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Fiscal Cliff Negotiations Continue; NRA Call for Armed Guards at Schools; Virginia House Delegate Calls for Arming Teachers; Political Pundits Discuss Fiscal Cliff; Boy Writes Book About his Dog; Man with Down Syndrome Beaten by Police

Aired December 22, 2012 - 10:00   ET


RANDI KAYE, CNN ANCHOR: From CNN world headquarters in Atlanta, this is CNN Saturday morning.

Here we go, it was ten days till New Year's and all through D.C., not a deal was stirring despite every plea.

More guns, that's the NRA's solution for preventing another school massacre. All morning long we put gun control in focus.

A man with Down syndrome beaten and pepper sprayed by police. The crime -- not turning around. The family joins us live.

Good morning, everyone, I'm Randi Kaye. It is 10:00 on the east coast, 7:00 a.m. on the west. Thanks so much for joining us this morning. We start with the National Rifle Association's plan to make school safer -- armed guards.


WAYNE LAPIERRE, CEO AND EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, NRA: The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.


KAYE: So while many in Washington are calling for more gun controls, the NRA wants to fight fire with fire in schools or maybe it's just the deterrent factor that they're hoping for. CNN national correspondent Susan Candiotti joining me from New York. Is that the message that most people expected or wanted to hear from the NRA?

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, everyone agrees that something needs to change, the question is, of course, is this the moment. Armed guards in every school? We're getting different reactions to that.

For example, in Newtown, Connecticut, where the community is still reeling after a shooter blasted his way into sandy hook elementary school and systematically gunned down 20 children and six adults, people are asking is this what we want to do now, put armed guards in every school? Here's a sample of opinion in Newtown.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GERI TRAVIS, CONNECTICUT RESIDENT: I'm very torn at this point. I'm not happy with the NRA. I am not happy with the NRA, and I am a gun owner myself. There's just no reason for automatic weapons out there in the public and clips that discharge so many rounds of ammunition.

ROWLAND TRAVIS, CONNECTICUT RESIDENT: I have many guns. But I don't have a third round clip in a semiautomatic weapon. We have a tragedy here, and we have to address it. They're not addressing it. That's what I tell them. You're not addressing the situation here.


CANDIOTTI: But in Los Angeles at a gun range, we got a different take.


ED KNUTSON, RETIRED L.A. COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPUTY: The only way to fight fire is with fire. So if you've got somebody that's armed and you're not, you're part of the problem. You're not part of the solution.


CANDIOTTI: And so, a range of opinions, everyone has a different view on this. And the debate is on.

KAYE: And a lot of people have a different view about whether or not it would work, arming these guards. I mean, is there any proof that arming guards and putting them in schools would actually work?

CANDIOTTI: You know, it depends on who you talk with, of course. One thing we can do is look at history. For example, at the Columbine shooting in 1999, there was an armed guard at the school there. And yet, the two shooters were able to get those guns into the building and 13 people were killed.

So is that the answer? I don't know. How much would it cost? There would be training, of course, that would be involved. You know, there's so many more questions right now that a lot of people are saying they're just not convinced that this is the route to take.

KAYE: Susan Candiotti for us. Susan, thank you.

The January 1 deadline to reach a deal on the fiscal cliff is closing in. The president and Congress remain just as divided. Here I am. And now they're geographically divided, too. CNN's Emily Schmidt is in the nation's capital this morning. So president Obama's in Hawaii. House speaker John Boehner and other lawmakers have gone home for the holidays. What does all this mean for the chance of getting a deal done before the deadline?

EMILY SCHMIDT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Randi, no doubt that president Obama went to a warmer climate with the weather and probably a warmer climate politically than what he left in Washington. If there's any negotiating that will be done now, it will have to be done long distance for the next few days. We know that Speaker Boehner and president Obama spoke in Washington yesterday before they left. But when you hear their final words to reporters, it shows there is a continued public divide.


