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Biker Charged in NYC Road Brawl; Tropical Storm Karen Forming; Obamacare Rollout; Obamacare Rollout: Day 3; Statement from SUV Driver's Wife

Aired October 3, 2013 - 08:30   ET


ANNOUNCER: You're watching NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan and Michaela Pereira.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to NEW DAY. It's Thursday, October 3rd. Hope the morning's going well for you.

Coming up this half hour, it is day three of the government shutdown, but it's also day three of the Obamacare, or Affordable Care Act, rollout. Dr. Sanjay Gupta is rolling himself on the CNN Express bus to answer your questions and get your concerns. We'll bring them to you.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Plus, that violent video showing an SUV bowling through a pack of bikers and the attack that followed on a busy New York City street. We have new pictures today showing what happened after the video stopped, but still so many questions remain.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: And I have the five things you need to know for your new day.

Let's start with number one, which is, of course, that government shutdown. No end in sight. Today, President Obama is expected to criticize the GOP when he visits a D.C. construction company. Party leaders met for an hour with the president Wednesday. They came no closer to an agreement.

At least 94 people killed when a boat capsized and went up in flames off the coast of southern Italy. So far 150 people have been rescued. The boat was carrying up to 500 African migrants trying to make their way to Europe.

Not liable. Concert promoter AEG Live off the hook for potentially billions of dollars after a jury rejected the negligence claim by Michael Jackson's family over the hiring of Dr. Conrad Murray.

Texas State Senate Wendy Davis expected to announce her bid to become the state's next governor. A poll shows the Democrat trails Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott by single digits.

And at number five, Tiger Woods hoping to lead America to victory in the President's Cup. That event tees off this morning at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio, pitting the U.S. against 12 of the world's best international players. President George W. Bush expected to be in attendance.

We always update those five things to know, so be sure to go to for the very latest.


CUOMO: All right, we do want to tell you about the new developments in that SUV/biker brawl in New York. Police are looking for help finding any of the rioters involved. We believe there were literally hundreds on that ride. One was charged Wednesday. Another was released. The violent episode ended with the SUV driver beaten and a rider in critical condition, still in the hospital this morning. Police are still exploring several theories as to what could have ignited the incident. And that is the key, how did it all start? Pamela Brown is here. She's following it.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I just got off the phone with NYPD and we've learned that police are still investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident and trying to determine what may have sparked it. So far, no charges have been filed in connection with the assault on the driver, Alexian Lien. In fact, charges were dropped against one of the bikers who appeared in the viral helmet cam video pounding on the SUV. Now, new pictures show what appears to be the scene right after Lien was attacked.


BROWN (voice-over): Brand new photos give new perspective to the violent videotaped encounter between a group of motorcyclists and the driver of a black Range Rover. These pictures from "The New York Post" appear to show Alexian Lien, the driver of the SUV, on the ground, allegedly beaten and slashed by the bikers. Police released these two pictures of one of the suspects who they believe was banging on Lien's SUV with his helmet. But some are calling for Lien to face charges.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There could have been other things that could have been happened, could have done, instead of running somebody over.

BROWN: One of the bikers the video shows the SUV running over is Edwin Jay Mieses, who is now seriously injured.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a family, not a gang.

BROWN: His heartbroken and outraged friends and family held a vigil for him last night. New York Police say they're still investigating how the violent clash all started, but a witness to the incident told "New Day's" Chris Cuomo he believed Lien was afraid.

JEROME DAVIS, WITNESS TO WEST SIDE HIGHWAY ATTACK: Two wrongs don't make a right. The gentleman was scared. If I was in his shoes, I'd be scared.

BROWN: Charges were dropped Wednesday against Allen Edwards, the other man pounding on the SUV. A law enforcement source telling CNN, Edwards may have actually been trying to protect Lien. In a statement, the Manhattan D.A.'s office says, "prematurely charging individuals with low-level crimes does not further the goals of the investigation and could weaken the cases we expect to bring." One biker, Christopher Cruz, was in court Wednesday facing reckless driving charges for what happened before the assault. You can see him in this video slowing down right in front of the SUV, causing Lien to bump into him. The incident that apparently sparked the confrontation, according to police. Cruz's attorney says he did nothing wrong.

H. BENJAMIN PEREZ, LAWYER FOR CHRISTOPHER CRUZ: His motorcycle was struck and he stood right there. He never assaulted this man.

BROWN: This video from 2011 shows a separate case of alleged biker violence. Riders appear to surround and antagonize a motorist and now law enforcement sources tell CNN they're examining the footage frame by frame looking for possible patterns in what they call biker gang activity.


BROWN: And authorities still hoping to make more arrests in connection with the attack on Lien. Investigators still digging for information, talking with witnesses, analyzing the video and listening to 911 calls that Lien made during the attack.

