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PRIMETIME JUSTICE WITH ASHLEIGH BANFIELD
Caught on Video; Urgent Search Aired; CNN Heroes; Goodwill Good Deed. 8-9p ET
Aired September 28, 2017 - 20:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, HOST (voice-over): She was mad as hell.
JENNIFER WERTZ, STORE CLERK: I`m sick and tired of being a sitting duck.
BANFIELD: And this clerk was not going to take it anymore!
WERTZ: He, like, stepped into the door and pointed the gun at me. I reacted.
BANFIELD: Looking straight down the barrel of a robber`s gun, the young mother of three takes aim and fires!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I grabbed my gun from my pocket. I cocked it and I shot.
BANFIELD: But now she`s been fired and is defending herself again.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t feel that I`ve done anything wrong.
BANFIELD: Should the store give her a break?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They have done nothing to protect me.
BANFIELD: Or should she have followed their rules?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I felt the need to protect myself.
BANFIELD: Axe murder by ambush.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very tragic situation.
BANFIELD: A bloody scene unfolds in broad daylight.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Attacked her with an axe multiple times.
BANFIELD: A man lying in wait attacks his ex with an axe as her mom begs him to stop.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He will be charged with murder.
BANFIELD: Now police say they have their man. And it`s one of their men.
He`s being hailed as a hero.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s a hero. There`s no question.
BANFIELD: The Starbucks good Samaritan who took a knife to the neck for stopping a robbery.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a good outcome.
BANFIELD: And yes, this is the same guy the alleged robber`s family wants to sue because the masked man got stabbed in the process.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Brutally and violently attacked.
BANFIELD: And remember this mother of the year?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Excessive force under any circumstances, and especially...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Saving your own life from a knife-wielding crazed man?
BANFIELD: Wonder how she`ll feel about the big award.
Rejected by his ex, he stalks the mother of his own child.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She realized this could be detrimental to her and to her daughter.
BANFIELD: He tracks her down at work, traps her and kills her, and now he`s on the run.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It looked 100 percent like an execution.
BANFIELD: But he can`t hide for long from John Walsh, who`s is on "The Hunt" for Rudy Fernandez (ph).
And no, it`s not "Candid Camera."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I reached my hand in, and that`s when I saw the money.
BANFIELD: Nearly $40,000 in an old purse donated to Goodwill, the owner long dead.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, am I being punked?
BANFIELD: What would you do, keep the windfall or find the woman`s family? And yes, this really happened.
BANFIELD: Good evening. I`m Ashleigh Banfield. This is PRIMETIME JUSTICE.
There is nothing that riles up red-blooded Americans quite like gun rights, but no matter what side of the aisle you sit on, you have to hand it to
Jennifer Wertz. She`s a mother of three and she is making it work every day. She goes to work at the Circle K, and she puts up with every kind of
nonsense that a convenience store brings in.
And sometimes, that nonsense is deadly, like that time last week when a robber came in, held her up at gunpoint. Now, the policy of the store is,
Don`t fight back, just give the scumbag criminals whatever it is they want. But Jennifer Wertz? Jennifer Wertz had had enough.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JENNIFER WERTZ, STORE CLERK: He, like, stepped into the door and pointed the gun at me. I reacted. I grabbed my gun from my pocket, I cocked it
and I shot.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: The guy she shot ended up in the hospital. And when he got out, he was taken straight to the local jail. He`s facing a laundry list of
charges, like robbery and assault and a bunch of other felonies, too. But Jennifer -- for her heroic act, she was treated to a firing. Company says
she didn`t follow those rules to not fight back. When she asked why she didn`t -- when she was asked why she didn`t, Jennifer could not have been
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WERTZ: I`m sick and tired of being a sitting duck.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: Pretty obvious, sick and tired of being a sitting duck. Officer Tanner Tixier is the public information officer for the Albuquerque Police
Department. He joins me from Albuquerque.
Officer, I`ve got to ask you your reaction to hearing that this mother of three who goes to work, working for the man every day, finds her on the
business end of a gun and fights back with a gun, finds herself fired. Policy or not, how do you feel about that?
TANNER TIXIER, ALBUQUERQUE POLICE DEPARTMENT (via telephone): I believe that every individual has the absolute right to defend themselves if faced
with a deadly threat. And in this case -- obviously, we ask citizens not to get involved if at all possible. But in the event that their lives are
placed in danger, they absolutely can protect themselves.
BANFIELD: I mean, I don`t think any of us asks to be involved in these kinds of things. They just come up out of nowhere. Bad guys have a way of
sneaking up on us and wrecking our lives.