REP. JOHN BOEHNER, (R) HOUSE SPEAKER: The president and Senate Democrats have vowed to reject and veto all of our proposals while failing to offer responsible solutions of their own. What the president has offered so far simply won't do anything to solve our spending problem and begin to address our nation's crippling debt.

BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In the next few days, I've asked leaders of Congress to work toward a package that prevents a tax hike on middle-class Americans, protects unemployment insurance for two million Americans, and lays the groundwork for further work on both growth and deficit reduction. That's an achievable goal that can get done in 10 days.


SCHMIDT: You hear we are talking about the words "achievable goals." The reality here is we have fewer days to work with, less talk about some sort of a grand compromise, and more talk about trying to do something to get things done for Americans. Randi?

KAYE: And what do you make of the language and tone? I mean, is any sense of a deal sort of evaporating judging from what we're hearing from both sides, tough talk?

At the very least, we aren't hearing a lot of warm words between the two toward each other. We know they've been working on this for weeks. And you just don't hear that thawing when you hear them talking as they did just within the past 24 hours. So it shows a lot of work to be done in the next few days. How much is behind the scenes when they're divided geographically is the part we don't know.

KAYE: Yes. And the president certainly also asking -- suggesting that everyone needs time to cool down. Will this new proposal pass with Republicans, do you think?

SCHMIDT: It's hard to know. We saw how John Boehner put up his plan b earlier this week. He talked about how he thought it would work, and Republicans balked at it. They did not want to go on the record to talk about the concept, any public perception that they could be backing the idea of increasing tax rates for any Americans even if they were Americans making at least $1 million a year. That was one fight in this, but will it be what they do when it comes down to a final vote? That's a part we still have to wait and see. We've only got a few days left in which we need to wait.

KAYE: Yes. And you can bet that everyone is watching their paychecks closely, wondering when that bite is going to come out if we go off the cliff. Thank you very much, Emily Schmidt, appreciate it.

SCHMIDT: Thanks. KAYE: A white Christmas is in the forecast for some of us. With it may come some pretty vicious weather. The Midwest got its share this week with a blizzard in Iowa, more than a foot of snow in Wisconsin. The system that caused this is expected to dump inches in western Pennsylvania and upstate New York today.


KAYE: Armed police in our schools, that is the NRA's plan to combat gun violence. But one lawmaker has another idea -- arm the teachers. But not just with guns. We'll explain.

First, good morning, Washington! Look at that lovely shot of the Washington Monument there. Glad you're with us here on CNN Saturday morning.


KAYE: We have been focusing on gun control in the wake of the Sandy Hook school shooting. Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein is proposing a new assault weapons ban, while President Obama is putting Vice President Biden in charge of the administration's efforts.

But a lot of these changes start on a state level. Bob Marshall is a delegate in the Virginia state house. He's proposed a new law for schools in his state, which would mean arming teachers. Now, I want to ask you this. Good morning to you, sir. Are you saying that teachers should be able to carry guns in school or be required to carry guns in school?

BOB MARSHALL, (R) VIRGINIA STATE HOUSE DELEGATE: No. You're overstating it. Look at the situation. Arm some teachers, arm some school personnel who voluntarily participate in this. One of the problems that you have is that when you have an area that's a gun-free zone, criminals don't pay attention to this. Shootings which have occurred to 1950 to the present with one exception where there's three or more people killed have occurred in areas that are gun-free zones. That's the problem.

I want people to be able to have after they receive equivalent law enforcement training, which would take about four to eight weeks, the same training that a policeman would have. So if a policeman comes on to campus later, he knows somebody there who knows the building, who knows how to respond, and first thing, who knows when not to brandish a gun.

No, I'm not arming everybody. This is not cowboy practice time. This is a reasoned response to increase the security on school grounds. That's all.

