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Convicted Killer Escapes Prison; Not So Super Ads; School Lunch Outrage

Aired February 3, 2014 - 08:30   ET



We're following a disturbing story that broke overnight. A quadruple murderer is on the loose this morning. Police say 40-year-old Michael David Elliot broke out of a Michigan prison, he abducted a woman and then took off to neighboring Indiana. The woman got away, but the convict is still at large this morning. Let's get straight over to George Howell, who's tracking the latest developments for us from Chicago.

So, George, what do we know right now?

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kate, you know, a lot to get into with this. Still a developing situation. We know that we should have some sort of a news conference here within the hour to learn more about this. But again, just yesterday around 7:00 p.m., that's when we understand that they did sort of a count there in that correctional facility and around 9:00 that's when they realized that this inmate had escaped. Still unclear exactly how he escaped. But what we know at this point is that he left the Iota County Correctional Facility for Elkhart, Indiana, and he did that by carjacked a vehicle with a woman inside. We understand that when he got to Elkhart, that is when they both went into a convenience store. She managed to get away. But at this point we understand that the inmate is still on the run, still at large. If you have any information or if you have seen that face, you are asked to call police.

BOLDUAN: Now, obviously, he went from Michigan to Indiana. Do police have any indication, are they narrowing their search in Indiana, any part of Indiana, or anywhere else?

HOWELL: Right.

BOLDUAN: Where's he going?

HOWELL: Well, you know, as far as Michael David Elliot's background, from what we understand, according to affiliate WOOD-TV, he may have family in the Grand Rapids area. So he could be heading in that direction. We're still trying to get more of an understanding of his background. But, again, you know, we've seen him flee from that correctional facility into Indiana.


Is he headed through the Chicago area? Is he headed south? It's still unclear at this point. But, again, we hope to learn more here within an hour with a news conference from officials there at the correctional facility.

BOLDUAN: Yes, unfortunately, everybody in that area needs to be on high alert this morning. George, thank you very much.

HOWELL: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Michaela.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: All right. It is time now for the five things you need to know for your new day.

At number one, you can guess it, the Hawks. The Seahawks are Super Bowl champions. Seattle's ferocious legion of boom defense smothering Peyton Manning's offense in a 43-8 (INAUDIBLE) the Broncos.

An autopsy is scheduled today in the death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman. The 46-year-old Oscar winner was found dead Sunday in New York. Police suspect a heroin overdose.

Four days to the start of the Sochi games. In addition to major security concerns, hotels still aren't completely ready and there are problems with processing tickets. The majority of the athletes arrive in Sochi in the next few days.

Investigators in New Jersey will get the first set of documents subpoenaed in the bridge-gate scandal. Governor Chris Christie has denied any involvement in those lane closures on the George Washington Bridge.

And at number five, President Obama has a White House sit down today with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. This comes after Reid publicly broke with the administration on trade deals involving Pacific rim nations and the European Union.

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


BOLDUAN: All right, coming up next on NEW DAY, school lunch uproar. Parents are outraged after their children have been denied lunch because they owed the school money. One school in Utah was under fire last week. Now, this morning, claims the same thing is happening in another state.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: And the Super Bowl may have lacked a little sizzle on the field, although I don't think so. I think it was a good game. But what about the ads? $4 million for 30 seconds. Who won? Who lost? Who got value? Who got nothing? When we come back.




CUOMO: Muppets and Terry Crews.

PEREIRA: Love it.

CUOMO: Can it get any better?


CUOMO: I bought nine Toyotas last night just because of that.

BOLDUAN: Right after they sprayed Old Spice everywhere.

CUOMO: Hilarious Super Bowl ad. That was great. A lot of people tune into the game to see what you're going to get offered. You know the stakes are high.


CUOMO: $4 million for 30 seconds. So let's discuss the hits and misses where -- we got great guests. We've got J.B. Smoove, with a "v," a comedian, host of "Four Courses with J.B. Smoove" and Brian Steinberg, we're calling him B-dog (ph), he needs a nickname too, senior TV editor at "Variety."

BOLDUAN: He's like, what did I get myself into.

CUOMO: It's great to have you both here.


CUOMO: Before we get to the commercial, arguably the biggest statement of the game -

BOLDUAN: Oh, yes, this.

CUOMO: Was not made not in a commercial -


CUOMO: But a personal statement by a man known as Broadway Joe. Show the picture. Here's the video. Joe Namath shows up in this coat, screws up the toss, doesn't matter that he was early on the toss because of the coat. Can I get any love for the coat or is it just (INAUDIBLE)?

BOLDUAN: Hit or miss?

CUOMO: It's got its own Twitter handle.

