Return to Transcripts main page
9-Year-Old Hops Flight to Vegas, Steals Vehicle, Sneaks Into Water Park; How Did Patient Disappear?
Aired October 9, 2013 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, he hopped a flight to Las Vegas, stole a vehicle, snuck into a water park. He`s the 9-year-old that everyone is talking about. And now, you will hear from his father.
Does this kid have a behavior problem, or is she a genius?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I hope the CIA at this kid`s bedroom door tonight recruiting him. I mean, this kid is a genius.
PINSKY: The behavior bureau has answers.
Plus, a woman checks into a hospital, nurses say they checked on her every 15 minutes, and then she vanished. Yesterday, a body was found in a stairwell. Today, we have the latest on the hospital mystery.
Let`s get started.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Good evening.
My co-host is Samantha Schacher, host of "Pop Trigger" on the Young Turks Network.
The 9-year-old who snuck past airport security and onto a flight to Las Vegas, dad says he has a history of behavior problems. No kidding, Sam.
SAMANTHA SCHACHER, CO-HOST: Yes.
PINSKY: Just saying.
That, of course, is according to the boy`s father who spoke this morning, in a rather bizarre news conference. Have a look at this.
BOY`S DAD: He took the trash out and just left.
I`m a parent, I`m not perfect, we assumed that he was at a friend`s house.
PINSKY: You got a 9-year-old takes a train on his own to the airport.
REPORTER: Had he ever flow on an airplane?
DAD: No, sir. It`s his first time.
PINSKY: Sneaks through security, hops on a flight to Las Vegas alone --
DAD: How could you let a 9-year-old child go through security check without stopping him and questioning him?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He gets distracted somewhere else, and that point, he just walks unto the plane.
PINSKY: But there`s something more going on here.
DAD: They couldn`t do nothing, because he was a minor. We were asking for help.
UJNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And no matter what he does, he keeps doing it. He is what we will call incorrigible.
DAD: I don`t know how my 9-year-old son`s brain acts.
PINSKY: What do you think kids with brain disorders look like when they`re children?
DAD: The last time he got suspended, he was into a fight at the school. When he damaged those cars. I didn`t know what was going through my son`s head. I`ve been asking for help. No one stepped up to help.
PINSKY: Joining us: Mark Eiglarsh, attorney at speaktomark.com; HLN`s Lynn Berry; Brian Copeland, talk show host on KGO Radio of San Francisco, author of "Not a Genuine Black Man"; Loni Coombs, former prosecutor, author of "You`re Perfect and Other Lies Parents Tell".
Joining us by phone, CNN correspondent Paul Vercammen.
Paul, you`ve got the latest.
PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Well, Drew, when that father walked into the press conference. It was indeed bizarre. He completely turned his back on the media at one point. When he sat down, he furiously and nervously pumped his foot the whole time. You could tell he was nervous.
He learned as others did that surveillance video showed that for two days, this boy essentially made the airport his playground. At one point he picked up someone else`s bag at a luggage carousel, went to a restaurant, dined and ditched.
He came back the next day, according to an airport spokesman, he told me the boy was going up and down the escalators, playing on them like you expect a 9-year-old. One twist, last time he went up, he walked straight towards the security checkpoint and got through.
And one other thing -- the father said when he crashed a delivery van into vehicle, including the squad car, he thought the boy was imitating the new game, "Grand Theft Auto", even though he doesn`t have a copy of it, Drew.
PINSKY: Interesting. Paul, thanks so much.
I want to give the viewers a look at how the boy after he passed through security, how he then he got onto the plane. You`ll see this reenactment, he waits under the agent turns away, and then he just sort of slips by. He comes on, wait to the ticket agent, and then he zooms onto the plane. I get there were sufficient seats for him to find a seat in a plane without a ticket, and it wasn`t until they were almost in Las Vegas that the flight attendant started wondering about this kid who didn`t have a ticket who was sitting on their flight.
Brian, what is your reaction to all this?
BRIAN COPELAND, RADIO HOST: Well, here`s my reaction to this. You know, first of all, boo-hoo for the dad. What this tells me, let me break this down.
There are several things. First of all, the kid went out to take the trash out, didn`t come back, and they assumed he was over at his friend`s house playing "Grand Theft Auto", that`s what the report says. Well, the kid was suspended at the time from school. That`s why he was home.
Why would he be allowed to go to a friend`s house anyway? He had just committed grand theft auto. Why wasn`t he grounded? Why is it that he`s told he couldn`t leave the house under any circumstances?
SCHACHER: Yes, absolutely.
COPELAND: The next thing is, you know, I raised three children. I have raised three kids. And the children that raised know they`re not even allowed to walk to the store at 7, 8, 9 years old.
COPELAND: Without me being with them or knowing where they are.
PINSKY: Would they want to, Brian? That`s what`s really bizarre about this. Would your kid ever think about just cruising onto the street? No.
COPELAND: I`m going to get clobbered for this. This kid needs a behind whipping.
