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Teen Writes to Fight Disease; Mayor: Bullying Victims should "Grow a Pair"; Recalled Meat Sent Nationwide; Man Avoids Hard Time by Being Rich

Aired May 21, 2014 - 08:30   ET


DR. ARMAND DORIAN, CHIEF OF DEVELOPMENT, USC VERDUGO HILLS HOSPITAL: Poisoning in the fact that the treatment is always hydration, hydration, hydration. It's about either oral hydration you can do at home. And if you're vomiting and can't tolerate that, then you come to the emergency department and we hydrate you with IV fluids. Antibiotics should only be reserved for somebody who is in severe septic shock because you can run into more problems with IV antibiotics.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: But this can be a deadly bacteria, this can cause death, can it not?

DORIAN: There's no question. Actually, this particular strain of E. Coli has what's called Shiga toxin. It's a particular toxin that causes your little blood vessels in your colon to start bursting and bleeding. Subsequent to that, you can become severely dehydrated and you can also run into kidney failure problems.

PEREIRA: OK. So who is most at risk, because some people will get sick and feel terrible, but other people will be more acutely at risk. Who are the people that we should be most concerned about?

DORIAN: We always say the two most common people that we need to be worried about are the little kids as well as the elderly, people whose immune systems are weak and cannot tolerate severe changes in volume. So somebody who already has a significant illness and then has to have multiple episodes of diarrhea and volume loss, becomes severely dehydrated, it puts too much strain of the rest of his organs.

PEREIRA: OK. So let's talk about this. We're going into Memorial Day weekend. A lot of people will be making burgers, et cetera, on the grill. Talk to us about how the contamination even starts.

DORIAN: Well, you know, E. Coli contamination, unfortunately, it's not something you really want to hear, but it comes from poop. It comes from stool. Whether it's bovine or cow stool or human stool. It lies inside the intestines. So ground beef grinds up all of these things. And so when you cook a burger, you need to cook all the way through because the E. Coli doesn't have to sit on top of the burger, it can be actually inside the burger. So pink, no good, especially now when we have this recall going. PEREIRA: And that's one of the things we can control at our home. And we know that that's one of the things that they're we're worried is that this -- this beef has been distributed to grocery stores as well. We can use a food thermometer. But at restaurants, how are we to know that our burgers are going to be cooked as well as we want them to be?

DORIAN: Yes, it's a little frustrating because, you know, no one's carrying a thermometer in their pocket. Even people who are grilling at home don't really use a thermometer. The key is, look at what you're biting into. Make sure it's cooked all the way through. There should be no pink. It should be brown all the way through, especially now. It is not worth getting something like this just for taste. This is not the time to kind of be really particular about the taste of the food. Make sure you're doing something that's healthy. Also, if you're preparing the food, do everybody the favor of making sure you wash your hands thoroughly and make sure you wash all the utensils thoroughly prior to and post using.

PEREIRA: That's real talk from Dr. Dorian. We appreciate you waking up nice and early for us. Although, as a doc, I know you're probably up already. Armand Dorian talking to us from California. We really appreciate the guidance, especially, Kate and Chris, going into Memorial Day weekend when we're all going to be grilling.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: And that's exactly right, Michaela. Thanks so much.

Coming up next on NEW DAY, growing outrage after a wealthy businessman arrested for his seventh DUI, not only gets to leave his cell every day to go to work, but he also was able to get permission to go to the Super Bowl. How? Why? We'll hear from his lawyer coming up.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Are you ready for this one? Shaun Goodman of Washington state is basically a free man. Now, his attorney is going to be on in a second, he'll disagree with that, but that's his right. He's why I say it. He's been arrested seven times for driving under the influence. And this last time was no ordinary DUI. His passenger had to throw himself from Goodman's moving car to escape. Goodman also crashed his Ferrari into two cars and a house and only ended a high- speed chase after police drew their guns on him.

So, what was the sentence? One year of work release. The justification? Well, as a wealthy employer, jailing him would harm his employees and the community. That's what the court decided. Joining us now is Paul Strophy, Goodman's attorney.

Counselor, do I have that right, first of all, Paul Strophy?

PAUL STROPHY, ATTORNEY FOR SHAUN GOODMAN: Yes, my name is Paul Strophy. Thank you.

CUOMO: Do I have the assertion correct?

STROPHY: But - I apologize. Yes. Yes, the judge did sentence him to 364 days, so technically one day shy of a year, to work release.