So I guess my question to you is this. If there`s a policy that you`re just supposed to give the guy what he wants, OK, but then you`re absolutely
terrified you could die, do you think that policy should still hold true? And how do you feel about a company that tells their employees that`s their
TIXIER: I`m not going to delve into the details of corporate policy and what may or may not be right or what I agree with. I will say that Mrs.
Wertz in this situation acted appropriately as far as the law is concerned and is not facing any charges.
BANFIELD: Well, amen to that. So she`s not going to be charged, thank God. Poor kid`s lost her job, though, and she`s the mother of three.
Three mouths to feed. I`m just glad she`s alive to be able to conduct these interviews.
And let`s talk about the guy. The guy you brought in is Ferron Mendez (ph), did a little time in the hospital for the belly wound he got from her
gun. What is he like? What do we know about his history? Does he have a past? And tell me a little bit about his future.
[20:05:06]TIXIER: At this point in time, I know that he had no previous arrests in the Bernalilo County, which is where Albuquerque resides. As
far as the other counties inside the state or outside of the state, I`m not too familiar with his criminal history.
After he was released from the hospital, he was booked into the county jail on five different felony counts, including attempted armed robbery, assault
with a deadly weapon and assault to commit a violent felony.
BANFIELD: Officer Tixier, those are very serious. He could do serious hard time for that, couldn`t he.
TIXIER: He could if given the maximum. He absolutely could face some significant jail time.
BANFIELD: So I know you weren`t there, but I also know you`re privy to a lot of reports that I have not seen. So I`m going to ask you to be my eyes
and ears a little bit for me in that Circle K. When Jennifer was, you know, at work and in the convenience store, my understanding is she was not
at the front desk. She was out amid sort of the aisles, and he comes in with another guy. Can you take it from there and tell me what you know?
TIXIER: So again, my knowledge is limited in scope. I do know that there were two individuals that came into the store, both with masks on, one
armed with what appeared to be a realistic firearm. There`s no way Mrs. Wertz would have ever known that it was not real. It turned out to be an
airsoft pellet gun. And I believe Mrs. Wertz saw the threat and acted appropriately by drawing her own firearm and shooting the individual.
As far as what transpired after, the individuals fled the scene. Mr. Mendez, who was shot in the stomach, was located just around the corner
near a group of storage sheds. He was taken into custody by our officers and transported immediately to the hospital for medical attention.
BANFIELD: So help me walk through this detail here. This couple just sort of -- I`m going to fill in the blanks and you let me know what you know
about them. The reports are not only did Jennifer pull that gun out of her own pocket and shoot him in the belly, when he was down, she had the good -
- thinking wherewithal -- and by the way, the guts -- to approach him and kick that what looked like a weapon to her. It was an airsoft, but she
kicked that gun away from him. Did she give you that in the whole report?
TIXIER: Again, I haven`t seen her statement from the detective. I`ve seen the original reports, and like I said, got the 10,000-foot view of the
entire incident. I haven`t been on the nitty-gritty of the investigation with my robbery detective, no.
BANFIELD: OK, real quick. Do you know anything about the fact that when he did stumble out with the gunshot wound to the belly, he stumbled next
door to a restaurant and then called 911 because he needed help?
TIXIER: Yes, that is correct. Our actual initial dispatch was for a shooting. Individual was in one of our local restaurants that`s just
around the corner from the Circle K. Individual had been shot in the stomach.
As our officers were en route to that call, they received additional information about the attempted armed robbery at the Circle K next door,
were able to determine that the individual who was shot in the stomach, Mr. Mendez, was, in fact, our armed robbery suspect. And so our officers were
able to locate him and take him into custody as a suspect not necessarily a victim.
BANFIELD: So I`m just getting this all in real time. But this is such a kick in the teeth to think that his 911 call for help for his tummyache
came in before her 911 call saying, I`ve just been held at gunpoint and had to shoot to defend me and my colleague at the Circle K.
Did your officers put it together that the 911 call to help him was actually helping the person identified as the actual -- the perp in this
TIXIER: Yes, ma`am. Like I said, while en route to the call, they were able to put two and two together and realize that their gunshot wound
victim was actually an armed robbery suspect.
BANFIELD: Where`s the other fellow, the accomplice? Do we know who he is and where he is?
TIXIER: No, ma`am, we have not located him or identified him yet at this time.
BANFIELD: Whoa! What about Ferron Mendez? Is he just staying -- I mean, it`s been two weeks. He spent two weeks in the hospital. He hasn`t peeped
up about who his pal is?
TIXIER: Not to my knowledge, no, ma`am.
BANFIELD: I`ll bet that`ll change when he starts to be -- he starts into discussions with the prosecutors about just how much jail time he could
face unless he coughs up a little more information.