KAYE: And do you think that this -- obviously hindsight really is always 20/20. But do you believe that something like that -- that somebody, an aggressive person coming in with a gun might not go into a school if they believe that there are armed personnel or armed teachers inside, that it would be a deterrent? MARSHALL: Well, there are no reports of police stations and gun stores being attacked. So these criminals are not completely stupid. That killer in -- in Colorado, there were seven movie theaters that were playing the "Batman" movie. He did not go to the theater closest to him. He didn't go to the biggest theater. He went to the only movie theater in Aurora which had signs conspicuously posted "No Concealed Carry." he basically went where the law-abiding people said, OK, I'm not going to carry a gun. That is what the problem is. It's a magnet for that.

In Virginia, from 2006 to 2011, gun purchases increased 73 percent. In 2006, gun offenses were 79 per 100,000. In 2011, it had dropped to 57. In Virginia at least, more guns did result in less crime.

KAYE: Are you confident, though? Can we really expect a teacher with however many weeks of training with a pistol to be able to take down a crazed gunman, a crazed killer who's got body armor on and maybe carrying an assault rifle?

MARSHALL: Right now you only have kindergarten students facing these people unarmed. Again, this is voluntary. If you have a difficulty handling a gun, I don't want you near a gun. You need to go through the training to know how to respond and to know when not to respond, how to safely use your gun, how to safely put it away, and how to defuse a situation before it comes to that. So I think this is a reasonable response. If you have people who have been in the school three or more years, you'll have confidence of the community in this fact.

Look, we've got 310:30 people in Virginia who have conceal carry permits. Only about 900 are rescinded every year. As a matter of fact, in 2005, Governor Mark Warner, who is now a Democrat, who's one of our senators, signed a Bill which allows any person who has a conceal carry permit in Virginia to drop their child off, go through the traffic circle, park the car, keep the gun armed and loaded. There have been no incidents. We armed pilots after 2002. It's very inexpensive way to protect an airplane. There's been only one incident of a gun discharge in 2008.

KAYE: What about the NRA? I mean, they're taking it a step further. They're talking about proposing putting armed guards in every school. Do you support that?

MARSHALL: The NRA doesn't have to fight with the budget that I do.

KAYE: I'm asking if you support it, regardless of the budget.

MARSHALL: I would vote for it, but there are much less expensive ways to secure more safety for more children and more parents. Look, I have grandkids in Virginia's public schools. I want them protected just like every parent or grandparent in Virginia. We -- you are correct, we cannot continue what we've been doing in the past.

KAYE: So you do support the armed guards if you could afford it there?

MARSHALL: If we could afford it, yes. But I'm not sure that they should be visually identified as police because the bad guys are going to go after them first. In Israel when they had problems with terrorists on buses, they put uniformed military personnel. They became the first target.

KAYE: Right.

MARSHALL: So you have to watch how you carry this out.

KAYE: All right, Delegate Bob Marshall. Thank you for your time this morning. Appreciate it.

MARSHALL: Thank you, Randi. Thank you.

KAYE: And we want to remind our viewers that we did reach out to 43 senators of the incoming 113th Congress who have an "A" or "A-plus" rating. Not one agreed to join us to talk about the issue.

Here's what you're saying about the NRA's idea to place armed guards in schools. Ricky Lee tweets "Insane idea. Wait until a deranged child gets hold of one of the guns." Then there is this counter-tweet, "Armed guard for children safety costs less than mother's tears -- accept proposal today for kid's future." And another, "Let's pay for the armed guards with taxes on al bullets sold."

Well, a few more days left in 2012, so if you missed any of the big stories this year, we'll catch you up on 12 months of controversy, tragedy, and history.


KAYE: Good morning, everyone on Catalina Island. Look at that lovely shot there, southern California. Glad you're waking up with us this morning here on CNN Saturday Morning. It's not even 7:30 a.m. out west. It's pretty quiet there. It looks like we have a nice day on tap.