CUOMO: Perverse interest aside, as an attorney that is impressed with your ability to get this guy this sentence, how do you justify it when DUI is a high-value crime where people usually have to serve the time the real way, not like this guy?

STROPHY: Well, first of all, I think it's important to note that I don't condone the conduct and, of course, I'm not here to defend his actions. But I do defend the result of the case because I do believe it was fair and in line with what frequently happens in other cases. And Mr. Goodman did not receive special treatment based on my experience in dealing with the legal justice system in southwest Washington in that he got the maximum allowed by law. Now, I know a lot of people believe it should have been at felony level.

CUOMO: How is it the max allowed by law?

STROPHY: Well, under Washington law, if you have less than four priors within a seven-year period and get a DUI, the maximum penalty is 364 days in jail. Under Washington law, the work release program is still considered a jail program because you do spend your evenings and weekends in the jail and so you only get out to work. And so based on that, he did - he did, in fact, get the maximum sentence allowed by law.

Now, if he had - if they had changed the law or if he had had -- if his prior DUIs had been closer in time, some of the earlier DUIs had been closer in time, he would have been charged with a felony level DUI and the sentence would have been much different for sure.

CUOMO: But why did he avoid the felony charge on this one given the circumstances? And, counselor, can you give me the name of another client you have who's been arrested seven times for this crime and not gone to jail?

STROPHY: I can't give you the name. Even if I had a client in that position, I couldn't give you their name, of course, but I've had other clients that -

CUOMO: Have you ever heard of one? Have you ever even heard of one getting seven arrests for DUIs and getting this gentle treatment? Come on, Paul.

STROPHY: I have heard of people getting - well, no, I mean, honestly -


STROPHY: To be honest with you, I mean, you have to look at it on a case-by-case basis. If he had - if there had been another person in his same shoes in terms of how the DUIs were spread out, under Washington law, they could not have charged him with a felony. So he would have -- anybody in my client's shoes would have gotten 364 days in jail. Now, whether or not that's a just sentence really isn't for me to say. It's maybe for the legislature in Washington state to take up. But - so the only question -

CUOMO: But how does -

STROPHY: The only concession Mr. Goodman got was the 300 - was the work release versus straight time in jail.

CUOMO: Well, what about going to the Super Bowl? How about that? You don't - you don't consider that a little bit of leniency by this court?


CUOMO: The judge allowed him to go to the Super Bowl.

STROPHY: Right. I don't. I mean that's a different issue here because predisposition of the case, he's on conditions of release. The rules for allowing somebody to travel for conditions of release I think are different than what you're dealing with post sentencing, post- conviction.

And so I've had other clients charged with felony crimes, serious crimes, who have been, when if the court finds that they are a low risk to society while in -- on conditions of release, of low risk to reoffend or threaten society, they do allow travel. I've had clients travel for prepaid vacation plans, family reunions, funerals, weddings and work - business trips.

CUOMO: Right. No, I got you, but that's not what this was. This was the Super Bowl. And you talk about risk of reoffending. He's been arrested seven times for DUI and they only got him this time when the police drew their guns after someone had to jump out of his car because he was so drunk.

STROPHY: In this -

CUOMO: Come on.

STROPHY: Right. So - well, I mean, again, having -- it's a situation where the court has to look at the factors that were in place on a pretrial issue as to whether or not he's a risk and he had alcohol monitoring device, a biological alcohol monitoring device that can determine if he's consumed any alcohol -

CUOMO: Does the case -

STROPHY: (INAUDIBLE) prohibition.

CUOMO: Let me ask - I got that he had -


CUOMO: He had those devices and steps they can do, but the guy obviously has the history that shows he has the problem.

STROPHY: Absolutely.

CUOMO: Let me ask you this. The case seems to speak to a two-tiered justice system. This is a rich guy who got a very skilled attorney to work the system for him in a way that most wouldn't get that type of justice. Fair complaint?

STROPHY: To an extent, yes, but not entirely, I don't think, and I appreciate the compliment. But ultimately I think what happened here is, like I've said, I've had other clients, maybe not with six priors and on their seventh DUI, but on their third for fourth or maybe even fifth DUI stretched out over a period of time and they're white collar, blue collar, middle class type people who have been able to get work release in these types of situations. So I don't think he's getting special treatment versus other people. But, of course, in order to qualify for work release, you have to be employed.

Now, I've had people, maybe not with these specific circumstances, but people that are minimum wage earners who have gone and done work release for their jail sentence. And so I think that if somebody had been in his shoes and been a lower income earner, I think I still could have convinced the prosecutor and the judge to agree that work release was appropriate. So I -- in that regard, I don't think that he is getting special treatment.