CUOMO: All right, a lot of misconceptions in this situation because bias. People have feelings about motorcycles, what it's like to be on the road. Jerome Davis, you saw a little bit of him in the piece. We interviewed him. We want to play a little bit more, because he clears up some things for us and raises some other questions. Take a listen.


JEROME DAVIS, WITNESS TO WEST SIDE HIGHWAY ATTACK: It goes - it goes both ways. Two wrongs don't make a right. The gentlemen was scared. If I was in his shoes, I'd be scared.

CUOMO: You see the video when the guy is trying to open that rear door and you know there's a two-year-old back there.

DAVIS: I'm pretty sure the guy wasn't aware of that. Because, I'm a rider. If my fellow rider that was - if my fellow rider, we were together, I wouldn't have left -- if we were in a group, there could have been a better way. A couple could have made sure he not got away and the rest could have stayed back. It could have - it could have been more organized.

CUOMO: This is an unfortunate thing.


CUOMO: All kinds of descrips (ph) being painted of you guys on the bikes.


CUOMO: The motivations of the guy in the car. That's why we're waiting for the investigation. But we appreciate you helping us get a better picture of what was going on.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CUOMO: And you've got to remember, a lot of this about what Davis didn't see, but important to note (INAUDIBLE) gang. There's no indication of that. He says that he didn't know a lot of the guys there. That this is something that they do. They get together for events. Word-of-mouth travels and they wind up in big packs on the road. Lot of problems come as a result of that.

BOLDUAN: I think it was an interesting window into, though, he said very clearly, that there was plenty of blame to go around. That there was a lot - there was a lot that was going on, not just one incident that happened here.

BROWN: And what's interesting, too, you know, was, we've been talking about the video that we've seen so far doesn't tell the full story. But as he pointed out in the interview, Chris and Kate, that there is more video that could surface from the incident even prior to what we've seen so far.

CUOMO: He said like a lot of the guys had Go Pro cameras. He said it was like almost every other guy. So they're going to have plenty of evidence.

PEREIRA: What's interesting though to me is, we know that there was a phone call or several phone calls from inside the SUV to 911. I don't know how easy it is, because I'm not a motorcycle rider, I don't know how easy it is to place a cell phone call, but I would have thought that maybe somebody out of the group of riders might have called 911 at some point.

CUOMO: It's going to be very important to police.

BOLDUAN: A lot of witnesses to talk to now.

CUOMO: If they're chasing after this guy and they never make an effort to do it the right way, it's going to color the perception of all their actions. It always does for police. What was your intent? This guy's calling 911. You see the video at the end. His window -- back window's broken. He's got a two-year-old in the back of the car. That's going to give a lot of prejudice in terms of how you judge his actions.


All right, coming up next on NEW DAY, have you tried, at this point, to sign up for the president's health care law and run into some or maybe more than a few glitches? Chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, he's going to be joining us from a call center in Maryland to see how the rollout is going and if they've worked out the kinks.

CUOMO: And more trivia game drama.


CUOMO: When did "Jeopardy" judges become such "Seinfeld" sticklers. That's tough to say. That could be thrown off a game show. Alex Trebek and company get the Award of the Day award for all the wrong reasons. BOLDUAN: Oh, no.

CUOMO: Berman takes down another famous man.


BOLDUAN: All right, welcome back to NEW DAY.

A developing story this morning. A tropical storm looking more and more likely. Let's get straight to Indra for the latest on the track.

What do you see, Indra?

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, definitely. Right now we're looking at what hurricane hunters have now seen, some very strong winds, about 60 miles per hour right over the region, so it looks like it's almost near 100 percent certainty that they will be issuing that advisory within the hour.

So let's take a look again at what the models are thinking. Most of them now really having that consensus of where it is expected to go. Big picture, different picture from yesterday, where we had some models bringing outliers in through Texas and some in through Florida. But now, take a look again, we're looking at this kind of bull's eyeing right around New Orleans and even Biloxi, Mississippi.

One of the weather models, we'll take you right through it, landfall expected most likely late Saturday evening near those early hours of Sunday morning. Still keeping it, though, just at a tropical storm. So that's what we're going to be watching here for that Saturday night landfall. And again, what are we expecting? Strong winds. Of course we had the storm surge. But really rain amounts, potential flooding, about four inches around New Orleans and then kind of spreading down to Little Rock about one to two inches.

The other story we're going to be watching, yes, the northeast, it is beautiful, temperatures a up there a good 10, 15 degrees above average. But, notice, we are going to see a system moving through. So, Midwest, look for rain today. In the northeast, look for rain tomorrow.