Real quickly, do you know anything about the fact that there`s been just a ton of -- in your community, people are really coming in on the side of
Jennifer here. She`s had all sorts of donations to a Gofundme page, I think it`s $71,000, even though they were only asking for 20 and that she`s
had lots of job offers. Do you know anything about that?
TIXIER: I don`t have any individual confirmation, but I have heard that one of our local firearms companies in town that has indoor firing arms
ranges has offered her a job at their shop. That`s the only one I`ve been made aware of. I`m sure there probably is many more.
[20:10:10]BANFIELD: Well, she and her three kids deserve it. They deserve the help and the goodwill of that community. Officer, stand by for a
moment, if you will.
I want to bring in defense attorney and CNN legal analyst and HLN legal analyst Joey Jackson, who`s with me now. I`m just watching you on the set
as you`re just, like, shaking your head. One thing after -- detail after detail after detail. And you`re as appalled as I am.
JOEY JACKSON, CNN/HLN LEGAL ANALYST: I am. You know, there`s two things, though. The one part of me as a human, as a person, is just having a
discussion about this, feels horrifically bad for her. She defended herself, and as a result of defending yourself, that`s the thanks you get,
a suspension and then a firing? Are you kidding me?
On the other hand, I`m torn because I know what the company`s trying to do. This had a good outcome, right? She defended herself, thank goodness, got
him in the abdomen. He`s hospitalized. But they`re trying to prevent, Ashleigh, the wild, wild West. The employer shoots, right? The employee
shoots, and then the suspect shoots, and before you know it, other people are dead who were innocent bystanders. And so that`s what rips me apart
with a story like this.
I feel for her. I also get the perspective of the company that`s trying to avoid bloodshed.
BANFIELD: And I hear you. And we asked Circle K for a comment. They are just not going to give us one. I mean, literally, just -- they didn`t even
say no comment. They just didn`t comment. So we can`t tell you the perspective other than what you`re...
JACKSON: She`s got a lot of job offers, though.
BANFIELD: She`s got a lot of...
JACKSON: That`s a very good thing.
BANFIELD: So the question is, you know, would she do this all over again? And this is what she had to say just to the idea of sort of what she`s been
through and what it means.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WERTZ: Robberies have been going on like this for the past few weeks. They have done nothing to protect me, and I felt the need to protect
myself. We are not to chase. We`re not to provoke. We are not to do anything. We just stand there and give them what they want and they leave.
What if he would have come in and just shot me just because I wasn`t behind the counter?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: OK, Joey, real quick, 10 seconds. Does she have a case against that guy, civil case, or even her employer for letting her go?
JACKSON: I think both and both. The problem with the guy is that he`s maybe judgment-proof, doesn`t have anything at all. The employer exercises
discretion and let her go. So they kind of...
BANFIELD: Don`t go anywhere because I need that brilliant mind to be (INAUDIBLE)
JACKSON: We`re right here.
BANFIELD: ... Professor Jackson.
A Louisiana man is in jail tonight and he`s accused of killing his ex-wife in her front yard. But the details? Well, you can see it right there. It
wasn`t your average killing. It involved an axe.
[20:16:56]BANFIELD: Cops are supposed to make you feel safe. So are husbands. But on a quiet little stretch of Palmetto Street near New
Orleans, Louisiana, yesterday, those rules did not apply. And maybe that`s because Mark Owens is a former husband and a former cop. But tonight, he`s
an inmate, and he`s facing charges of hacking his ex-wife to death with an axe in broad daylight, right in front of the neighbors and right in front
of her mother.
It was the screams that brought out the neighbors, and what they witnessed and what they heard will stay with them forever.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was on my porch, and I hear a woman screaming. So I thought it was a friend of mine, you know, down here. And so I walked in
the street to see what was going on because I saw a man and I saw him swinging something. I didn`t know what it was. It could have been a bat.
And so I got in my car because I thought it was my friend so I got in the car. And I got about right about where we are when I realized what he had
in his hand was an axe, and I saw what he was doing -- you know, what he was doing with it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: Police say Mark was likely hiding under Kimberly Owens`s house when she came out to her car to head for work. She was set upon with an
axe, and she was hit so many times that she died right there in the street. Her mother saw almost the whole thing, and police say she begged for him to
stop. They also say he appeared to go after the mother, too, who ran back into the house to call 911.
Jacqueline Mazur is a reporter with CNN affiliate WGNO, and she joins me now from New Orleans. This neighborhood must be so shaken to the core,
given that this was just so brazen, broad daylight. It almost seemed as thought it was just devil may care, I don`t care who sees this.
JACQUELINE MAZUR, WGNO CORRESPONDENT: Right, Ashleigh. Thanks for having me this evening. This is definitely a tragic situation. Police tell me
they have never seen anything like this before. One of the witnesses, a next-door neighbor, and as you mentioned, the mother, who perhaps, in my
opinion was not only brutally attacked with the same axe that she witnessed her daughter`s death with, but thankfully managed to escape to safety and
call police, as well.