PINSKY: Well --
COPELAND: This kid needs a behind whipping.
SCHACHER: Well, here`s the thing -- OK, I`m not saying that. I`m just saying this. If I was a kid, if I went outside to take out the trash and I didn`t come back home, my parents would have been worried sick. And if they assumed I was at a friend`s house, they would then call the friend`s house.
And then when I didn`t return home that night, then they would have probably filed a missing person`s report. So there`s no surveillance whatsoever on this kid.
LYNN BERRY, HLN HOST: Well, Brian, you opened up a whole other can of worms when you say this kid needs whipping. The father actually said that and the police officers said, if you hit this kid, you`re going to jail.
BERRY: I think that`s part of the problem. If you think that hitting your kid is the answer to discipline, just my own personal opinion, I completely disagree.
PINSKY: Lynn, two things, Lynn, (a), I`m going to play you that footage in the next block, after the commercial, where the father actually says this and tells that story.
But number two, we have a behavior bureau coming up. I`ll take a poll on the behavior bureau. We have a bunch of professionals sit in there. I will tell you that the whipping and those kinds of physical punishments create kids like this. That`s the problem.
COPELAND: But nothing like this, but nothing like that has happened to this kid. Obviously there are no consequences. He realizes that there are no consequences for his actions.
COPELAND: That`s why he continues to do the things that he does.
MARK EIGLARSH, ATTORNEY: OK. The parents are not saying that they`re perfect. In fact I watched the whole press conference. I had some compassion for them, because they`re saying we don`t know what to do with him. This kid is out of control.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
EIGLARSH: Who I do want to focus on --
COPELAND: We don`t know what to do with him, then he`s grounded when he steals a car.
EIGLARSH: Brian, hold on, Brian, TSA, what do you have to say? I was in the airport today, I traveled down to the Keys for court. They asked me to undo my belt. Some gentleman who I don`t know rubbed in places that my wife would never rub --
PINSKY: Do you want us to feel bad or (INAUDIBLE) for you? I`m not sure.
EIGLARSH: It was not good. But a 9-year-old can make it through security and they`re locking at me that way?
PINSKY: Yes, I know. Listen, Mark, they called me by name as they do that check-down. And they put the gloves on and everything I`ve had that happen while calling me by name.
But, Loni, I`m curious on your take.
LONI COOMBS, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Yes, Dr. Drew, I talk about this on my book. Look, this kid is an extraordinary kid. He is off the charts as far as manipulation, cunning, and criminality. Specifically because he knows he shouldn`t be doing this because he`s very careful about not getting caught. He had absolutely no sense of remorse or guilt or fear. He`s totally confident in what he`s doing.
I bet about 98 percent of the parents do not have the skills to take care of this kid.
PINSKY: That`s right.
COPELAND: This kid has never been punished.
COOMBS: You don`t know that.
COPELAND: Why is he allowed to go to a friend`s house while suspended and after he stole a car?
COOMBS: Punishing isn`t going to do it. This needs a very specific type of child psychiatrist who can go in and put a very clear structure of positive, positive rewards to get him mold his potential.
EIGLARSH: The answer, the panacea, Brian, I think I`m hearing from you, is that we tied the kid up and we beat him like a pinata? Is that what you`re suggesting?
COPELAND: No, come on. No, sir, I`m saying nothing even remotely. I`m saying nothing even remotely like that.
PINSKY: Let me hear what the father has to say. Let`s s what the kid`s actual father, let`s see what he says, the dad said about his son stealing the truck. Take a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAD: When he damaged those cars, I didn`t know what was going through my son`s head. He told the police officer, he thought he was playing "Grand Theft Auto". That`s the new game that just came out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHACHER: My gosh, that upsets me because, you know what, I played a lot of video games growing up, even violent ones, like "Mortal Kombat" and you didn`t see me walking the streets performing --
PINSKY: No, but it explains a lot.
Anyway, Lynn, this was the first apparently, he`d ever been on a plane.
We`ve got to say, Loni is pointing about how much of a behavior problem this. I`m telling you, when these kids are like this, this kid actually became dangerously violent when he got to Las Vegas. Are you all aware of that? They had to put him in a hospital. He became violent where he couldn`t be managed by a group of people. That`s what`s under all this, was extreme violence.
COPELAND: Why hasn`t he been removed or something? Why hasn`t he been removed from the home?
BERRY: I can understand why you`re sympathetic to the parents?
PINSKY: Yes, that`s why I`m symphatetic.
BERRY: It`s a really, really good indicator, just in the father`s press conference that he has serious parenting challenges. The fact this kid even knows what "Grand Theft Auto" is at 9.
PINSKY: Very smart, guys. He`s a super-smart --
COPELAND: Parenting challenges again. It`s obvious this kid is not being parented.
PINSKY: Super-smart kid, guys.
Loni, finish me you want.