But clearly there are people out there who are indigent or have low- income jobs where they can't maintain those when they go through the circumstances and so they're at a disadvantage. But I don't believe it's accurate to say that just because he's a successful businessman who employs people, that's the only reason why he got work release, and somebody that had been a state worker, for example, or something like that, you know, making $50,000 a year wouldn't have qualified as well.


STROPHY: I think that he would have.

CUOMO: Right. But you are skillfully ignoring the conditions of his last arrest, the priors that he has had and the relatively lenient result of work release for a guy who doesn't need to be out of a jail to make his money. And I'll tell you what, we'll end this conversation with this, Mr. Strophy.


CUOMO: You find me another case that lines up circumstantially with this one in any way where the guy wound up getting treated this way. At gunpoint they wound up stopping this altercation in the car the last time. You find one like that for me, I fly out there and I'll buy you dinner, all right?

STROPHY: All right -

CUOMO: If not, you fly this way and you buy me dinner. I'll tell you - you let me know when you book your ticket.

Thank you for joining us on NEW DAY, Mr. Strophy.

STROPHY: OK. The next time I'm in New York I'll - thank you very much.

CUOMO: All right. Take care. Kate.

BOLDUAN: Let's turn now to this week's "Human Factor." It's hard enough for adults to manage the stress that comes along with being very sick. But for a teenager, you can understand, it is much, much harder. Chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta introduces you to one teen who's learned to cope with his illness and stress of it through writing.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For Schuyler Ebersol, high school started pretty normally. But his luck quickly took a turn for the worse.

SCHUYLER EBERSOL, AUTHOR, "THE HIDDEN WORLD": I'd have severe dizziness so that I couldn't really walk or see straight for days at a time.

GUPTA: At first he just chalked it up to stress, but Ebersol quickly realized something was really wrong.

EBERSOL: No one knew what was wrong with me and there were all sorts of hypotheses.

GUPTA: Home from school for months at a time, Ebersol desperately needed an escape, and he found it in writing.

EBERSOL: I just started writing. And I would get lost in this world and I identified with this character. And it was just a way to keep me going while everything else in my life wasn't so great.

GUPTA: And then, after several months, doctors finally discovered the cause of his symptoms, a rare form of Lyme disease. And at the same time, his scattered pages started to gel into a book.

EBERSOL: The book is called "The Hidden World." It's about a main character who has a heart attack, he slips into a coma and when he wakes up he turns into a wolf in the hospital room.

GUPTA: "The Hidden World" was published last December, with more in the works, and Ebersol says, through it all, writing saved his life.

EBERSOL: You really just have to find something that can sustain you and keep you mentally strong.

GUPTA: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN reporting.


CUOMO: Right. Love to see a story where somebody finds a way to fight the challenge in their life. Thank you for Dr. Sanjay Gupta bringing us that story as well.

Let's take a break here on NEW DAY. When we come back, a California mayor has some words of advice for high-schoolers facing bullying. Grow a pair is what he said on the record. His comments have many outraged understandably. Does he stand behind them? Can he explain them? Might you agree? He joins us live to make the case.


CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY, a California mayor had some choice words for a proposal to create safe zones against bullying in his city. We want you to listen for yourself and then we'll discuss it with the mayor itself. Take a listen.


CAMERON HAMILTON, MAYOR OF PORTERVILLE, CALIFORNIA: I'm against bullying, but I'm getting damned tired of it being used as a mantra for everything and the ills of the world when all most people have to do is grow a pair and stick up for them damn selves.


CUOMO: Cameron Hamilton is the mayor of Porterville, California. He joins us now. When you hear the sound bite, Mr. Mayor, do you wish you had put it differently?

HAMILTON: Of course I wish I had put it a little differently, a little less colorful. Let's not lose track of what the message is.

CUOMO: Tell me what the message is.

HAMILTON: The message is that -- kind of two-fold, Chris. We are starting to define any action that is a little bit controversial as bullying, and then we are lumping that together with the entire situation of what really bullying is and we're not addressing the fact that the students are running to or running from or never allowed through zero tolerance policies of the schools to actually stand up for themselves.

CUOMO: How do you see that taking shape exactly? I think we both know the problem is real, worse today because of the Internet, and the kids need to be protected. So what are you worried about that goes too far?