BANFIELD: So I actually want to play, if I can, Jacqueline, what the sheriffs said about the screaming and this whole notion that this mother,
who lived with her daughter, came upon this sight when she came to that front door. Have a listen to how the sheriff put it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She heard screams, exited the house and saw the attack in progress. And she -- you know, yelled and begged for the attack to
stop. And at some point, it appeared that he may have gone after her. She retreated into the house and called the sheriff`s office.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: So Jacqueline, the sheriff`s office was called. I don`t know how long that kind of a 911 call takes to get someone there, but it wasn`t
enough time to stop those blows, and clearly, this woman was savaged.
[20:20:06]MAZUR: Clearly, that is the case. I remember when I was viewing the police report that was processed earlier today and just taking a look
at it, I mean, it`s unbelievable that a human being could do this to somebody else, and let alone an ex-wife. We know that this was due to a
domesticated -- domestic violence situation, and obviously, our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and the people in Chalmette, Louisiana.
It`s only about a 25-mile drive from New Orleans.
BANFIELD: I was just looking at one of the pictures, Jacqueline, that we were -- you know, we`re sort of cycling through a lot of pictures of
Kimberly. And she`s just lovely. There`s a picture at one point of her on a red carpet. It looks like she`s at an NBC event of some kind. So it`s
sort of curious as to, you know -- there she -- I mean, look at that. You know, clearly, she had a lot going for her. She`d cleared herself of this
man. She divorced him several years ago.
There`s also word -- and this always upsets me -- to hear that she had a restraining order out on him. What do you know about that?
MAZUR: Right. Well, we do know that Owens did have a history of domestic abuse. Back in 2015, he allegedly attacked a man that he thought was one
of his ex-wife`s boyfriends. And then back in 2015, he actually drove to his ex-wife`s home, assaulted her outside, dragged her inside, and then
brandished a weapon in front of her. And it`s after those incidents, I believe, that she did have that restraining order taken out on him.
BANFIELD: And I think, you know, that -- that first incident you mention in 2014, Jacqueline, this was a -- this was an accusation that he made
about a parish president. You know, he`s, like, a mayor. For everybody else who doesn`t know how New Orleans is, this parish president was being
accused of having some sort of a relationship with his ex-wife. I don`t know if she was an ex-wife at that time. I don`t really know the timing of
it. But that parish president must have had a lot to say about this very sort of -- I don`t know, it seemed to be a very aggressive and very
arrogant accusation. And it did not amount to anything good.
MAZUR: Definitely. To be honest with you, Ashleigh, I don`t know much about that situation or their relationship, but it doesn`t sound like the -
- well, I will say this. It sounds like the ex-husband has a lot of mental health issues that need to be addressed.
BANFIELD: Might be something that actually comes up in court. I`m going to ask Joey about that in a minute. But just the last thing I need to get
from you -- he`s a former cop. He`s a former -- if I get it right -- and you clear this up for me if you can. He`s a former sheriff`s employee. I
think he worked as a guard or corrections, but he worked within the sheriff`s department, didn`t he.
MAZUR: Right, he did. He worked for the St. Bernard Sheriff`s Department back in the late 1990s and then I believe he left in 2000, Ashleigh.
BANFIELD: Hold on for a second, Jacqueline. I want to bring Joey Jackson back in with your defense attorney hat on. I know it`s hard. Look, you
get this witnessed by everybody. It is vicious, brutal, violent. The headlines are already out there. Your jury pool is already going to know
something about this. And then there`s the whole notion that he`s a former cop. How does that play in?
JACKSON: Plays in in a way that`s adverse to him. It`s a problem. And this insanity thing, I think it gets you nowhere. You show up, you have an
axe, you lie in wait, you continue to chop, chop, chop. You know, clearly, you can argue that he snapped, something was amiss. Then there`s this
domestic violence history and there`s the history that Jacqueline was speaking about, you know, with regard to the past person that he went after
because of jealousy. And so I think it`s problematic there.
I believe that it`s what we call a mitigation case. And that means that, look, he`s not getting out of here, all right? There`s not a defense
that`s going to send him home. But there could be the "I snapped" defense, which makes it manslaughter, not second degree murder. But guess what? In
this jurisdiction, it`s still 40 years. Not a life sentence as second degree would be, but it`s a long time.
BANFIELD: Well, by my math he`s 56.
JACKSON: It`s a life sentence, nonetheless.
BANFIELD: (INAUDIBLE) with 96 (ph).