COOMBS: I give the dad credit for asking for help. So many parents, when they have a kid like this, they don`t ask for help because they`re worried about the stigma or what people are going to think of him. He`s saying, look, I`ve asked for help, that law enforcement keeps telling me, he`s a minor, they can`t do anything, that`s a law in that state.
But he`s asking for help. He`s not afraid. He`s begging for help.
EIGLARSH: Get him help.
COOMBS: Exactly. Get the help.
SCHACHER: But where was the supervision?
PINSKY: Yes. That`s -- I have a tweet about this.
COPELAND: They all need help.
PINSKY: Can you guys put this tweet up on the screen? It`s (INAUDIBLE), how is a 9-year-old allowed to check in and board a flight without his parents being there? That`s absurd.
That also goes to the issue of supervision. Just really --
COPELAND: They never checked it.
PINSKY: He didn`t buy a ticket, by the way. He just snuck in all the way through without any idea -- without any tickets. Incredible. Somebody last night --
EIGLARSH: How does that happening?
PINSKY: Well, TSA has got some explaining to do.
Up next, behavior bureau is coming in here, wan to talk about what potentially this father could do or should we feel sorry for him or not?
And later a hospital mystery, a patient completely vanishes after a couple of days, and then more than two weeks later, at the hospital, a body is found in the outdoor stairwell.
We`ll be right back with that story.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAD: They brought him back to me. I asked the officer, please, sir, can you go upstairs, watch me whip his butt. The officer told me, if I see you hit your son, we`re going to have to lock you up. I said, sir, what can I do? I`ve got asking for help. No one is helping me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Back with my co-host Samantha Schacher and we`re discussing the 9-year-old who managed to sneak on to a plane to Las Vegas. He`d also the day before stole someone`s luggage and had a dine-and-dash, and saw a truck and smashed in to a police offer.
The father says he has behavior problems. I think we all agree. Dad is right about that and dad seems to do something and sort of doesn`t seem to have the skill set to manage this kid.
Bring in the behavior bureau. Joining me: clinical psychologist Judy Ho, clinical and forensic psychologist Cheryl Arutt, criminal investigator Danine Manette, author of "Ultimate Betrayal", and Valorie Burton, life coach and author of "Happy Women Live Better".
I want to show you a tweet before we go to our conversation here. It was from (INAUDIBLE), "I was spanked as a child, and I`m 27 raising two boys and., yes, I spank my 3-year-old, and yes it helps."
And, you know, I think, let me start with you, Valerie, I think the controversy is not spanking, it`s the physical abuse and what the line is between spanking and physical abuse. We know what physical abuse does to the brain of a developing child. Alan Schorr (ph), who`s been on this program has written three volumes on the brain effects. It`s not in dispute, it`s bad.
But where`s that line?
VALORIE BURTON, LIFE COACH: You know what? It doesn`t need to be the first mode of punishment, right? I mean, I was spanked, I think I turned out just fine. In this case, it seems there`s absolutely no consequences for this kid`s actions. And the parent seems like he`s the victim here.
And if he happens to need help, he needs to keep asking, until he gets the help that he needs. But we are in this culture where people tend to blame. Why didn`t the TSA know, why didn`t the airline figure it out? Why didn`t the parent know where his child was when he took out the trash and didn`t come back home? Why wasn`t he trying to figure out where his kid was?
PINSKY: And, Sam, that your parents, had you run around out there, they would call the cops?
SCHACHER: Yes, they would have been very nervous. So, I agree.
PINSKY: Yes. Judy, what are your thoughts?
JUDY HO, PYSCHOLOGIST: Well, Dr. Drew, I agree that everybody is blaming everybody else instead of taking responsibility, but I think that what this kid needs is some proactive positive reinforcement as well. People keep talking about punishment. Consequences. Yes, those things work.
But positive reinforcement works better than punishment. That needs to be set up first, and then the consequences. And we know that from literature. We know that from experience, but everybody keeps talking about the punishment angle.
I just wish everybody would get off of that, and put him in a nice behavioral reinforcement somewhere he can earn rewards. And learn some positive things.
PINSKY: It`s hard. It`s hard specially for a child that`s misbehaving.
Danine, your thoughts on this?
DANINE MANETTE, CRIMINAL INVESTIGATOR: I do. You know, a couple of things, Dr. Drew.
Number one, it makes my blood boil that people are talking about this kid like he`s some genius, some extra-special, super duper kid. You know I worked at juvenile hall for many years. And over 50 percent of the kids in there know how to hotwire a car, know how to pick a lock, know how to jailbreak a phone, I mean, these kids are very sophisticated. So, anything that he`s doing is not going to lead him to the CYA, it`s going to lead him to the penitentiary. That`s number one.
MANETTE: Number two, this father sitting up here talking about I can`t believe he got past security -- I could believe he got on the plane.
I can`t believe he got past your front door. That`s what I can`t believe. That`s what I`m just not understanding.
These parents are asleep at the wheel. This kid is running the streets. Nobody is supervising him. He has too much time on his hands and now he`s got into trouble.