BOLDUAN: And it's been tweeting us all morning.

J.B. SMOOVE, HOST, "FOUR COURSES WITH J.B. SMOOVE": (INAUDIBLE). It's always a hit for a coat (ph). I'm sorry. I mean I don't mean anything - PETA, I'm sorry, but whether it's real or whether it's fake, the man came in there, he did it up. You know, and no one knows if it's real or fake until someone says it's real. You know what I'm saying. The man came in there with a bold statement and he came in there - you said he was Broadway Joe.

CUOMO: Broadway Joe.

SMOOVE: Broadway Joe. With a name like Broadway Joe, it doesn't matter what he - he could have came in there - it doesn't matter. He could have came in there - he could have came in there wearing the animal it came from. It don't matter. I'm Broadway Joe, baby. You know what I'm saying?

PEREIRA: Come on, Brian.

BOLDUAN: But is it a problem that this is one of the most memorable moments that had nothing to do with ads?

BRIAN STEINBERG, SENIOR TV EDITOR, "VARIETY": It's part - you know, it's part of the thing though (ph). (INAUDIBLE) and become the biggest talk of the whole day. It could be anything. (INAUDIBLE)

CUOMO: All right, bit hit ads.

BOLDUAN: You should have shown up with that coat on.

CUOMO: Let's start with that RadioShack ad.

PEREIRA: Loved it.

CUOMO: This was great. It was a retro feel. Let's play a little bit of it.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The '80s called. They want their store back.


PEREIRA: Self-deprecating.

BOLDUAN: I loved it.

CUOMO: How many different reference characters could you pick up in the ad?

PEREIRA: Oh, every time you look at it, right?

BOLDUAN: You actually need to see it a few - you need to see it a few times, right?

CUOMO: What's it take?

SMOOVE: I love this - I love this commercial. BOLDUAN: Where were you in this commercial?

CUOMO: Because?

SMOOVE: You know, I should have been in this one.

CUOMO: Too young.

SMOOVE: You know what, once I saw Kid 'n Play, that's when I was - I was - I was good. I was all good. Because I had the high top. You know, I had ever high top imaginable.


SMOOVE: I've had at least five different high-tops. Might be hard (ph) to believe -

PEREIRA: So has Brian. That's so wired.


SMOOVE: No, I had - I had the mail (ph), I had the Gumby (ph) -


SMOOVE: I had the stair case.


SMOOVE: I had the ramp.


SMOOVE: I've had everything. I've had every -- no, people don't believe me.

CUOMO: Do they?

SMOOVE: I should have said -

PEREIRA: You could understand why, though, right?


PEREIRA: You could understand why.

SMOOVE: I've had five different high-tops.

CUOMO: The staircase was not easy to maintain.


BOLDUAN: Is it like our staircase?

SMOOVE: Oh, that is like the worst one.

BOLDUAN: Did it look like our staircase?

SMOOVE: No. Mine had like - I mean mine was real and tall. I had the real staircase. I could twist my body and walk up my own staircase, that's how cool mine was.

CUOMO: My guess is you didn't have the same connection to Kid (ph), but what did you think of the ad?

STEINBERG: I thought it was a great ad. This is a smart thing. Non- nostalgia. You want - once again, this is the thing you want. I saw 10 different people from the '80s. Who were they? And it was an hour where I watched these ads on YouTube and Twitter and Bring (ph). I want to see it again. How (INAUDIBLE) is a magic ad (ph).

PEREIRA: And it spoke to the fact that these guys understand the times they are a changing and they had to get with it and not become a dinosaur, like Blockbuster. Like, you know?



BOLDUAN: (INAUDIBLE) we're going to shop around (ph).


SMOOVE: You know, (INAUDIBLE), I've been there twice (ph). It was so dim I couldn't see what the hell to buy.

BOLDUAN: What did you buy at RadioShack?

SMOOVE: I've been there -

STEINBERG: Batteries.

SMOOVE: Batteries.

PEREIRA: Chargers.

SMOOVE: Chargers.

BOLDUAN: Can we talk about my favorite ad of the night?

CUOMO: Please.

BOLDUAN: It's the Bud Light ad. The ordinary guy and he has the wildest night of his entire life. I love this ad. Do you want to watch it again?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three seconds ago we gave Ian Rappaport (ph) a But Light and a choice. Ian is not an actor. He has no idea what's going to happen next.




CUOMO: An alpaca.

BOLDUAN: No, it's a llama.

CUOMO: Is there a difference?

BOLDUAN: Don't know.

PEREIRA: Always.

SMOOVE: Good commercial.

BOLDUAN: I don't know.

PEREIRA: Big difference.

BOLDUAN: I mean, there, Arnold Schwarzenegger. You've got to see the Arnold Schwarzenegger part.