BANFIELD: Oh, Joey, I mean, it`s all so just -- and our -- you know, our hearts go out to the Owens family not only for their loss but also what
Kimberly`s mother witnessed.
JACKSON: And seen, exactly.
BANFIELD: That`s got to be an aggravating factor.
JACKSON: Trying to get him to stop, to no avail.
BANFIELD: Just so upsetting. Just a lovely, lovely woman.
Joey, stand by for a minute. That Starbucks hero -- you probably remember this guy. He just got an award from the Fresno PD for this, stopping an
attempted armed robber. No matter what that attempted armed robber allegedly -- no matter what his mom thinks about the crime, fighting moves.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: Are you kidding me? Are you seriously here saying you`re going to sue that man?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Excessive force under any circumstances and especially...
BANFIELD: Saving your own life from a knife-wielding crazed man? You think that`s excessive force? Some people!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[20:29:35]BANFIELD: Last week, we did a segment on this guy who tried to rob a Starbucks wearing a Transformer mask and waving around a fake gun and
a very real knife. And he might have gotten away with it, too, if it weren`t for the utter bravery of a customer named Craig Jerri (ph) who
whacked him with a chair right in the back.
See that knife? That`s serious. So there`s Craig. (ph) There`s the chair. But it didn`t stop the guy. And ultimately, they had to wrestle to
the ground. For the hero`s part in this story, he was treated to a massive gash to his neck. And when that robber stabbed him, he realized that
robber meant business. It wasn`t even all of this amazing details or this remarkable video that made this story such a big headline.
No, it was the actions of the guy who was arrested for this that really blew us away, because it turned out that Ryan Michael Flores was thinking
of suing that good Samaritan because he got himself stabbed when the good guy jumped at him. And it led to this fairly remarkable interview with the
suspect`s own mommy. Interview went viral online because the mom is defending her son. Damn the torpedoes!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My son was brutally and violently attacked when he was unarmed and stabbed 17 times. And 16 while he was on the ground on his
belly, his back.
BANFIELD: If I were, you know, your son`s mom, I would be devastated, too. But then you have to realize the good Samaritan saw a man with a knife and
a gun robbing a place, and when he tried to stop it, he himself was attacked. He himself got a knife to the neck, which is a lethal injury. And
he ended up in a struggle for a gun and a knife.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think your facts are incorrect on the gun --
BANFIELD: I`m looking at the video.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- was plastic and the good Samaritan knew it was a plastic gun.
BANFIELD: How did the good Samaritan know it was a plastic gun? I`m sorry?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because it was on the floor. The gun was already gone.
BANFIELD: So, OK, what about that knife? Was that plastic? Because it caused a knife wound to his neck.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. It couldn`t have been, Ashleigh, because the good Samaritan stabbed my son 17 times with it.
BANFIELD: And you`re telling me that the gun -- you`re telling me that --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don`t know when --
BANFIELD: -- for sure the gun was fake. Because you know that`s still a felony, right? You still go to prison if the gun is real or fake.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, we know, we know. He took the fifth in court! He took the fifth!
BANFIELD: I know you`re not cemented in on the idea of a lawsuit, that you`re still considering it, but are you seriously considering suing that
good Samaritan who stopped the robbery, who stopped your son right there in the video from wielding a knife on anybody in that store?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not my choice.
BANFIELD: What`s not your choice, to file a lawsuit?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. I`m not going to be the one to file the lawsuit.
BANFIELD: Who is going to file the lawsuit then?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who got injured? My son.
BANFIELD: Are you kidding me? Are you seriously here saying you`re going to sue that man?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Excessive force under any circumstances --
BANFIELD: Saving your own life from a knife wielding crazed man? You think that`s excessive force? I think the apple doesn`t fall far from the tree.
Good luck Mrs. Chimienti with your damn lawsuit. I hope you lose and the sheriff`s --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have no intentions of suing.
BANFIELD: Wow! Now I know where your son gets it. Some people!
BANFIELD: Yes, I was pretty wound up about that. I feel a lot better about this. Because whatever that mother thinks, the police feel real different.
They went ahead and they awarded Cregg Jerri for his bravery. And lucky for us, the Fresno Bee captured the whole thing on video.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JERRY DYER, CHIEF, FRESNO POLICE DEPARTMENT: He`s somebody that I deeply admire. Somebody that went well above and beyond the call of a citizen and
did something that I believe very, very few people in this world would have done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: And I`m glad he`s alive for the hug. Chief Jerry Dyer of the Fresno Police Department joins me now. Chief, I think I can probably speak
for a lot of people watching right now. They think you`re a hero for recognizing what Cregg did and what it took for him to do that and what he
suffered to do that, and then what he`s hearing about from this family. What are your thoughts?