This is a situation, you`ve heard the old adage, it takes a village to raise a child.
MANETTE: They have turned this child over to the village to be raised. There is no one in charge. I wonder how many kids are in the house.
PINSKY: That`s interesting. You`re right, we don`t know that. We`re watching a little animated, little segment there, the villagers being asleep at the wheel, too. The kids sneaking on to the plane.
Cheryl, let`s get you into this. What about the physical abuse versus -- do you want to ring in on that
CHERYL ARUTT, PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, I do, Dr. Drew. As you know, I have two 9-year-olds at home. The idea of one of them not coming home, let alone getting past security and getting on a plane is absolutely beyond my comprehension.
But I have to point out, this is a guy, a father who does seem totally overwhelmed. He has a child who I think has conduct disorder.
PINSKY: Of course, clearly.
ARUTT: And is as risk.
PINSKY: Wait, wait, Cheryl, stop with that. At risk for what? Explain to people what that means. We clearly see conduct disorder here. That puts him at risk for?
ARUTT: For developing antisocial personality disorder, for having a life of crime, for being in prison, for basically having a whole bunch of problems.
We do need to early intervention needs to happen to help this kid, but the dad is overwhelmed and needs help. A lot of kids get shipped off to places that are dangerous, too.
PINSKY: Hold on, hold on, but Danine has some experience with this --
MANETTE: I do.
PINSKY: Go ahead, Danine.
MANETTE: Dr. Drew, I heard the father say he asked for help from the police department. He asked for help from the court.
That`s too late. It`s too late. This kid needed to be involved in some type of a sports program, big brothers, after school, the YMCA, he has too much time on his hands. He`s hanging out with older boys. That`s how he`s playing "Grand Theft Auto" and learning how to drive cars.
He has no supervision. He needs something proactive and got this kid involved in something. The idle mind is the devil`s workshop.
PINSKY: And, Judy, she does have a good point. There`s data that shows a single positive relationship outside the home sustained over years can have a positive impact on kids like this, but at the same time, some kids have brain disorders that could be overcome no matter what we do. What do you say, Judy?
HO: You`re right about that, Dr. Drew, but we have to try, right? There are so many kids who are at risk. And maybe we can change the trajectory, even if it`s just one kid out of 100 of these kids, that would be great. So, he needs to establish more positive relationships, whether it`s with his parents, with family friends or with an adult role model. He needs a good role model, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Valerie, also --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Parenting classes would work.
PINSKY: What, Danine?
MANETTE: Parenting classes might work s well.
ARUTT: I don`t know what else to do. We need to give him an alternative that can work for him.
SCHACHER: Why didn`t the dad say that years ago? It`s too little too late.
MANETTE: And now, it`s a criminal issue.
SCHACHER: And now that the media spotlight is on him, maybe he`s just saying this because everybody is watching him --
PINSKY: Hang on, I want to give Valerie a chance to ring in here. She`s not used of fighting and weight on this show.
Go ahead, Valerie.
BURTON: Dr. Drew, we are criminalizing a 9-year-old.
The fact of the matter is this kid does have strength, some amazing strengths. Not only is he smart, a strategic person. If you put this kid -- I see him 20 years from now, yes, I could see him in the CIA, I could see him running a company. He has a great deal of creativity.
The question is how do you channel that energy? And in as a parent your job is to figure out what is my kid`s strengths? And how do I find a way for them to use that in a productive way. We can`t just go to he`s going to be a criminal. He`s 9 years old. It is too young for us to say this is a criminal.
PINSKY: I --
MANETTE: But he`s already created criminal act, so we have to now deal with his behavior accordingly. And sometimes, the criminal justice system opening up resources to parents who have no other options. It gives them an extra set of eyes to keep control of the kid.
MANETTE: Apparently, the first option was it should have been years ago, and that didn`t happen. Now, we`re here.
PINSKY: Danine, you`re in this system, how would -- what would you offer this kid? If you saw him at juvenile hall or saw him being locked in a hospital, violent as he was last week?
MANETTE: This kid needs to have some structure. And if he has to be removed from the home in order to get that structure and supervision, then so about be it. Because what`s happening at home is not helping him.
So ,I would advocate for him to be removed from the home and put in a structured environment, with some positive reinforcement, a big brother program, something to give this kid some positive energy, something he can be involved in.
PINSKY: And then, however, Danine, my attachment specialist with the auburn hair is saying no. I see her saying no.
ARUTT: I think removing the child from the parents at 9 years old would be a mistake. That disrupts the attachment. I think the intervention has to be at the family level with the parents intimately involved.
PINSKY: The critics agree. We have to hold it there. You see you see how easy it is?
PINSKY: The experts agree.
Next up, a hospital mystery. A woman checks in. Nurses say they look in on her every 15 minutes, then she vanishes.
And later something turns up.
Also later in the show, we`re going to talk about the government shutdown. It`s dragging on. Is the dysfunction in Washington affecting us? Are we becoming dysfunctional because of their dysfunction?