PEREIRA: Tiny tennis (ph).

BOLDUAN: Tiny tennis (ph).


BOLDUAN: And by the way, Ian Rappaport wins this tiny tennis match and then the wall falls down and One Republic plays. I think it's the best ad of the night.

SMOOVE: It's amazing. It takes you on a long, beautiful journey, you know? It's a long way to go, but it got there and it was effective and I loved it. It was a hit for me.


STEINBERG: It's a huge hit for Budweiser. This is a million (ph), girls in bikinis, guys getting bitten by dogs in the crotch. A big shift (ph) for Budweiser. You know, very kind of reality show type kind of a thing. Still the humor, still celebrity, but not your typical Budweiser (INAUDIBLE).

BOLDUAN: J.B. doesn't (INAUDIBLE) reacting (INAUDIBLE) because this is like an average Friday night for you.

CUOMO: And, by the way, he's saying (INAUDIBLE) for Budweiser.

All right, just wanted to make sure that (INAUDIBLE) saying - he was saying something else.

BOLDUAN: No, it's nothing like that (ph). STEINBERG: (INAUDIBLE) TV.

CUOMO: So the T-Mobile ad. Tim Tebow comes back. And it's self- deprecating which is always funny -- right? Take a look at this one.


TIM TEBOW, NFL PLAYER: Tim Tebow here. Everyone thinks I want a contract but without one I've done so much this year.

Without a contract I've tackled the unknown.

I know it was real.



SMOOVE: I love it. I love it.

CUOMO: How do we like him?

SMOOVE: I love it. I love it.

CUOMO: Because?

SMOOVE: This commercial is like the throwback to the Bonos commercials, you know what I mean, which is perfectly him. I feel bad they ran the guy out of the NFL. I'm going to feel bad about that. I believe the guy has talent and he's a motivator. I believe what he does on the field and what he's doing now, I mean it's sad they ran him out of the NFL.

BOLDUAN: He's doing ok.

SMOOVE: The timing is perfect. It's his old team. And one of his old team's playing football.

CUOMO: What does it do for the brand?

STEINBERG: Great question. Bring a celebrity in. You keep polarizing, diverting. You remember the celebrity and the product being sold. (inaudible) doing Chrysler ads. It's kind of shocking and polarizing one from last night.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN HOST: I just like that a lot of these ads reached out of the television and either touched me, engaged me, brought me into the conversation, made me feel like I could, you know, be that guy going to the Bud Light party. I like that.

CUOMO: Don't do that (inaudible)


SMOOVE: I can see you running out there. I can see you running out there and tackling Sasquatch. PEREIRA: You think? I could. Yes, take off my heels, pop it out.

BOLDUAN: Like a boomerang. That would be awesome.

Really? Would you chase Sasquatch?

SMOOVE: I would chase him, I would catch him, we would hang out, I'll turn him on to some new stuff. Life goes on.

CUOMO: Which stage would you go with if you had to be around a Yeti?

SMOOVE: If I can get my hands on Sasquatch I would hook him up with (inaudible). He has a lot of hair to work with.

CUOMO: He does.

SMOOVE: I would comb all the hair upward, first of all. Pull all the hair up. Pull it all up and shave it off, flat top out -- cut around the ears.

CUOMO: That's risky.

PEREIRA: Brian you're a brave man to sit on set with this man.

STEINBERG: We like hanging out.


CUOMO: We thank them both. Of course you can watch an all new episode of "Four Courses" with the man known as JB Smoove on MSG -- MSG -- I'm trying to do your plug -- MSG Network on Wednesdays, 11:30 p.m. And starring guess who JB Smoove.

SMOOVE: I'm going to have you on the show.

CUOMO: I'll come on the show.

SMOOVE: You've got to come over --

CUOMO: I'll be the fifth course.

PEREIRA: He won't leave.

SMOOVE: You've got to be the fifth course.

CUOMO: I'll be there.

PEREIRA: He won't leave.

CUOMO: I'll come on. I'll come on. I'll stay on all night and come back to you in the morning.

SMOOVE: I love you.

CUOMO: Time for a break. She's insulted. I know how this goes. Growing outrage over something else, school lunches. Can you believe another school accused of throwing away a kid's lunch right in front of the kid? Why? There was money owed on their account. Is that a lesson? Is that really the way we deal with our kids? It's happening more and more. We're going to take a look at it.



BOLDUAN: Welcome back.

This is a story that has a lot of people especially parents outraged. Last week we told you about a school in Utah tossing out lunches for dozens of elementary school children who owed money on their accounts. This morning a mother in New Jersey is coming forward with claims that the same thing happened her son. Her son is autistic.