The bigger story though will be the storm system behind it, currently exiting the Pacific Northwest, expected to bring heavy snowfall really especially out there in Wyoming, maybe one to two feet of snow possible with this. even the foothills in through Denver possibly seeing a little bit of snow. So maybe western portions of Colorado there.

Here's the problem. Look at all of this cold air that's making its way south. Once that starts to pushes into the Plains, look at that temperature spread there. You're talking about 30s. Those freezing conditions up against above normal temperatures near 90 degrees. Any time you see this, we're going to be talking about severe weather. So even a potential for tornadoes will be out there, especially across the Plains. Now, this is for tomorrow, so take a look. Pretty much anywhere from Minnesota, all the way down through Oklahoma, we are not going to be ruling out the threat of tornados. So that's going to be the next big story. So we went from a quiet weather pattern to really a couple things to be watching over the next several days

BOLDUAN: Absolutely. And it could be a mess of a weekend for those in that storm track.


BOLDUAN: So we'll have to keep a close eye on it. Thanks so much, Indra.


BOLDUAN: All right, the new health care rollout entering day three and CNN's chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta has been touring the nation in the CNN Express to see how the signup for the new insurance exchanges really works and how it's going. He's giving us an update on the problems that people have been facing when they're trying to sign up.

Hey there, Sanjay. So, Sanjay, you're in Maryland this morning, a state where there's 13 percent of the population's uninsured.


BOLDUAN: You're at a call center, a state-run call center. What are you hearing? What are you finding?

GUPTA: Well, you know, that's three states now in three days and they're very different. South Carolina, you know, 20 percent uninsured, a lot of interest in that, dealing with a lot of those glitches. Kentucky yesterday, a state divided, very Democratic governor, two very high profile senators are against this plan. And now Maryland, as you point out.

We're sort of in the nerve center, if you will, a call center of about 125 representatives here behind me taking all sorts of calls, answering questions about how to sign up, how to sort of get this done. And this is - this is a place that has also had its share of problems initially. But we're hearing as of 1:00 a.m. last night, just a few hours ago, they got a software patch to sort of fix this glitch and now the numbers are starting to increase, so about 2,000 accounts now created here in Maryland and that's about 1,000 of those just since 1:00 in the morning.

So you get the sense that these numbers are starting to improve a bet here and possibly across the country as well.

BOLDUAN: So this is a call center that people would be able to call in when they run into problems so what are some of the questions people are asking?

GUPTA: Yes. So you know people go to the site first, they've had about 600,000 page views, 90,000 units but we have one of the call representatives here, Maria she is joining us, they're asking the question what are some of the common calls you're getting when you field them?

MARIA, CALL CENTER REPRESENTATIVE: I have a preexisting condition, am I able to enroll. And of course, the answer is yes.

GUPTA: The answer is yes and they don't even ask about existing illnesses.

MARIA: No, no it's much more streamlined, much more simple so they don't have to release private medical information that they've had to do in the past. So --


GUPTA: What are some of the other questions?

MARIA: How much do plans cost, what's the cost.

GUPTA: That's probably one of the big ones I imagine.

MARIA: That's one of the big ones, that's one of the big ones and it depends on the levels of coverage that they want to select for themselves and their family members.

GUPTA: And so people may be eligible for subsidies, they may be getting Medicaid Dollars depending what state you live in. Is there a range in terms of costs?

MARIA: It could be for a 25-year-old as low as $150 or even lower depending on cost sharing and tax credits. For someone older, it could be $300, so it really depends on the specifics of their eligibility.

GUPTA: So how long do you think you're going to be at this sort of work here Maria? How long are you going to be at this?

MARIA: Years. Years. Years. We're here Saturday and Sunday, eight Monday through Friday, we're here until it's done.

GUPTA: All right thank you very much. As you point out the numbers according to the Josh Sharfstein, he's the Secretary of Health, about half of the state, about half of the uninsured, about 400,000 people they expect to be enrolled by the year 2020, so it's a long process, but you're seeing something historic here.

I mean something like this hasn't happened in nearly 50 years in this country and this is a little bit of what it looks like.

BOLDUAN: All right, and they have about six months I guess that's what it is before the penalties kick in. It's like 2,000 accounts created so far, we'll see how that continues.

GUPTA: Until late March.

BOLDUAN: Great work, Sanjay. Thank you so much.

So a reminder to all of you out there you can catch a special "SANJAY GUPTA MD: What you need to know about the Affordable Care Act". That's only on CNN, Saturday, 4:30 and Sunday at 7:30 Eastern.

CUOMO: All right, whatever is going on this morning, take a moment out for this, all right. This is a special "Good Stuff".