Back after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Where the hell were they looking? Those were the words to officials of a San Francisco Hospital from an angry friend of Lynne Spalding. Her body was allegedly discovered in an exterior stairwell after she went missing over two weeks ago.
The 57-year-old month seemingly vanish at a family spokesperson said she had been admitted two days earlier for complications of a bladder infection. The hospital says it has no idea how the body ended in a rarely used staircase. But family and friends are demanding answers to this mystery.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: And we are back from my co-host Samantha Schacher, Mark, Lynn and Loni. Also joining Jamey Sheryl, she`s a registered nurse, nurse Jamey.
And on the phone, I`ve got CNN correspondent Dan Simon. He is in San Francisco and has been following the story.
Dan, give us the latest, if you would.
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, hey, Dr. Drew.
Well, first of all, we now know that the body is of 57-year-old Lynne Spalding. You know, the hospital announced that day. They confirmed it.
Now, we should point out that the medical examiner`s office has yet to officially announce that. They haven`t really released what ultimately caused her death, and I think once we get those details in terms of, you know, how she died, that`s really going to shed a lot of light in terms of what may have happened here.
We know that the body was found on the fourth floor of that stairwell. It`s actually a fire escape. And we also know that according to hospital officials, that when she went through the doors of that fire escape, they would have automatically locked behind her. Think about how frightening that would be, and the only way out for her would be to really go to the bottom of the steps, go to the exit, if you will, and sort of reach the hospital ground.
Again, we don`t know what her condition was, if she had strength to do so, but that would have been her only way out.
I should also know a member of the hospital staff`s engineering team, they were the ones who found the body. This was during a routine check. This was not -- this was not a widely used stairwell. So, perhaps that may help explain why it took so long to find the body.
You`re talking about 17 days. It just seems so unbelievable.
PINSKY: Wow. Terrible.
Dan, thanks for that report. I appreciate it.
I want to take the pulse of my panel before I speak to a family spokesperson for Lynne Spalding.
Let me, I`m going to start to build this out starting with Lynn.
Lynn, you`ve been following this story, what are your thoughts?
BERRY: You know, what`s really disturbing is that you fear the worst here, which is the possibility that she was extremely disoriented by some medication she may have been taken, wondered, the door locks behind her and she may not have known how to get out of there. And you don`t know how long she could have been alive and suffering.
And that`s a really disturbing part here. And the hospital does have some explaining to do because you would imagine that there`s surveillance in the entrances and exists of this hospital. They knew she was missing 15 minutes after she went missing. So they had time on their side.
They could have looked at video to find out whether she left the hospital.
PINSKY: Or, Mark, they weren`t doing proper 15-minute checks. Perhaps they were just sort of rubber stamping those checks. How would they be able to prove that they were doing the 15-minute checks?
EIGLARSH: Perhaps. Listen, this place isn`t the desert. We`re not looking for Osama bin Laden, which eventually been found. This is a structure. And when you`re missing a woman, not some meditation, a human being, all points bulletin, let`s look everywhere. Apparently, they didn`t look everywhere.
PINSKY: And Loni, that`s where, perhaps, some liability comes in, no?
COOMBS: Oh, absolutely. I mean, the hospital, if she was to the point where she was disoriented, that they had to be doing the -- the checkups every 15 minutes, as you explained to me, that`s a very high level of care. There was something wrong with her. We don`t know exactly what. They should have been keeping an eye on her. They should have made sure that she didn`t get out of bed, much less wander down the hallway.
And you know, Dr. Drew, we don`t know how far away that stairwell was from the room that she was in. How many people does she pass by to get there?
COOMBS: Maybe it`s just my criminal background, but I say -- my suspicious antenna are going up. There might have been something, some foul play or something. How else could she disappear for 17 days out on that stairwell that`s open to the public?
SHERRILL: And why didn`t the alarm go off?
PINSKY: And Jamie, you`re a nurse. You work in hospitals like I have. And you and I know that those emergency exits are where the staff go to smoke.
PINSKY: And they push those alarms and make sure they don`t walk because they`re going out in the middle the night when security is not around and they`re going out on that stairway and smoking. That happens all the time. Does it not?
SHERRILL: It does. It does. And every 15 minutes is probably gratuitous on how often a patient checkup is performed as well, just because it`s not patient to nurse ratio. It`s also patient to doctor ratio, patient to paperwork ratio. It`s dietary.
PINSKY: OK. Well, you`re making a very important point, that she may have been given 15 -- on 15-minute checks, but they couldn`t actually do the 15-minute checks. The next thing after 15-minute checks is ICU, (ph) psych ward, or a sitter in the room -- that`s the next level of care. Well, that means she is very, very sick, Jamie. Do you agree?
SHERRILL: Absolutely. If she`s supposed to be on 15-minute check, that is -- they should have had a sitter in the room. I would hope that they would have that if that was the case.
PINSKY: Sam, go ahead.
