Return to Transcripts main page


Carjacking Victim Talks About Ordeal; Helping Amputees Recover; Nike Pulls "Boston Massacre" T-Shirts.

Aired April 23, 2013 - 11:30   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: He said he was forced into the front passenger seat as one brother drove the vehicle. According to this alleged carjacking victim, he said, and I quote, "They asked me where I'm from. I told them, I'm Chinese. I was very said. I asked if they were going to hurt me. They said they won't hurt me. I was thinking they will kill me later." If that was their plan, they did not get the chance. He said his car was running out of gas, so the men needed to fill up. They drove to a Shell station on Memorial Drive. When one brother went inside to pay for the gas, the other brother was pumping the gas, the alleged carjacking victim says he took out. He said, "I thought it was a very good chance for me to run. I used my left hand to unbuckle my belt. I jumped out of the car. The guy outside the car tried to catch me using his hand. He tried to catch me, but I ran very fast." The man said he could hear the brother swearing at him as he ran. He said, quote, "I was worried. It was very scary at the moment. I'm very lucky." The victim says, although the experience was terrifying, it doesn't change his view of the city. Earlier in the broadcast, we played you some sound from the convenience store operator that he ran in screaming what had occurred. They dialed 911. That's what led police to track down the vehicle in Watertown. We know the carjacking victim left his cell phone in the vehicle. That's how authorities were able to trace that stolen car to Watertown where that final confrontation took place.

We're getting more information on Dzhokhar Tsarnaev telling investigators -- the 19-years-old is unable to speak because of a wound to the neck. Some reports say it's a gunshot wound. I spoke to a SWAT team member who was one of the men who took him down off the boat. He thought it looked more like a stabbing wound or shrapnel wound. But it is not clear what kind of wounds he had to his throat. He communicates by writing and nodding.

Here's the latest information we have. A government source tells CNN, he claims in international terrorists groups were behind the attack. The radicalization happened from watching online videos but not with direct online communication with anybody. The motivation for the bombing was to defend Islam, which, in their view, is under attack. All these claims are going to be verified by investigators or further investigated by law enforcement personnel. He says his older brother was the master mind. He's been charged in the deadly attacked. He says his older brother was the mastermind behind the Boston bombings. Now the he's charged in the deadly attack. He's 19 years old. He's on a ventilator, but he's still communicating with investigators.

I'm joined now by former FBI assistant director and CNN analyst, Tom Fuentes, from Washington.

Tom, what do you make of what he's telling investigators? Essentially, blaming his brother.

TOM FUENTES, FORMER FBI ASSISTANT DIRECTOR & CNN ANALYST: Anderson, if that turns out to be true, they'll investigate intensively to try to verify every statement he makes. If that turns out to be turn, in a way, it is good news because it means that there isn't an additional terrorist out there as part of this particular plot. And it also means that he didn't go back, or the older brother Tamerlan didn't go back to the old country and over there get training, funding, encouragement, or direct orders to come back to the United States and wage an attack on the U.S. And on that regard, you have the group in Chechnya, saying they didn't do it and they weren't behind this. All these indications, if they're completely self radicalized, if it is only limited to these two individuals, that is good to know.

COOPER: From your law enforcement background -- I have talked to a lot of people who have experience with explosive devices. They all say they must have tested these devices. You can't build something off the Internet and not have tested it before. What do you think the likelihood is that they tested these devices and they got the information off the Internet? A lot of people I talk to say somebody must have some hands-on experience.

FUENTES: Anderson, if you look at the case in Canada, the Toronto 18, which they've already been convicted and imprisoned there. This was back in 2006. That individual took a mechanical engineering course, one course. Based on that, he tested a device in the living room of his apartment. He placed a toaster in the center of the living room, wires it, connects it, and sets it off with a cell phone. That was used at evidence because he videotaped himself doing this. Later that toaster goes off. You see a puff of smoke. It didn't bring down the apartment building. It showed to his satisfaction he could do it. Later in the investigation, members of the community reported he was recruiting in the neighborhood and contacted the authorities. They were able to work this case. Later in the investigation, they have them trying to obtain three metric tons of a fertilizer bomb. That's actually three times the amount of the same explosive that Timothy McVeigh used in Oklahoma City. Here is a person just with a little bit of education, Internet, books, magazines, he was able to actually create a more sophisticated device than these were.

COOPER: That's fascinating. Tom, we appreciate that. Thanks very much.

At least a dozen people lost limbs in the Boston bombing. Up next, we're going to talk about the uphill battle they face. We're going to talk to a man who lost both his legs and dedicates his life to helping fellow amputees.