Today's edition, a dad's dying wish fulfilled. Johnny Wells will never see his 10-year-old daughter Nicole get married. So he did the next best that he could a ceremony from his hospital bed complete with a bouquet, a beautiful dress, tux for dad, even a pastor. The ring is from daddy to daughter which she'll wear until her wedding band replaces it. In return Nicole he promised dad she'd find a good man to marry. And if she does dad promised to give his blessing no matter where he is.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: His baby is the reason that he stayed alive this long.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Later in life when I get married, when I'm like 20s, I am going to play that video before my wedding and my little flower girl is going to wear this dress I'm wearing right now.


CUOMO: Obviously her dad is struggling against an illness he doesn't look like he's going to beat and the touching video has gone viral and has inspired families across the country to hold similar ceremonies for their dying loved ones.

PEREIRA: What every father wants.

BOLDUAN: To be there.

CUOMO: Well it's the worst thing for somebody who is going to die. They are worried about how they're going to take care of their kids so it's a beautiful moment, tough.

BOLDUAN: It is beautiful. It's very tough the best one of the real beauty is when that moment that they're kind of focusing on the good stuff as much as they can as a family when clearly they're dealing with a lot.

PEREIRA: It's very powerful.

CUOMO: The same message comes through a lot of these, is to remind you to be appreciative of what you have in your life.

BOLDUAN: Every day.

CUOMO: Right and of course we appreciate all of you bringing us these stories. So you see something, send it to us, you hear about it, do it. That's how we get the good news we keep telling you "The Good Stuff".

BOLDUAN: That's right. All right we'll be right back.


CUOMO: So the wife of the guy in the SUV just put out a statement telling how they saw the events and why they did what they did.

PEREIRA: We'll have that.

CUOMO: We're back from break -- we'll tell people that.


CUOMO: All right. We have some breaking news for you. The wife of the SUV driver who was chased and beaten by motorcycle riders this weekend in New York is speaking out. We have the statement. We'll read it to you. You make of it what you want. We want to thank WABC for giving us this.

"Our plan last Sunday was to celebrate our wedding anniversary by having a nice family day out with our two-year-old daughter. Unfortunately we were placed in grave danger by a mob of reckless and violent motorcyclists.

Our sympathies go out to the injure motorcyclist and his family. However, we were faced with a life threatening situation and my husband was forced under the circumstances to take the actions that he did in order to protect the lives of our family, our entire family. Our fear for our lives was confirmed when the incident ended with the ruthless and brutal attack on my husband and most importantly our two- year-old child.

We know in our hearts that we could not have done anything differently and believe that anyone faced with this sort of grave danger would have taken the same course of action in order to protect their family. We would like to thank the brave citizens who helped them." And that's the substance of this statement. That's where it ends.

Now very important to note this is the first word we're getting from this. It has not been vetted by police or matched up with their reporting. We have not heard anything to suggest that the child was involved in any attack, other than being in the car when all of this was going on. But that is the first word from that family in that black SUV that you're looking at right there.

BOLDUAN: You have that from the family, you spoke with one of the -- one of the bikers who was kind of in that pack, they were potentially hundreds of them that were riding together so he said he did not know kind of the people that they think were involved, clearly a lot of back and forth on this and a complicated case.

But you are -- we have video, we have pictures and the pieces are still kind coming together as police investigate that. We'll continue to follow it.

We'll be right back.


PEREIRA: I was curious about the song that is picked for the end of the show.

CUOMO: What is the song?

BOLDUAN: Who knows and who cares because it's Thursday which means tomorrow is Friday.

CUOMO: It's true.

PEREIRA: It's Friday eve, people.

BOLDUAN: that's what we like to say here on NEW DAY.

CUOMO: I haven't been following a story for a while that intrigues the way this motorcycle bike, SUV one does. I haven't wanted to hear from people in this way for a long time. What it was like to be in that car. What was going on around it is really important.

We just read you the statement from the wife of the driver. Why didn't we hear from the driver? Well, because there's an ongoing investigation, he is materially involved as they'd say in the law. So we're really going to be watching that one. It's important. It plays on a lot of different things.

PEREIRA: There's a lot of frustration between drivers and motorcyclists on the road, both sides have arguments about how the other is inconsiderate of the other.

CUOMO: I'm a biker, I get it. But these big groups, different dynamics.

BOLDUAN: That's it for us. Let's toss it off to Carol Costello in "THE NEWSROOM". Hey, Carol.

PEREIRA: Good morning.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Have a great day. Thanks so much. "NEWSROOM" starts now.

Good morning. I'm Carol Costello. Thank you so much for joining me.

It is day three of the government shutdown and the stalemate drags on and party leaders dig in. They come face to face and toe to toe with the White House and by coming together reaffirm that they are still worlds apart.


SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), MAJORITY LEADER: The one thing we made very clear in that meeting, we are locked in tight on Obamacare.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: The President reiterated one more time tonight that he will not negotiate.