The past 12 months were full of big moments, historic moments, emotional moments, of course, funny ones, too. Here's a look back at the biggest stories of 2012.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you very much.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A massive crowd has gathered here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We want our freedom. We want to be free people.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Italian cruise ship capsized.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nearly 23 percent unemployment.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Viral on social media sites.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Outrage stirred social media.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My name is Sandra Fluke.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Legitimate rate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a massive play by Facebook.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The largest IPO in tech history.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is breast-feeding in the picture.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One article has the entire country talking.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The president says he now believes that same-sex marriage should be legal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We now know the name of the suspect blamed for the movie theater shooting spree.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Shooting at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Police now tell CNN people have been shot in front of the empire state building.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jerry Sandusky sentenced to a minimum of 30 years in prison.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: An iconic statue honoring the late football coach Joe Paterno is gone.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The British people are going gaga for the diamond jubilee.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Flying squirrel.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Someone sold photographs of prince Harry naked --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of the hottest novels around.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What went wrong, why now?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Isaac is forcing some changes at the Republican convention.

CROWD: Four more years!

OBAMA: Thank you!

HILLARY CLINTON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Christopher Stevens and three other embassy staff, they are dead. We will bring those to justice who committed these murders.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All the effects of hurricane Sandy already.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sandy's carved a path of destruction across the eastern seaboard.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We can't fully secure the crane until the wind dies down.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're doing another story on this?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "Call me maybe."


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Live picture from Endeavour, the shuttle roping down the streets of L.A.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let's look at the man of the center of the scandal, General David Petraeus.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Responded to fresh rocket attacks --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Syria has gone on for 20 hours --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are these red line warnings talk?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: CNN projects that Barack Obama will be re-elected president of the United States.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Terror at an elementary school in Connecticut.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And 20 children dead. Six adults are also dead.

OBAMA: So our hearts are broken today for the parents and grandparents, sisters and brothers of these little children. May god bless the memory of the victims, and in the words of scripture, heal the brokenhearted and bind up their wounds.


KAYE: What a year it's been.

Another big story, of course, this year is the fiscal cliff battle. But we're not done with that yet. Will we get a deal ever?

And will the process lead to the end of John Boehner's leadership in the House? We'll take a look.


KAYE: Welcome back, everybody. I'm Randi Kaye. Nick Valencia is here in studio. He is taking a look at five stories that we're watching this morning. Hi, Nick.

NICK VALENCIA: Randi, good morning.

There are just 10 days left now for Congress and the White House to make a deal and avoid the so-called fiscal cliff. But neither the president nor lawmakers are in Washington. The first family is in Hawaii, and Congress members have gone home for the Christmas holiday. Before he left, president Obama urged Congress to approve a scaled down proposal he says would prevent middle-class tax hikes and extend unemployment benefits. We may not see any movement until Thursday when both sides may be back in Washington.

A former U.S. marine who was imprisoned in Mexico for four months has been reunited with his family. John Hammer was released yesterday partly thanks to work from U.S. Senator Bill Nelson. Hammer was imprisoned on a questionable charge after police found him with an antique shotgun. His parents say U.S. officials is told him it was OK to cross the border with the gun seen here. Mexican officials accused him of violating their law.

California's ban on a controversial conversion therapy for gay minors has been halted. There's an injunction blocking the ban. Some say conversion or so-called reparative therapy can turn a gay person straight. The therapy techniques include cuddling. The ban would have gone into effect on January 1 and prevented people under the age of 18 from undergoing the treatment. Some say the treatment benefited them, others say it ruined their lives. The court has put the ban on hold pending full hearings on the issue.

And the Massachusetts company linked to a deadly nationwide outbreak of fungal meningitis has filed for bankruptcy protection. Health agencies say the New England Compounding Center did not follow sterilization procedures for a steroid it distributed. And 620 meningitis cases were reported, and 39 people died after they were injected with that steroid. The company says it will establish a fund to help compensate individuals and families affected.