DYER: Ashleigh, thank you. My thoughts are that it`s unbelievable that this individual even contemplates suing Cregg Jerri for what he did. He
interrupted a robbery. He prevented baristas from being the victim of a violent crime.
And now, not only is he subjected to the threat of litigation, but the defense attorneys representing Mr. Flores have also accused him in court of
committing a crime, utilizing that knife to commit a crime against their client and wanted charges brought against him. So not only was Mr. Jerri
looking at potential litigation,
[20:35:00] but also potentially facing what he thought to be criminal charges.
BANFIELD: So let me ask you about that because I know police departments and DAs often work well together. They play in the sandbox all the time.
You both depend on one another for your business. What do you think the odds are of your D.A. actually charging Mr. Jerri with any kind of crime in
DYER: It won`t happen. I`ve talked with our district attorney, Lisa Smittcamp. She could not believe that these allegations were being made
against Cregg Jerri. He`s a hero not only in my eyes, the eyes of the D.A. as well as members of this community.
And it`s hard to fathom that we`ve gotten to this point in our society where people are unwilling to accept responsibility. And you heard Ryan
Flores` mom. That`s exactly why Ryan Flores is in the position he is, because of a mother like her.
BANFIELD: I said it, the apple doesn`t fall far from the tree. At the time she slapped her laptop closed on me, I thought we had just lost the signal,
but I would have had a better come back for her had I known she slapped the laptop shut. I would have said, you know, Mrs. Flores, you`re not allowed
to do that in court.
You actually have to face the music. One last question for you. Do you know anything about her? I mean, when we say the apple doesn`t fall far from the
tree, I think she`s emotionally criminal. But I don`t know if she`s got like a background. Do you know anything about her?
DYER: I do not know. We did not know anything about her. I still don`t. I`ve not looked up her name, don`t care to do so, but what I do know is
that her son committed an armed robbery in our city, that armed robbery was prevented from occurring based on a heroic effort of Cregg Jerri, and she
now is trying to cause people to believe that Cregg Jerri is the one that should be on trial which is the furthest thing from the truth.
Which is why we recognized him. Why I felt the need to publicly acknowledge his heroic efforts because he`s gone through quite a bit. He`s kept quiet
and someone has to be his voice since he is not in a position to talk because of the threat of litigation.
BANFIELD: You know, we asked him if he wanted to be on the show and you`re spot on there, chief. His lawyer said he can`t. Not until we get the all
clear from the D.A. It just wouldn`t be prudent. I get that. I want to show you something. When we put that segment on the internet, it went viral. And
when I say viral, it went crazy. It`s had i think over 3.3 million views to date.
BANFIELD: If you read the comments, I think a lot of people are right up there with you, chief. They cannot believe this mother would defend or even
consider as a family, you know, that that good Samaritan should be sued.
I`ve also heard a lot of lawyers say any lawyer who brings that could actually get into some trouble. How is he? Because we can`t talk to him. I
know you gave him a hug and I know you talked to him. How is he doing? How is his health?
DYER: He`s doing really well. The wound to his neck which by the way was right by his jugular vein, nearly missed it. He is doing well. We stay in
close contact. He either calls me or texts me at least a couple times a week.
He`s doing remarkable well. He`s a humble individual that really did not even want the recognition yesterday. But I shared with him that we need to
do that. We have to do that, if not for him, for folks in our community.
BANFIELD: Well, I`ll tell you what, there`s another real nice person who works at "Circle K" who`s looking for a job as well and she did something
good by making sure that she and her colleague didn`t get shot. We talked about her earlier in the show. Listen, my thanks to you for doing what you
did, for honoring Cregg. And I think my viewers will be screaming from their living rooms to say the same thing. Chief, thanks a lot. Keep us
DYER: Will do. Thank you, Ashleigh. I appreciate it.
BANFIELD: I want to bring in Joey Jackson on this because look, you heard the chief.
JOEY JACKSON, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY, CNN AND HLN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes.
BANFIELD: Cregg can`t even talk publicly right now because he`s worried there`s the possibility of prosecution.
JACKSON: That`s a great chief. I like that chief. Hey, chief, you listening? I think it`s a great thing that the chief not only recognized
him for what he did in stopping that, but I was reading here, Ashleigh, all the other people they recognize, too, in the community who are doing great
things, who are getting involved, and who are ensuring that other people are safe.
Too many people just walk the other way. I`m not suggesting anyone should put themselves in harm`s way, but in the event, look, I mean, they have one
veterinarian, for example, Ashleigh, that they recognize for saving the leg of a dog. I think that`s a great thing. So God bless them.
BANFIELD: So, real quickly, let me ask you about this notion and I just sort of dabbled in it, but you`re the expert, Professor Jackson. Any lawyer
who takes that civil lawsuit and actually stands before a judge and says, judge, we want to sue that guy that stopped my client
[20:40:00] as he was waving a real knife and a fake gun and demanded the money from the Starbucks` barista.