CNN's Nick Valencia is joining us from the CNN center with much more on this story. So what more are we learning about this -- Nick?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning -- Kate. These strict school lunch policies are causing an uproar. First as you mentioned, dozens of students last week at a Utah elementary school having their lunches taken away and replaced with fruit and milk because of low account balances.

Now a New Jersey mother said her son has been subjected to this for years.


VALENCIA: Amy Ross tells WCAU-TV in Philadelphia that Smithville Elementary has been replacing her son's hot lunch with a cheese sandwich since he was in the third grade. She said this happens when his account gets low.

AMY ROSS, MOTHER: This to me is a form of bullying.

VALENCIA: Jake, now a fifth grader, also has a form of autism, called Asperger's Syndrome. His mother doesn't want him to suffer for something that is her reponsibility.

ROSS: It's between the parents and the cafeteria. It's not between the child and the lunch lady.

VALENCIA: The school says it's not doing anything wrong.

DR. ANNETTE GIAQUINTO, NEW JERSEY SCHOOL DISTRICT: Depending on the situation, the child is called to the side, spoken to very calmly, and everything is done to both follow the policy but also to respect the child.

VALENCIA: Ross came forward after a controversial lunch policy in Utah made national headlines. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She took the lunch in and she's like go get a milk. Ok. I'll come back up and what's going on? Here's an orange. And she says you don't have any money in your account.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There were lots of tears and it was pretty upsetting for them.

VALENCIA: Dozens of students at (inaudible) Elementary had their lunches taken back and thrown in the trash because their accounts were in the red. Instead, they were given milk and fruit. The school district has since publicly apologized on their Facebook page and put two school employees on paid leave while they investigate.

But that hasn't stopped the outrage from parents. One person writing "This is unacceptable. Kids cannot learn if they are hungry or shamed."

JEFF GARDERE, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: These kids, I believe, were traumatized because this was done in an angry fashion, I believe, by adults that they trusted.

VALENCIA: And earlier this month a principal in Colorado said she was fired from a charter school for speaking out against a lunch room policy which requires aides to stamp the hand of a child who doesn't have any lunch money.

NOELLE RONI, FORMER PRINCIPAL: Kids are humiliated. They are branded. It's disrespectful. Where is the human compassion?


VALENCIA: Now, the Utah elementary school did eventually come out and said that they could have handled the situation differently.

Most of the outrage stemming from the embarrassment that the children suffered after having their lunches thrown way but there are some people, Kate and Chris, that have come out and eventually are putting the blame on the parents saying that it's ultimately the responsibility of the parents to make sure that there's not a low account balance and that their children are fed -- Chris and Kate.

BOLDUAN: All right Nick, thank you very much for that.


CUOMO: I'm not buying it. The parents have their responsibility but the question is there are a lot of reasons that people can be low on their account. Doesn't have to do with responsibility, have a lot to do with economic hardship. This school has a lot of choices in terms of how they behave. We're going to follow up on this, I promise you that.

BOLDUAN: Yes, that's right.

CUOMO: Coming up here on NEW DAY he's called the prince of potholes for fixing the road. He's the good stuff. So why are some trying to say he should be in trouble?


CUOMO: All right. Here's the good stuff. It also shows what can sometimes be the municipality's bad stuff -- right. This is the prince of potholes. You see it every winter, you know what I mean, if you live anywhere where there's a lot traffic, there's potholes everywhere. And you know, a lot of times the people who are supposed to fix them take too long to do it or they don't do it at all.

Enter Bobby Fitzgerald from Strong Island. He's vowing to fix every pothole he comes across -- on his own.


BOBBY FITZGERALD, FIXES POTHOLES: If I see them I'll pull over and I'll try to patch up the best way that I possibly can.

I filled in this pothole. And I filled in this pothole.


CUOMO: Bobby has other things to do but he started his pavement crusade after his own car was damaged by a pothole and he didn't want to see it happen to anybody else. His neighbors say they are all for it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I love what he's doing. I love it. Somebody has to step up.


CUOMO: Now here's the municipality part that comes into it. This is their job. They are supposed to be doing it, they're not doing it. So what do they say? They say technically what he's doing is illegal and we don't need his help to do it but we're not going to give him a summons. Don't worry about that. That's so nice of you.

How about you get out and fill the potholes so Bobby doesn't have to and if you're not going to do that why don't you reward him for taking it into his own hands. He's the good stuff.


PEREIRA: He can come in to the city.

CUOMO: Right. He would be very busy. Bobby thank you for showing what a citizen can do on their own time. Appreciate it.

A lot of news this morning. Let's get you to the "NEWSROOM" and Miss Carol Costello.