Blistering weather conditions that brought this blizzard to Iowa have moved through Ohio and are now hitting western Pennsylvania and upstate New York. Inches of snow are expected in those areas today. It looks like a white Christmas may happen for a good portion of the country. Forecasts say harsh weather is coming next week. A system likely to drop more snow will start in Arkansas and head to New England.

Those are the headlines this morning, Randi. Back to you.

KAYE: So are you going to have a white Christmas, nick, where you're going to be?

VALENCIA: I don't think so. Los Angeles doesn't get much snow. And if it snowed there, I haven't seen it.


KAYE: All right. VALENCIA: Thanks.

KAYE: Oh, well. You might see some passing on your way.

VALENCIA: Maybe palm trees, something like that. Yes.

KAYE: All right, thank you very much.


KAYE: To politics now and the coming fiscal cliff. There was a flurry of action this week. In the end, still no deal. The Senate is on vacation until Thursday. And Republican house leaders have just said that they'll be back if needed. Joining me now as they do every week, CNN contributor Maria Cardona and Amy Holmes, anchor of "Real News" on "The Blaze." Good morning to you.


KAYE: Maria, there are still a few days left, Maria. Can anything get done, what do you think?

CARDONA: Given that it's the holiday season and I think hope should spring eternal, especially this time of year --

KAYE: Oh, my.

CARDONA: And I am an optimist. I hope that a deal can get done, Randi. The other thing that I think should go into the equation as to whether a deal can get done even though it hasn't up to now is Republicans need to remember who won this election. And Republicans need to remember what the American people wanted and whose plan they supported, and that was president Obama's plan to make sure to do this, deal with the fiscal cliff in a balanced way, which included raising the top tax rates for those making more than $250,000 a year.

And so I hope that the Republicans remember what the American people have said or else they're not going to be in a good political position for a very long time.

KAYE: Speaking of the Republicans, Amy, House Speaker John Boehner, he had his plan b which was going to allow for 1990 tax levels for millionaires. Keeping tax breaks for others. But he couldn't get it passed. Never even went to a vote. What do you think his future looks like? Is he done as House speaker?

AMY HOLMES, HOST, "THE BLAZE": Well, goodness, I won't make predictions about the Republican caucus in the House and their ideas who've they want to lead them.

But I think also the president needs to understand who won elections on the other side of the aisle. This November Republicans were returned to the House to be in charge, to keep a break on some of this runaway spending that we've been seeing that's been going on with trillions of dollars in deficit. And I think that the president has puts himself in a very difficult position that he's been so intractable on being able to negotiate with Republicans. And that put John Boehner in such a tough position.

We saw this week the president in his press conference taunting Republicans, even Dana Milbank of the "Washington Post" noted this in his column, obviously no supporter of house Republicans, and he noticed that the president of the United States wasn't working necessarily in good faith with Republicans on the other side of the aisle.

Going over the fiscal cliff is bad for everybody. I hope that both, all of our leaders on both sides of the aisle will try to embrace a solution before those tax rates go up for all Americans.

Yes. Let me talk to you both about Benghazi. An independent review found failures in leadership and management at the State Department in terms of the attacks on Benghazi and how it was handled and everything that followed as a result. Do you think this will tarnish Hillary Clinton's reputation at all as she leaves the administration, Maria?

CARDONA: I don't think that it will, Randi. You know, the secretary herself is the first one to say that the buck stops with her. She has taken full responsibility for this. The State Department with her at the head of it has accepted all 29 recommendations that came out of this report. She understands that there have been failures and that things need to change, and she has been the first to say that. She is going to testify next month about this. She is never one to either go back on her responsibility or to shy away if responsibility and make sure that from here on in those recommendations are accepted and that we do everything that we can to make sure that this does not happen again.

So I don't think this will tarnish her. And we'll see what happens next month when she does testify. I'll think she will -- I think she will be able to answer all of the tough questions that will be put to her.