JACKSON: I think the lawyer will be OK. Here`s why.
BANFIELD: You think so?
JACKSON: We`re always trained to push the envelope. Push the envelope. I don`t think the case goes anywhere, but there`s an argument to be made that
he acted in excess of what he was permitted to do.
I don`t think it will succeed and I think a jury will laugh it out of the court. But you want to encourage attorneys to put on their minds, to put on
their caps (ph), and to push the law, expand the law. That being said, it goes nowhere. That`s my ruling.
BANFIELD: I got to go to break real quick, but not before this. Listen, if there is something crazy this happens and if he does actually get charged
by the D.A. and it goes before a jury --
JACKSON: Not going to happen. Jury nullification.
BANFIELD: Jury nullification.
BANFIELD: I knew that`s what you`re going to day.
JACKSON: No one will be sympathetic to this.
BANFIELD: A jury will say charge (INAUDIBLE). Here`s how we feel, Joey.
JACKSON: Throw the guy away for life. Life in jail without parole.
BANFIELD: Joey, thank you. I appreciate it.
JACKSON: Thank you.
BANFIELD: All right. The hunt for a fugitive, Rudy Fernandez. This guy is accused of stalking his ex-girlfriend and brutally killing her. Now police
and maybe even better yet John Walsh are after him, and they need your help.
[20:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BANFIELD: When two 16-year-olds Criselda Sandoval (ph) and Rudy Fernandez met at a party, it was love at first sight. And soon after, Criselda (ph)
got pregnant. But their romance soon turned very sour when he began to abuse her. Somehow Criselda (ph) was able to deal with her suffering. She
got her GED, she got her job, and then she finally did the right thing, she broke up with Fernandez.
But Fernandez, the guy with the X over him wasn`t having any of it. Fernandez remained obsessed with Criselda (ph), stalking her, controlling
her, threatening her, and by the way, a whole bunch of people around her, too. Finally, Criselda (ph) got an order of protection, but it was just
days later when she was working alone at a clinic in Southern California, Criselda (ph) called her mom and said. Rudy`s outside and he`s demanding to
be let in.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was this fear that Rudy had that she was having an affair. He wanted to confront her about this, which ultimately led to Rudy
striking her. And that time, it was my opinion that she took her blouse off not wanting to get blood on it.
Ultimately this altercation became so violent, she attempted to escape. Criselda (ph) was running literally for her life, being pursued by Rudy.
She was shot in the left calf as she`s running. It looked 100 percent like an execution.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: Callahan Walsh is the co-creator of "The Hunt" along with his dad, John Walsh. He is also a child advocate who is with the National
Center for Missing and Exploited Children. He joins me live now from west Palm Beach, Florida.
Callahan, thank you for being here. And that episode looks harrowing. Tell me a little bit more about this story, what I don`t know about these two
and about that man.
CALLAHAN WALSH, CHILD ADVOCATE, CO-CREATOR OF THE HUNT: Well, it`s a terrible case. Here we have a rejected and abusive ex-boyfriend in Rudy
Fernandez, a supposed gang member as well, who stalked his ex-girlfriend, the mother of his child, in fact, at her workplace, trapped her there,
terrified, and brutally murdered her.
We do know he has ties to Mexico. Unfortunately, we think he may be there now. Our hotline does take calls from Mexico. And we want to remind
everyone that they can remain anonymous when calling our hot line, but this is another guy we really need to take down.
BANFIELD: We put your hot line up there, 866-The-Hunt. 866-The-Hunt. I`ll tell you something, Callahan, you guys are doing a great job. I`m not just
blowing smoke here. You`ve had captures and you`re a pretty new show.
When you put that tip line up, eyeballs see it and eyeballs have seen him. They`ve seen him somewhere. How far do you think the reach has to go,
though? Where do you think he could be?
WALSH: Well, again, we think he could be in Mexico, but he could still be here in the United States as well. That`s why we want all the viewers. We
profile these guys, but it`s the viewers, now the HLN viewers, who are responsible for these captures and we`ve had some great captures already on
We want people to watch these episodes, try to take in the image of this individual, try to think about is that someone new at your work, is that
somebody who is a new neighbor, and if so, do the right thing and call our hot line. We`ve had plenty of success in the past and we hope this is
another successful case.
BANFIELD: Let`s keep this graphic up for a bit. 866-The-Hunt. Rodolfo, he might be going by that. Rudy, could be going by that. Could be going bey
Mike. You just don`t know what these guys do and how, you know, they`re chameleons, they just morph into society and they change. I should note
[20:50:00] it has been 16 years. This is a tough one. Why`s he been gone so long?