SCHACHER: All that for a bladder infection? I mean, something is suspicious here.
PINSKY: No. No way. She may have come to the hospital thinks she had a bladder infection. Something far more serious. And by the way, she was two days into a hospitalizion at this point.
SCHACHER: And you know what, I`m with mark here. I mean, I`m sorry. Like, literally, how were they not able to find her? If a patient goes missing, why aren`t they looking everywhere, in every nook and cranny?
PINSKY: And -- well, because Loni says -- Loni`s CSI mind is turned on here. There`s some foul play. Somebody pushed her down the stairs --
COOMBS And where are the cameras? Where is the surveillance?
PINSKY: Hold on. I want to get David Perry here. He`s a spokesperson for the family of Lynne Spalding. David, first of all, this is a very sad story and our condolences on behalf of the entire panel in here and people here, our staff at DR. DREW ON-CALL.
VOICE DAVID PERRY, SPOKESMAN FAMILY OF LYNNE SPALDING: Thank you.
PINSKY: What do you think happened?
PERRY: Thank you very much, doctor. And also, I`ve been listening to the conversation and grateful for the questions you`re asking, because every question you have asked is questions that we have been asking certainly for the last two days at San Francisco General and the San Francisco Sheriff`s Department that is in charge of security there.
It is a nightmare. Seventeen days ago, when Lynne went missing, we focused our efforts outside of the hospital, because we were assured that the San Francisco Sheriff`s Department had done a search. And the idea that she was there outside dead or dying for 17 days is -- and I don`t use this word lightly. It`s a nightmare. It`s certainly something we never considered. I do want to correct one thing on the panel.
PERRY: We have heard that she was being treated for urinary tract infection. We believe there may have been other complications.
PINSKY: Has to have been.
PERRY: -- because of HIPAA laws and whatnot.
PINSKY: Right. Right. Well, there`s two things, David, I think you`re dealing with. One is that the hospital wouldn`t incur any liability by speaking up. And secondly, there are HIPAA laws protecting all this. But I can promise you, you don`t spent two days in the hospital for UTI. There could be a kidney infection.
PERRY: I totally agree with you. And just one -- and one more thing I just want to correct. Although we have not received the final autopsy report from the San Francisco medical examiner who has been incredibly supportive, I did hear from sources today that foul play has been ruled out as has the any sort of assault on her. That is some cold comfort during this --
PINSKY: David, hold right for a second here. Mark, I`m going to have you start the next segment with your question. Keep your thoughts to yourself for one second here. We`re going to have more on this hospital mystery and this woman that seem to vanish and now has turned up with very sad story.
And later on the show, politicians arguing in Washington over who`s to blame for the government shutdown, and I say, we are all feeling the effects of this dysfunction. It`s not surprising to me that we`re seeing more violence acting out, the motorcycle gangs, people who are mentally ill driving their cars into the capitol. People are affected, leaders. Be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. TODD MAY, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, SAN FRANCISCO GENERAL HOSPITAL: We are saddened to announce that we believe the body found on the hospital campus yesterday morning is that of Lynne Ford, also known as Lynne Spalding. She has been missing since September 21st when she left her hospital room at San Francisco General Hospital and Medical Center. At this time, we don`t know what happened.
I`m committed to getting to the root cause of this tragedy and ensure that nothing like this ever happens again. Ever since she disappeared on September 21st, we have been sharing information with the family and investigators, and we will continue to do so.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: We are back with my co-host, Samantha Schacher. I`ve got Mark, Lynn, Loni, and Nurse Jamie, and that was a spokesperson for San Francisco General Hospital, where the body of 57-year-old Lynne Spalding was discovered in an outdoor stairwell nearly three weeks after she went missing.
Back with us by phone is Dave Perry. He is a spokesperson for Lynne Spalding`s family. And Mark, you had a question.
EIGLARSH: Yes, Dave. I am trying to figure this out like everybody is. So, you said before we broke that there was no foul play, that has been eliminated.
EIGLARSH: I`m thinking out loud.
PERRY: Yes. This is what I was told today by a confidential source with knowledge of the investigation. Obviously, frankly, they`re trying to help a desperate family here tonight. We`ve been waiting since last night for the medical examiner to give us a final report. I will say as displeased as the family has been with the actions of San Francisco General and the sheriff`s department, we were grateful today that they came out and confirmed her death.
PINSKY: Go ahead, Mark.
EIGLARSH: All right. So, if we eliminate foul play, that means, I`m assuming that she intentionally or found her way into that stairwell area - -
PINSKY: And Mark, intentionally when somebody --
PINSKY: But Mark, when people are ill like that, they can wander out -- maybe why she was on the 15-minute check.
PERRY: Let me say, Dr. Drew, if I can --
EIGLARSH: I`m looking --
PINSKY: David, go ahead.
PERRY: If I can just make one point.