KAYE: Amy, let me ask you and Maria, I'll ask you on this, as well, after Amy. But what do you think of the NRA's plan? We've been talking about this this morning and yesterday, as well, the NRA's plan to put armed guards in schools to try and prevent more mass shootings like we just saw in Newtown, Connecticut, Amy.

HOLMES: In a word, I think it's nutty. I don't think that we want our public schools bristling with armed guards, that that is not a solution. I'm a defender of the second amendment. I'm a defender of America's -- Americans' right to bear arms. But I don't think that that "solution" makes sense economically. I don't think that it makes sense even culturally.

However, I do understand the NRA's position that I'm not sure that banning all of these assault weapons is the -- media's calling them, is going to solve the problem of deranged young men, and let's face it, they tend to be young men, who for whatever reasons have this idea that they want to join this terrible, terrible club of mass murders. I think that we need to have a much more thoughtful, considered discussion about how we try to solve the problem. KAYE: Maria, the NRA's main argument seems to be we protect our airports, we protect other places by arming guards, we protect the president, he has Secret Service. So why not protect our children in schools. If people know they're not protected, then they might go after them as they have. So what do you think about armed guards in schools?

CARDONA: I actually don't think the NRA went far enough, Randi. You know, I think a lot of Republicans have said let's arm our teachers. Let arm our six-year-olds. Let's give them assault weapons. I'll send my daughter after Christmas break to school with a flak jacket and grenades. That's essentially what the NRA saying. What they said about the only way to stop a bad man with a gun is to have a good person with a gun. Come on. How about let's not let the bad people get access to assault weapons, weapons that are only found on the battlefield. Give me a break. This does -- this is the time for considered discussion, for a civil debate. But what the NRA has been proposing and has been talking about will not lead to that.

KAYE: All right, certainly a lot of fire behind this debate. Maria Cardona, Amy Holmes, thank you very much. Nice to see you both.

CARDONA: Thank you.

HOLMES: Happy holidays.

KAYE: Same to you, as well. We'll see you next year.

CARDONA: Absolutely.

KAYE: All right. Thank you.

A young author raising money to help other kids who are just like him. How a rare genetic disease inspired this little boy to give back.


KAYE: I want to share a story now about a young author with a rare genetic disease. He's raising money to help other kids who are just like him. Here's Dr. Sanjay Gupta with today's "Human Factor."


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Nine-year-old Evan Moss is a boy who seemingly only cares about one simple thing.

EVAN MOSS: All of these, al filled with Pokemon cards.

GUPTA: Unfortunately, his life isn't so simple.

LISA MOSS, EVAN'S MOM: When Evan was just a couple weeks old, he started having these little shaky movements. It was one arm that would just twitch a little bit. And it would last a few seconds.

GUPTA: Robert and Lisa took their son to dozens of doctors' appointments. Evan was eventually diagnosed with tuberis sclerosis complex, a rare genetic disease that causes nonmalignant tumors to grow inside the brain and on other vital organs. Evan's TSC includes one of the hallmark symptoms -- potentially life threatening seizures that can happen at any moment. Since Evan's parents can't watch over him all the time, they began to look for an extra set of eyes, ears, and a nose.

ROBERT MOSS, EVEN'S FATHER: We were also finding out that not only did these dogs respond to seizures -- [ bark ]

EVAN MOSS: Good dog.

ROBERT MOSS: But they had the capability to alert you, to tell you that the individual might have a seizure, might soon be having a seizure.

GUPTA: As you might imagine, these types of highly trained service dogs, dogs that can sniff out chemical changes in the body leading up to a seizure, don't come cheap.

LISA MOSS: A service dog generally costs anywhere from $22,000 to $25,000. They ask for each recipient family to fund-raise $13,000 of that to offset the cost. And as part of the application, they asked for something from the child receiving the dog. He said, can I write a book?

