun to watch, and he's energized the city. I mean, I'm bonkers over watching the kid play baseball.

WIAN: It's too soon to tell how far the players some are calling the Cuban missile will fly, but Puig's meteoric rise, so far, has been nothing short of spectacular.

Casey Wian, CNN, Los Angeles.


BERMAN: So to review here, Puig, awesome. That brawl at Dodgers Stadium --

ROMANS: Not awesome.

BERMAN: Not awesome at all.

ROMANS: Sorry.

BERMAN: All right. Coming up, it sounds like something out of a Friday 13th film, a bad one, too. A woman accused of scaring kids with a chain saw and a ski mask.


BERMAN: Why police say she did it?

ROMANS: She faces jail time.

BERMAN: I would hope.


BERMAN: So, what are your neighbors like? A Missouri woman is behind bars for allegedly threatening her neighbor's kids with a chain saw.


BERMAN (voice-over): Fifty-year-old Lynn Marie Herzog (ph) is charged with felony harassment of a child. Her neighbors say she was screaming and cursing at them this weekend while wearing a ski mask and waving with a chain saw. You might see how that's little frightening for kids. She faces up to four years in jail if she's convicted.

ROMANS (voice-over): South Carolina could become the first state to switch from old-fashioned metal plates, license plates, to electronic ones. They're called e-tags and their made of, well, electronic paper. If your license is suspended or your car is stolen, authorities could hack into your e-tags and alter them. The plates could then warn other drivers that, hey, this car is stolen or it's uninsured.

Still a lot of details to iron out here, but proponents say it could help lower insurance rates and reduce the number of trips to the DMV.

BERMAN: Interesting.

Tiger Woods says fellow golfer, Sergio Garcia, shook his hand Monday only to say "hi." You see it right there. It was a clear "hi." Garcia (ph) did not apologize for a mark that Woods found offensive. A lot of people did. When asked last month if they would dine this week at the U.S. Open outside Philadelphia, Garcia said they eat fried chicken. He sent Woods a note of apology.


BERMAN (on-camera): So, coming up, talk about flying fish. The sushi joint flying the friendly skies all in effort to get you your dinner. Wow! Technology at its very best.


BERMAN: Call it the latest fast food service innovation. It may be cool and it may be fast, but Jeanne Moos says it has many people saying watch out below.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Think of it as a magic carpet ride for your dinner. Now, maybe the teriyaki burger better fasten its seat belt.


MOOS: Here at Yo! Sushi in London, this waitress has four propellers and tends to drop food upon liftoff. The flying tray is equipped with cameras so the controller can steer it using an iPad. But don't be surprised if dinner lands in your lap.


ROBIN ROWLAND, CEO YO! SUSHI: Well, it's in test. So, we work on something which is pushing boundaries, using conveyer belts to bring dinner to places is going to work.

MOOS: The conveyor belt, an idea borrowed from the Japanese, is Yo! Sushi's original claim to fame. The flying tray seemed to test reporters' (ph) skills in snatching food off hovering plates. CEO says the flying tray service may be in place by late summer, but we're not holding our breath. What's next? Delivering room service via drone?

Wait, Domino's Pizza in the U.K. is already experimenting. The delivering pizza by drone publicity stunt.

(on-camera) What is it with all these food gimmicks lately. Did you see what Oscar Mayer (ph) is doing with bacon?

(voice-over) It's billed as the perfect Father's Day present.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When words just aren't enough, say it with bacon.

MOOS: Oscar Mayer (ph) selling bacon collections. the commander, the matador, the woodsman, which includes boxed bacon in a utility tool. The matador features bacon cufflinks and the set sales for 28 bucks. Select a card with a meaty message, "You're the second best reason to wake up in the morning."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Give a gift from the Oscar Mayer original collection.

MOOS: From frying to flying, maybe it's OK for R. Kelly to think he can fly.

(SINGING) I believe I can fly

MOOS: But a rice bun and teriyaki chicken burger --

(SINGING) Spread my wings and fly away.

MOOS: Now, that's a crash diet.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York. (END VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN: When is Father's Day? Is it too late for me to ask for something like that?

ROMANS: You want the bacon or the sushi?

BERMAN: I'll take it all.


ROMANS: Bacon-sushi.

BERMAN: All right. EARLY START continues right now.


BERMAN (voice-over): Fire after fire after fire. Colorado burning, homes in flames, treacherous conditions. Prisoners evacuated as the battle rages overnight. We're live.

ROMANS (voice-over): Riot police in position right now in the streets of Turkey. They are ready. They are waiting for more protesters, and they're waiting for more violence. We're live in Taksim Square.

BERMAN: And the no names who swamped King James. They turned the king into a duke. The Spurs with a blowout. Dramatic victory. How did they do it?


ROMANS (on-camera): Good morning. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

BERMAN (on-camera): And I'm John Berman. It is Wednesday, June 12th, 6:00 a.m. in the east. And we begin with the wildfires exploding overnight in the Rocky Mountains.

We're talking five separate fires raging out of control this morning in Colorado. The biggest is the black forest fire near Colorado Springs. That has already burned more than 7,500 acres, destroyed dozens of structures, and forced thousands of people to evacuate their homes.

And State Emergency Management says the Royal Gorge fire has forced the evacuation of some 800 inmates from a prison. They say it's just a precaution. Weather conditions not friendly for firefighters this morning. Hot, dry, gusty winds. CNN's Dan Simon live in Colorado Springs this morning. What's the situation right now, Dan?

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, hi, John. This is a very destructive fire that as you said it's already taken out or damaged dozens of structures. Don't have an official count yet, and with record-breaking temperatures and very windy conditions, this fire apparently shows no sign of letting up.