PERRY: I understand where you`re going with this, but from our point of view, the reason she was on that stairwell is completely beside the point. We have a sick woman who went to the hospital for treatment, was getting looked at every 15 minutes. She managed to somehow slip past hospital staff, past the nurses` station, get into a stairwell, which to Dan`s point we`re not talking about Afghanistan or search for Osama Bin Laden.
This is a modern building in the middle of San Francisco, and they didn`t find her for 17 days? Our points point is, if the sheriff`s point says they`re doing search, this was a very poor search, indeed.
PINSKY: And I want Jamie to see if she has questions from a nursing standpoint. Jamie, before you ask that question, I want to share a tweet that Carl Wilkies (ph) @StarWilkies (ph), I think it says here. "Doctor, what about hospital security? Don`t they check and walk the floors check exits? I do -- I work for a hospital security."
And I think that`s what David is saying. That`s the sheriff`s department that does that at this particular hospital. Jamie, do you have a question for David?
SHERRILL: I do, because if it is a nurse to the patient ratio, I mean, it only takes a second to walk out. You`re supposed to encourage your patient to be ambulatory. I mean, this is a horrible thing and I`m not defending anything, but knowing -- you know, the nurses the hub of everything.
You have to step out of the room to talk with the doctor. I mean, it`s a chaotic environment. Obviously, I`m not defending anything, but I`m just saying that a lot of things happen.
PERRY: We can certainly understand as a family how a woman could walk out of her room and maybe be disoriented from medication or whatever. We had no possible precedent in San Francisco history for someone walking out and being found dead on the stairway of San Francisco General after 17 days.
PERRY: This is not a nurse issue. This is a security and communications issue at the very least.
PINSKY: And Lynn -- go ahead, David.
PERRY: The San Francisco General and the police -- I`m sorry -- the sheriff`s department have a lot of explaining to do.
PINSKY: And Lynn, this is a -- this is one of the best hospitals in the country. I mean, this is really a great hospital with great reputation. And the spokesperson there for the hospital is using a very interesting code. He said "root cause," this root cause analysis at hospitals. Lynn, I wonder if you have a question for David.
LYNN BERRY, HLN HOST: Yes, David, you know, I want to know what happened in those 17 days? What were they telling you as far as the search goes, because I never saw local news reports or anything about this, a woman vanishes from San Francisco General Hospital you normally hear about it (ph).
PERRY: I think that`s a very good question. I`m glad you asked it. She disappeared on Saturday the 21st. I first heard about it on Thursday, and I was asked to come on because San Francisco General was not doing anything. I own a public relations firm. I`m also personal friend of Lynne`s, professional colleague. So, on Friday, so, six days after her disappearance, we went to the media.
And immediately by some miracle, as soon as we get a bit of national press, for the first time, San Francisco General issues a statement. Ten days aft she was missing. For ten days, the family and friends, supported by the police department, encouraged us to put flyers around San Francisco. Hundreds if not thousands of fliers were put all over town and East Bay, and it took 10 days for SF General to even issue a statement.
PINSKY: Well, David, I have to move on from this story.
PERRY: Thank you.
PINSKY: We will keep watching. I hope the questions we`re asking are helpful --
PERRY: They are, thank you.
PINSKY: -- and not making this more, more painful for the family. And please, our thoughts go out with them. I`m going to leave with one tweet here from a nurse who says, "As a nurse, I can`t understand how t nurse responsible for the 15-minute checks on the patient didn`t check the exits."
Again, I don`t want to blame nursing. Nursing is overburdened such as it is. And David has sort of -- as he says, the hospital and the sheriff`s department have some explaining to do with that family. And we have more reports coming soon from the medical examiner`s office. Soon, is that correct, David? Are you still there?
PERRY: It is. We`re hopeful that maybe this evening, perhaps, we`ll get a final report. And I can assure you as soon as we do, I`ll let you know.
PINSKY: Thank you. We`ll keep our eye on that. Thank you, panel.
Next up, government shutdown creating -- is it creating things like road rage out there? Are people becoming violent because of the dysfunction in Washington? We got a "Behavior Bureau" present and we`re going to look into that in just a moment.
VINNIE POLITAN, HLN ANCHOR: Coming up at the top of the hour on "HLN After Dark," we`re going to dive into the next big trial, Utah versus Dr. MacNeill accused of drugging and drowning his wife and a whole lot of other bad behavior.
RYAN SMITH, HLN ANCHOR: Oh, yes. But tonight, it`s all about good versus evil. And our bold question, is the doctor evil? A lot of evidence on this one, Vinnie.
POLITAN: It`s going to be a tough one or is it for our jury? "HLN After Dark" top of the hour.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nine days --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the country --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Still stopping this government shutdown is, again, like the standoff in the school yard. No one is budging.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You don`t know how long you`ll be at home. You don`t know if we`ll even get back pay.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My heart went out to the babies, to children, because how are they going to leave? How are they going to survive?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Both sides claim to want negotiations, but can`t seem to agree on the terms.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Congress needs a total rehab.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right. Oh, you`re sending them to rehab? That`s a great idea.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am dying because of the political games you`re playing right now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am concerned that I cannot the bills moving forward.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The shutdown is not the only thing to worry about. We`re eight days away now from crashing into what`s called the debt ceiling.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get a handle and get it handled now. Done.