HAMILTON: I think the one that I worry about the most is physical intimidation. That's certainly not advocating that we meet violence with violence. But if somebody puts their hands on you, then it's up to you and your friends to put a stop to this. What I meant, also, further on in that segment was, if, in fact, we see somebody that is being harassed or being bullied, we as a society, be it out in the cities or in the school itself have the ability to stand up for the person that's being bullied and just tell the bully, we're not going to put up with this.

We can make most of the situation die down just by standing up and saying no, no, this is unacceptable behavior.

CUOMO: That's true. The problem is --

HAMILTON: When you talk about cyber bullying --

CUOMO: -- Mr. Mayor, it doesn't happen. It doesn't happen. That's the problem is that --

HAMILTON: I agree.

CUOMO: -- one of the big dynamics of bullying is the other kids are too afraid to step up because they don't want to be victims. That's what makes the bully successful. We need to do is make it as difficult as possible for the bully to bully. One of the ways to do that is to have a bully-free zone so the kid knows if you get loud here, if you intimidate here, there's going to be a consequence. Isn't that a good thing?

HAMILTON: That would be a good thing except it's a grand illusion. There's no such thing as a safe zone. If the person that is doing the bullying wants you -- how do we have a safe zone in cyberspace. Because as you pointed out, that is a huge area of bullying, and the physical side of it, how do we have a safe zone when the schools are telling our kids to stand down and not really holding the bully themselves accountable.

CUOMO: What do you mean by accountable? You come up to me and you say you don't have a nice big mustache like I do, Cuomo, so that means you're less of a man. What am I supposed to do now? Punch you in the nose?

HAMILTON: Absolutely not. The problem is the parents are going to the schools and telling them of the situations and they don't address it to the bullies themselves, they don't expel them, they don't suspend them. They have them come back to class and you're right back in the same environment.

CUOMO: So then why don't you tell your teachers, your school officials under your control that they should grow a pair, that they should teach their teachers to get involved, that they should take bullying as important as cheating, as important as math? Why don't you tell them to kick it up a notch instead of telling the kids who are going to be victimized to stand up for themselves which you know is not a real result? But you could make the schools to take it more seriously. Why don't you tell them to grow a pair?

HAMILTON: That is a great analogy, also, for a counter side of what we need to do. The point that was being made at the council meeting was safe zone for the children, and it had nothing to do with the teachers. But I guarantee you I've been carrying that message, also, to the administrators as well as the teachers that I know.

I had a young lady send me a video of her kid that she interviewed. One of the telling things that he said was she asked if he went to the teachers and he said "no more". She said, "Well, why don't you go anymore?" He says "Because they call me a tattletale."

CUOMO: Let's agree on this. The kids aren't the one -- the victims aren't the one who need to step up because if they could, they wouldn't be victims in the first place. Nobody wants to be bullied. Why don't we take the step that we're discussing right now? Why don't you put out a public statement that I want my teachers and school administrators to train their teachers and to take bullying as seriously as cheating in their schools and do as much on that front as they do on cheating and I'm going to come after the ones who don't? I'd love to have you back on the show when you do that.

HAMILTON: Chris, we stand together on exactly what you just said. And I will take the message as strongly as I possibly can to the schools and to the districts and to the boards.

CUOMO: I would love that, Mr. Mayor. Appreciate you being on. No hard feelings about the mustache. I'm jealous of it.

HAMILTON: Not at all. I hear it all the time.

CUOMO: All right. Kate -- over to you.

BOLDUAN: Is it odd if I say I'm jealous as well. I'd like for my coming baby.

Coming up on NEW DAY: rising out of unimaginable destruction from the San Diego wild fires, a bit of "The Good Stuff" coming up next.


CUOMO: It's perfect for this. Time for "The Good Stuff". Today's edition, a simple gift that needs (inaudible) to those affected by the San Diego wildfires. People are returning to area and they're finding unimaginable devastation. They're also finding a 189-word letter in one community that was taped to a shovel. Some of them stopped to read it. Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Faith will overcome fears, doubts and insecurities.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sometimes in life we don't recognize how strong we actually are until we are faced --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- with a great tragedy in our life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Losing everything we own is sad.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But the things we own do not diminish who we are inside.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's the part that gets us all stuck -- even though it was -- it's a lot of stuff but it's just stuff.


CUOMO: Nobody knows who put the letter there, but it meant so much to the people in the community as a reminder, signed G.B., which could be initials or probably more likely stands for "God bless." And it really meant a lot. People broke down when they read it. And you need a source of strength then. And whoever wrote that letter, you gave them one.

So thanks to you for being "The Good Stuff" in a community that needs it oh so much.

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