COOPER: You've probably heard the expression "Boston Strong" in the last week. Staying strong and facing tragedy, that's what Boston Strong is all about. Adrianne Haslet-Davis is one woman who truly represents that phrase. She's a dancer, a dancer teacher, in fact. She lost her foot and part of her lower leg in the bombing. Thankfully, her husband, Adam, was not injured as severely.

I had the privilege of meeting Adrianne and Adam yesterday. I went to their hospital room to talk to them. I started our conversation by asking her about the moment she realized her foot was gone.


ADRIANNE HASLET-DAVIS, DANCER & DANCE INSTRUCTOR: I was -- I woke up and my parents were there and I hugged them and kissed them. And I said mom, can you help me? I feel like my foot is falling asleep because it feels like my ankle is falling off the pillow. I realize now that was phantom pain. She looked at me and said, Adrianne you don't have a foot. Your foot is gone. I lost it. It was really hard to here.

COOPER: You're determined to dance again though?


COOPER: Dancing is important to you.

HASLET-DAVIS: It is important to me. It is my life.

COOPER: What about it?

HASLET-DAVIS: Dancing is the one thing I do that when I do it I don't feel like I should be doing anything else ever. I feel so free and so wonderful. I'm big on music and I feel like all of us when we hear music we kind of move to the music.

COOPER: I don't. Not me.


HASLET-DAVIS: We're going to change that.

I told you I'm going to teach you.


HASLET-DAVIS: I'm going to hold you to that now that it's on camera.

I feel like it is such a freeing thing. It is such a big part of my life. Part of my life is being able to teach people how to do that. Not only is it big in my life for me and an outlet for me, I get to share that and see it developing in other people.

COOPER: You want to run the race next year?

HASLET-DAVIS: I do. I can't believe I said that. My husband has been making fun of me the whole time because I'm not a runner.

COOPER: You're not a runner?

HASLET-DAVIS: No, but at one point I wasn't a ballroom dancer, but I am.

COOPER: So you're going to do it?

HASLET-DAVIS: I'm going to do it, yes.


COOPER: She had an amazing spirit and attitude. I bet she will run that race and certainly starting dancing again.

At least a dozen survives of the Marathon bombings. Have had to undergo amputations. They have to face learning how to walk again using prosthetic. Jordon Thomas knows all about that, knows exactly what that's like. He was a young golfer who lost his legs in a boating accident a few years ago. He started the Jordan Thomas Foundation, raising money for prosthetics for kids who outgrow them quickly. He was a "CNN Top-10 Hero" back in 2009. He's about to graduate from college now. He plans to go pro as a golfer.

Jordon joins me from Orlando Florida.

Jordon, great to have you on the program, great to see you again.

You can relate to what some of these victims, like Adrianne, are going through. What's the most important thing early on when you're facing a traumatic loss of a leg or limb?

JORDAN THOMAS, FOUNDER, JORDAN THOMAS FOUNDATION: Thanks so much for having me. The most important thing to have is determination and absolutely being committed to getting back. For me, I was so determined to get back on the golf course and not let this prevent me from doing the things I love to do. It is amazing what you can accomplish if you're determined to do it.

COOPER: The advances in prosthetic in the last few years have been extraordinary. How quickly can one learn to walk again, to use these prosthetics, even run again?

THOMAS: It is amazing -- you're absolutely right. Prosthetics have come so far so quickly. My accident was in august and I was walking a month and a half later. I was determined. It was really a quick turnaround for me. There's nothing that I can't do. I'm not limited by my accident, and it's amazing if you're determined to do it, these prosthetics will enable you to do just about anything you want to do.

COOPER: You're playing golf again. Can you play at the same level you were playing before?

THOMAS: Absolutely. I'm playing golf much better than I played before. It is a really a testament to the prosthetics. Just last week I got some new legs, I'm an inch and a half taller and I'm hitting the ball further.

COOPER: How costly are prosthetic limbs? Your foundation helps young amputees pay for them. Young people out grow them because they're still growing. THOMAS: They are extremely expensive. That's one of the goals of my foundation. My legs, for example, are $18,000. Kids in prosthetics change every 18 to 14 months.

COOPER: Is your foundation planning to get involved in some way to help the victims of the Boston bombing?

THOMAS: Absolutely, 100 percent. I knew immediately we were going to try to get involved with the victims in Boston. As soon as I graduate from college in two weeks, I'm going to visit with all the new amputees there and just share my experience and give them hope. I think that is one of the biggest blessings of my life, being able to share with other amputees. It is so difficult for not only the victim, but their families as well. That would be an honor for me to come visit and share. and let them know how much hope there is after losing a limb.

COOPER: Jordan, thank you so much for what you're doing and spending time with us this morning. Appreciate it.

For more on how you can help the victims of the attack in Boston, go do There's a lot of great organizations for you to help there.

We'll be right back.