WALSH: Yes. This is an older case for us. But this is still one that we think we can get a successful capture on. Again, these guys, like you said,
are willing to go to any length to avoid capture, whether it`s dyeing their hair, even as far as plastic surgery.
But, again, this guy, we really think that somebody knows exactly where he is. We need to get justice for this family, for this mother who was
murdered, and for this little girl who missed her mother.
BANFIELD: OK. So, I`m going to give you big props here for, you know, creating this show with your dad. It`s great. I`m so thrilled that it`s on
our network. I`m really going to wish you a lot of luck. Our whole team is behind you. We love doing these segments. So come back and let us know what
happened with this guy and with all the other bad guys you`re featuring as well. Thank so much, Callahan.
WALSHL Thank you, Ashleigh.
BANFIELD: Say hi to your dad for us. I want to bring in Robert Marquez. Because Robert is with the Ontario, California Police Department. He
happens to be the lead detective on the Rudy Fernandez case. Detective Marquez, thank you for being with us.
I want to talk a little bit about the forensics. Because 16 years ago, they weren`t as good as they are today. Have you been able to sort of reopen
those boxes and re-establish some of the forensics of that whole hallway and the escape route and everything and find anything new as this becomes
older and older as a case?
ROBERT MARQUEZ, LEAD DETECTIVE ON RUDY FERNANDEZ CASE (via telephone): Well, with technology, we are working on additional leads that we obtain
from that evidence. So it`s still active evidence that we`re working with and we feel confident that we`re going to get some good results with this.
As soon as we catch Rudy, he will have to do some explaining.
BANFIELD: I`ll bet. By the way, detective, something that`s really important for people to know, that this guy has a tattoo on his chest and
the tattoo says "Rudy." That is hard to avoid unless you constantly stay covered up, but someone might have seen a tattoo saying "Rudy." Someone
might have been asked to get rid of my tattoo that says "Rudy" or make it into something else.
That`s a really good clue that sets him apart from a lot of people. I want to go back to Criselda (ph) for a moment because she was found, I guess,
shot execution style, but she was also found with no shoes, no socks, and no shirt. What did you guys piece together about that?
MARQUEZ (via telephone): It`s very possible that he tried to stage the crime scene while he was doing what he was doing and it was quite evident
that he did eventually end up taking her car and driving it to Los Angeles.
So he was in a panic moment at the time. And he obviously did somethings that he probably wouldn`t have normally done if he would have been thinking
in the right mind.
BANFIELD: 1-866-The-Hunt is the number to call if you know someone who looks like him, if you see that "Rudy" tattoo. The tattoo is on his chest.
If you see someone with a "Rudy" tattoo, 5`5", 145, at least 16 years ago he was 145 pounds.
You can`t get taller, but you can lose or gain some weight. Take a really good look at that. 1-866-The-Hunt. "The Hunt with John Walsh" airs Sunday
night at 8:00 p.m., right here only on HLN.
Amid the recent coverage of the storms that we`ve had, we`ve been hearing some pretty unbelievable stories. Really inspiring about everyday people
who have been pitching in to help. This week`s CNN hero actually is really connected. Found a very interesting way to really help out. His name is
He`s what you call a champion pit master. I didn`t know what it was either. For the last six years, he and all his barbecue buddies -- that`s a hint --
have responded to disasters in the best way that they know.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STAN HAYS, CNN HERO: After a disaster, there`s two basic needs that a person has. The first one`s shelter and the other one is nourishment. And
so barbecue, besides being a nourishing meal, is comfort food. Being able to give somebody a hot barbecue meal in one of their worst times, we not
only are giving something nutritious, but we are giving them maybe a little bit of normalcy for just a short period of time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: It`s official. I love that man. Stan and his team responded to Harvey. They responded to Irma. And they also plan very soon to send some
meals to Puerto Rico as well. But you`ve been watching the news and how technically the logistics are making it really hard right now, but he does
have his sights set on Puerto Rico. To see operation barbecue relief in action, you can go to cnnheroes.com. We`ll be right back after this.
[20:55:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BANFIELD: All right. So just put yourself as a volunteer for a moment. Volunteering at your local goodwill. Congratulations. That`s very good of
you. Now you`re getting ready to sort all the donations, you know, to the ones to be resold. And oh, my God, you come across this old purse. And
inside is cash. Like a lot of cash. More than $10,000 in cash. What would you do?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In my head, wouldn`t it be funny if there was money in here? And I reached in and saw the money. Am I being punked?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We laid it all out. We counted it three times.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And it was?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Over $39,000.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: Actually, it wasn`t just $10,000.
[21:00:00] It was actually $39,093. Holy Moses! What did she do?