PINSKY: I am assembling a "Behavior Bureau" to discuss this. my co- host is Samantha Schacher. Back with Danine, Judy, Cheryl, and Lynn Berry. Shutdown has been dragging on for nine days. No end in sight. Leaders in both sides dug in their heels and would rather argue and point fingers in public than begin to have a dialogue. Sounds like --
PINSKY: No. The children are the object -- we`re the children. They`re like dysfunctional parents. Judy, you agree?
JUDY HO, PH.D., CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Absolutely, Dr. Drew. This is a very dysfunction family being modeled through our government and through the public. Right now, the parents are pointing fingers at each other. You know what it is? It`s kind of like, you know, when a couple fights and one of them brings up something from three years ago and starts to make it a part of the fight now, even though it has nothing really to do with the current issue? It`s like when people drag (ph) up out of the mud. That`s what they`re doing.
PINSKY: Yes. And, and they fight about the kids and they bring the kids into the fight. Danine, we`re like the kids being encouraged to sort of takes sides in this stupid thing.
DANINE MANETTE, CRIMINAL INVESTIGATOR: Exactly. And, remember that movie "The War of the Roses?" That`s what this reminds me of. People have so much resentment towards each other and so much nobody wants to hear what anybody else has to say. I actually think right now a game of rock, paper, scissors --
MANETTE: I really do, because, you know, best out of three wins. I think they should go for it. I`m serious.
PINSKY: And Cheryl, I wonder if you agree, are we making too much of this whole model we`re proposing tonight? Because I think people -- I think those sensitive amongst us --
PINSKY: -- are the ones really getting activated by this thing.
CHERYL ARUTT, PSY.D., CLINICAL & FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST: I think you`re really on to something. I think you`re on to something with the dysfunctional family kind of impact. And when dysfunctional parents use the kids and are willing to hurt the kids to get at each other, who are the most vulnerable kid? The mentally ill, the vulnerable --
PINSKY: Right. The sensitive. Sensitive, yes, yes. Cheryl, yes. OK. So Danine, Cheryl, Judy, I are nodding our heads vigorously. Lynn and Sam, you guys are the late (ph) people in this panel. I`m going to ask you after the break whether or not if you think we`ve got too far with this.
If you have a question for the "Behavior Bureau," you can tweet us @DrDrewHLN #behaviorbureau. Be right back.
PINSKY: Back with the "Behavior Bureau" that is discussing shutdown, dysfunction, the effect that`s having us. Lynn, have we gone too far with this dysfunctional family model?
BERRY: Dr. Drew, I got to say first, I think you`re brilliant, but I have to respectfully disagree with you. I do not see the link between the government shutdown and an increase in violence, for example, the SUV versus biker interaction. Until you put padlocks on people`s accounts at banks and they can`t withdraw their money from their ATM are you going to see blood in the streets as a result of this.
PINSKY: All right. Fair enough.
BERRY: I just don`t see the link.
PINSKY: OK. Fair enough. Sam.
SCHACHER: I`m actually starting to see the connection, especially when Dr. Drew, you mentioned how it`s affecting mentally ill and addicts. Could you elaborate more on that, because I know when I`m watching the news, I get a lot of anxiety with the government shutdown.
PINSKY: And I`m hearing from people with significant mental illness that they are -- they don`t -- they`re not affected by it, but they`re afraid they might be. And so, they`re worrying and watching and glue to the television and anticipating. And if somebody is very sensitive, that could be enough to give them trouble. Judy, you agree?
HO: I definitely agree. Those are most vulnerable, and they are vulnerable to some of the practical effects of this. And so, I don`t think that is weird at all that they would start to become highly sensitized and start to act out. They need attention. They want answers and we don`t have answers.
PINSKY: They need structure. They need leadership. Cheryl, it`s the children that are the most sensitive in a family that gets the most symptomatology?
ARUTT: Are we talking about children or Congress?
PINSKY: We`re talking about us and the Congress behavior as their children, too.
SCHACHER: They are.
PINSKY: I think it`s an interesting exercise, but I`ve got to go, guys. Thank you very much for this.
I got a "Last Call" coming up next. Be right back.
PINSKY: It is time for the "Last Call." And Sam, finally, the "Last Call" goes to me. And perhaps, we have overstayed at that little model we had about the dysfunctional family, but there`s one thing I want to say about that, which is that our leaders need to lead, not just administrate, not just to create bureaucratic structures and laws. They need to lead. It affects us.
Leaders are important in society, and they need to lead. That`s all I`m saying here. Somebody -- Valerie (ph) accusing me of jumping the shark on Twitter. I don`t think so. Just want to make that simple point. Thank you, Sam. Thank you for watching. "HLN After Dark" begins right now.