EVAN MOSS: "My Seizure Dog." My dog tells me when I will have a seizure. We will be best friends.

GUPTA: Big sister aria suggested their parents self-publish Evan's book on Amazon, where it quickly shot to the top of one of the site's best central lists. A book signing followed at a neighborhood coffee shop. The turnout was overwhelming.

LISA MOSS: We did end up raising around $45,000 and helped about seven additional children complete their fundraising.

GUPTA: Mindy rarely leaves Evan's side during the day, at school, on the bus, in the backyard. And never leaves his side at night.

EVAN MOSS: My seizure dog will sleep with me. If I have a seizure during my sleep, the seizure dog will tell my parents.

MOSS: Mindy Moss, family pet, parents' security blanket, and Evan's best friend.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.


KAYE: What a beautiful story.

And be sure to watch "Sanjay Gupta M.D." today at 4:30 p.m. this afternoon eastern time, and Sunday, tomorrow, 7:30 a.m. eastern.

Beaten and bruised. A man with Down syndrome recovering after a sheriff's deputy pepper-sprayed him and hit him with a baton. Now authorities are trying to defend their actions. Antonio Martinez and his sister join us with his story.


KAYE: Welcome back. It's 46 minutes past the hour now. A sheriff's deputy unloaded a can of pepper spray right into the face of a man who has down syndrome. Then that wasn't it, he hit him with a baton. What's worse, the man never committed a crime. Jennifer Jensen from our affiliate KGTV in San Diego has more.


JENNIFER JENSEN, REPORTER, KGTV: The scratches on his face and bruises on his arms are fresh. His painful reminders of what happened Tuesday in vista at the hands of a sheriff's deputy.

MELISSA MEJIA, WITNESS: He got pepper sprayed. He was covering his eyes. The cop get saying, "Get on the floor."

JENSEN: Melissa was working nearby when she heard the commotion.

MEJIA: He was laying down. And the officer had the baton and was going like that. He kicked him a couple of times hard.

JENSEN: She ran to the bakery and got his older sisters and yelled at the deputy to stop.

MEJIA: He has Down syndrome. I sais stop, it's wrong. He wouldn't stop. He kept going.

JENSEN: Clearly reliving what he experienced was overwhelming. His father, Francisco, showed us the bruises where his son was hit. And 10 news was there as the sheriff's captain visited the family to apologize. He admits to us the department was in the wrong.


JENSEN: The captain says deputies were looking for a man in the area possibly involved in a domestic violence dispute when they came across Antonio.

RODI: As the gentleman walked by, he covered his head with his -- the hood of his sweatshirt, kind of trying to conceal his identity.

JENSEN: An act which raised suspicion. When Antonio wouldn't stop walking away, the deputy took matters into his own hands.

RODI: He pepper-sprayed him. When that wasn't effective, he hit him with the baton which put him on the ground. Then a couple of more strikes to get his hands free so they could handcuff him. When they got him in the car, they realized that he had Down syndrome.

JENSEN: Then the deputy drove him to the hospital.

Why the use of force?

RODI: When he tried to contact the guy, again, he didn't know who he was. He didn't know if he was involved in the domestic violence.

JENSEN: Clearly he wasn't. He was just walking to his family's business. The Martinezs have already contacted an attorney.


KAYE: And joining us now from San Diego is Antonio Martinez and his sister, Jessica. Good morning to both of you. Antonio, let me ask you, are you feeling better, how are you feeling today?


KAYE: Good? Jessica, what is the plan from here? I mean, why speak out? Has your family decided for sure to go ahead with the lawsuit?

JESSICA MARTINEZ, BROTHER WAS BEATEN BY DEPUTY: Yes, we have. Well, I mean, if they did it to him, they're going to be -- end up doing it to any guy or any girl that they see on the street. And they say they look suspicious. That's what they say, that he looked suspicious. That's why they perceived to stop him -- proceeded to stop him. And he didn't do anything wrong. He was just walking from our house to the bakery. And he was just going to work.