COOPER: Welcome back. We have a lot more coverage ahead for Boston, but we do want to turn our attention to other stories.

The Federal Aviation Administration is furloughing 37,000 employees, including 15,000 air traffic controllers. It's all designed to cut billions from the FAA's budget but it also means fewer take offs and landings.

Casey Wian reports the travelers are definitely feeling the pain.


CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Erin Hammons was on a flight Sunday night from Los Angeles to L.A. Forced federal spending cuts began the same day, reducing the number air traffic controllers on duty. The result major flight delays.

ERIN HAMMONS, FLIER: I was on 8:25 and when I rebooked our departure time was 1:45 a.m. A couple airline employees told us it was due to fog and other said it was due to the sequestration.

WIAN: It was both, according to the traffic control union rep, Michael Foote, who was working in the LAX traffic control tower Sunday night. The airport has four parallel runways that can operate simultaneously on clear days.

MICHAEL FOOTE, NATC PRESIDENT, LAX TOWER: When that weather comes in, though, we normally go to two-runway arrival rate. Two run wares open, descending through the cloud but was less than a mile apart. Side by side coming down.

WIAN: That requires one air traffic controller monitoring each arriving plane but the LAX control tower and regional facilities are operating shorthanded.

FOOTE: Without them there, we become a one run-way airport. We go from four down to one.

WIAN: It doesn't take much to create a big backlog and it's not just L.A. Nationwide, the FAA says 400 flights delayed because of staffing shortages Sunday night.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They need to fix it. I want to go home.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, (D), NEW YORK: These are awful and they must stop. We cannot let these delays go through, not only because of inconvenience, but because it's directly hurts our economy.

WIAN: With 10 percent staffing reductions in effect through September, significant delays are likely.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If there's some cost cutting and I don't feel it too badly, I'm all for it. If it becomes painful, then I think we need to figure out another way to deal with things.

ALEXA BARRON, FLIER: We're all going to pay the price. So what can you do? You grin and bear it.

JOHN RYAN, FLIER: We'll all going to pay the price so what can you do? You grin and bear it.


COOPER: As if flying is not miserable enough.

That was Casey Wian reporting.

If you've had a flight delayed, tell us by sending us a tweet at CNNireport, #CNNirport

Coming up next, a T-shirt with the word "Boston Massacre" stayed on sale for days after the bombing. We'll tell you what Nike is saying about it now.

We'll be right back.


COOPER: Welcome back. Nike is pulling T-shirts with the words "Boston Massacre" from its outlet stores. The shirts have been on sale for years. Nothing to do with the bombing. Nike moving to stop the sales.

Alison Kosik is following the story.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: This is the rivalry that everybody knows about. It's been going on for almost a century. These shirts are referring to September 1978 when the Yankees swept a four-game series from the Red Sox at Fenway with the Yankees winning four games by a lot. That put the Yankees in a tie for first with the Red Sox. Yankees won the World Series. That was dubbed the "Boston Massacre," a reference to the original Boston massacre in 1770.

I gave you that background because that's where the shirts originated from. But now they're being seen as inappropriate, insensitive, because the T-shirts have blood spatters over the word "Boston."

We did speak with Nike yesterday, and here what happens they told us. They said this is an older item in light of the tragedy in Boston we, quote, "took immediate action to remove this from distribution."

Interestingly enough, though, as Nike's pulling shirts off the shelves, Adidas, it can hardly keep up. Last week, the company created a T-shirt that said "Boston stands as one" as a tribute to those in the attack. The shirts sold out within a day. They are available again. What Adidas is telling us that it's raises more than $1 million for the One Fund Boston and plans to keep raising as much money as possible -- Anderson?

COOPER: That's great. Adidas isn't the only one. Smaller companies are trying to raise money?

KOSIK: They are. One called Chowdaheadz. One with David Ortiz's "This is our expletive city." Chowdaheadz, trying to trademark the "Boston Strong" term. We're seeing a similar response on eBay with support, Boston gear popping up. Many sellers are pledging to give a portion of money they make to help victims -- Anderson?

COOPER: So not all of the money's going -- you're saying it's a portion of the money that goes to victims?

KOSIK: Right. Some people are putting up finishers' medals up for sale, touting they crossed the line relative to the bombing. That money is not necessarily going to charity. It does go both ways -- Anderson?

COOPER: OK. Thanks for the update, Alison. Appreciate it.

Since the bombs exploded in Boston last week, we've seen countless acts of kindness and compassion. Coming up in the next hour of our special coverage, we'll talk about why tragedy can sometimes bring out the very best in all of us.

We'll be right back.


COOPER: Welcome back to our special coverage of the Boston bombings. I'm Anderson Cooper, reporting live from Boston this afternoon.

Here's the latest developments in the terror investigation.