KAYE: We did get a statement from the San Diego county sheriff's department. And it says that the deputy used the pepper spray to prevent possible escape and then explained the use of force saying in part, "in an attempt to take the subject into custody, the deputy transitioned to his baton. An additional deputy arrived, and the struggle continued. The subject was eventually taken into custody, and it was learned that he suffers from a developmental disability. The sheriff's department is investigating this incident." But it was -- the case was dropped, though, right? There were no charges.

JESSICA MARTINEZ: They said he had a citation when we picked him up from the sheriff's station. And then on Wednesday they came and apologized. They said, oh, we revoked the ticket that was given to Antonio. And they offered us a turkey for -- to apologize. We were like, a turkey's not going to bring peace to our family and comfort that Antonio had before this happened to him.

KAYE: Did they come to your house with the turkey, or was it a turkey they would get for you?

JESSICA MARTINEZ: No, they came to our bakery and said, we would like to speak to you and your family about the incident of Antonio Martinez. And we said, OK, you can come. They said, we are going to -- we revoked the ticket that was given, and they said, and they asked us, oh, by the way, what are you going to do for Christmas? And we were like, we'll stay home and try to have a good time. That's when they offered the turkey with all the stuffing and --

KAYE: What about the deputy involved? The department, sheriff's department wouldn't say if the deputy was reprimanded. Do you know? And how does this make you feel if he wasn't?

JESSICA MARTINEZ: We are not sure what has happened to him. When the chief came to talk -- to speak to us, he said he was on a four-day vacation. I'm not sure. And if he doesn't, we'll -- we want him out of our city. We don't want him there. I mean, he's -- he did a lot of damage on my brother. My brother doesn't want to walk home from our bakery. And it's like a five-minute walk. And he doesn't want to walk nowhere. He wants us to go with him.

And he -- it was funny because we went to the store, I think it was on Thursday and he somehow gloves. And he's like, oh, can I get those, because he's afraid to put his hands in his sweater when it's cold. Now he wants to use gloves because he doesn't want to -- he's not -- doesn't feel safe anymore.

KAYE: Right. What about the community? I mean, how has the community reacted, especially since so many witnessed this?

JESSICA MARTINEZ: Well, they're being so supportive. They called us from Colorado, like around the United States. They've been calling us that we should fight till the end and get justice for my brother. And a lot of witnesses say if you need me, you just call me. And they've been calling us, that they saw when -- they took my brother to the hospital and he was still in handcuffs even though knowing that he had Down syndrome.

KAYE: Well, Jessica Martinez and your brother Antonio, thank you both very much for coming on and sharing your story. Antonio, we wish you well and hope you heal very soon. Thank you.


KAYE: Shifting gears now. In the never-ending world of Washington gridlock, it turns out it's not just tax hikes and spending cuts on the line. The price of milk could soar if Congress can't make a deal a bill affecting the nation's dairy farmers.


KAYE: Got milk? It may be a lot more expensive to answer yes to that question in the New Year if a new agriculture bill isn't passed by congress. Support for dairy farmers will revert to a statute that dates back to 1949. Essentially the government would be forced to buy milk at double the average cost. That could push the price for a gallon of milk to over $7.

Today is the second and final round of voting on a referendum for Egypt's new draft constitution. It comes one day after clashes in Alexandria between supporters and opponents of President Mohamed Morsi. The constitution which passed a first phase of voting last week, has sparked concerns over the power it creates for Morsi.

"Gangnam Style" by South Korean rapper Psi is the first video in the history of the internet to surpass one billion views. If you haven't seen it yet, here is a look at what you've been missing.



KAYE: Is there anyone really who hasn't seen that? Is there anyone left? It's amazing. Boy. I love that music.

We have much more ahead in the next hour of CNN Saturday Morning which starts after a short break. So be sure to stay with us. Keep it here.