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Should Police Receive Special Training For Handling Mentally Ill?; Wildfires Scorch Midwest; American Red Cross Under Fire

Aired December 27, 2005 - 22:00   ET


HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: And good evening to all, everyone.
No choice or a lethal mistake? Tonight, the latest on the New Orleans police shooting that left one man dead.


ANNOUNCER: Eyewitness video: Police shoot and kill a man wielding a knife in New Orleans, and the event is caught on tape. Tonight, hear the terrifying tale from the man holding the camera. Plus, residents say the slain man was mentally unstable. Could special police training for dealing with the deranged have prevented his death? 360 investigates.

Wildfires scorch parts of the Midwest, burning buildings, evacuating towns, while another winter wallop hits the West Coast -- tonight, where the extreme weather is headed next and what it means for your holiday travel.

And organized crime at your local mall? Shoplifters now operate in gangs. And you won't believe what they get away with around the holidays.



Live from the CNN studios in New York, tonight, filling in for Anderson, Heidi Collins.

COLLINS: Those stories coming up.

But, first, here's a quick look at some of the other headlines at this moment.

Crawford, Texas: Tonight, the Bush administration is still refusing to comment on reports that it uses large amounts of telephone and e-mail data in its domestic spying program. But it insists that the program is limited to terror suspects and is legal.

Northern Gaza -- the Israeli military says it has launched airstrikes targeting a staging area for Palestinian militants. No injuries were reported. The Israeli government says it won't resume peace talks until militants are under control.

Western Baghdad -- details still emerging at this hour about the fatal collision of two Apache helicopters. One chopper crashed and burned, killing the pilot and gunner. The other chopper returned to its base. The U.S. military says no hostile fire was involved. And the names of the fallen crew have not been released.

Tonight, we are following two developing stories, including one on some very dangerous weather. In Texas and Oklahoma -- look at this -- scores of wildfires rage out of control. Homes have been destroyed, and people are now being evacuated. Out West, in California, another massive storm is approaching. It's already bringing heavy snow.

There's also the risk of flooding after that, and waves as high as 25 feet.

CNN severe weather expert Chad Myers, tracking the storms for us, he will be here with the very latest on the weather in just a moment.

But, first, our other developing story tonight -- it's out of New Orleans, where there are new questions about the police shooting of a man holding a knife who was killed in a hail of gunfire.

Videotape taken Monday shows several police officers pointing their guns at the 38-year-old unidentified man. Police say the officers opened fire after the man lunged at one of them. The officers have been reassigned, pending an investigation. A news conference is scheduled for tomorrow. But, Monday, a department spokesman said lethal force was necessary.

The images you just saw were taken by Phin Percy. He videotaped the confrontation. And I spoke with him a little bit earlier.


COLLINS: As we look at this video now, it -- it is obvious that the suspect is waving around a knife. But what do you remember seeing as you looked through that small viewfinder on your camera?

PHIN PERCY, VIDEOTAPED POLICE CONFRONTATION: I will tell you, it was -- it was -- it is pretty interesting, because, through the viewfinder, it was very difficult to see if the man had a weapon.

In fact, even in the video, I have noticed that a lot of people are highlighting the knife because it is not that easy to see, although, in -- in reality, it is a rather large knife, from what -- what I'm told and what I saw after the shooting.

Initially, I didn't see a weapon. And I thought, well, here's an unarmed man in New Orleans surrounded by armed police officers. And I -- my first thought was that this -- this could turn into something very bad.

COLLINS: Tell us about how many officers you think were involved this.

PERCY: When I first looked out the window, there were probably about a dozen officers. And, understand, a lot of the New Orleans police officers lost their uniforms, and so, right now, they're wearing either NYPD T- shirts or civilian clothes. So, it wasn't like a gaggle of uniformed police officers, but I believe they're all New Orleans police officers.

So, in the beginning, there were about a dozen. And in the three or four minute that this whole thing transpired, and finally ended with the suspect being shot, within those few minutes, I would say that that number of officers at least doubled.

COLLINS: Anything you remember, too, about the formation of the police? It looks to us here in this video that they're sort of trying to confine the suspect and surround him.


You know, one thing that's hard to tell from the video that would be apparent to anybody who was at scene was the fact that, you know, this area had not been cordoned off by the police yet. I mean, this was an event that was unfolding at that instant. There were pedestrian on the sidewalk. There were cars driving by. It is very difficult to explain, without having -- having been there, what this was like.

COLLINS: We understand that, at some point, Phin, the suspect lunged at police officers. And they say that is why they, in turn, shot him. What did you see from -- from where you were when you were shooting this?

PERCY: I -- I didn't see any lunging.

I -- I did speak to a woman who did see the actual shooting. And, as the -- as the police maneuvered him down Saint Charles Avenue, they began to turn, this crescent of police officers, giving him very little -- very little place to go.

The suspect backed up into my car. And, with nowhere else to go, the police slowly began moving in. And, according to the woman I spoke to who saw this, she said that, with no doubt, this individual must have felt trapped, because he lunged out with the knife in front of him, attempting to strike one of these officers.


COLLINS: Again, we want to make sure we mention that a New Orleans spokesman told us lethal force was justified, and they plan to hold a news conference about the issue tomorrow morning. You can watch CNN for that.

Area residents said the man killed in New Orleans appeared mentally unbalanced. Now, we don't know if he was, but if it's true, this would be just the latest deadly encounter between police officers and the mentally ill. Many police departments in America are being taught to deal with these often violent and unpredictable situations.

CNN senior medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta reports on one training method.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Bronx, New York, October 1984 -- when police were called, details were scarce, a dispute over rent payments between a landlord and a 66- year-old ill tenant, Eleanor Bumpurs. The situation didn't even have time to escalate.

By the time police opened Bumpurs' apartment door, she was already brandishing a 10-inch knife.

JENNIFER HUNT, NEW YORK POLICE DEPARTMENT HEALTH ADVISORY COMMITTEE: Eleanor Bumpurs, who was probably paranoid and psychotic and thought the police were attacking her, had a knife. And one police officer shot and killed her.

GUPTA: Cases that end like this one are not common. But confrontations between police and the mentally ill are, occurring in between 7 percent to 10 percent of the times police are asked to step in, according to research done at the University of North Carolina.

HUNT: When they arrive at the scene, someone is acting in a behavior that seems bizarre, inappropriate or unusual. And, so, they have to learn how to respond to these calls and interpret these symptoms accurately, so that no one gets hurt.

GUPTA: But interpreting strange behavior is difficult, because there are no precise measures for mental illness, no clear physical symptoms.

KAY REDFIELD JAMISON, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY: It's very hard for law enforcement officers always to know whether someone is really a danger or not a danger. You don't have a lot of time to think, and you have got to remove -- to move very rapidly and respond very rapidly and compassionately at the same time.

GUPTA (on camera): How do you anticipate what can't be anticipated? How do you act in a situation that's inherently difficult to pin down? It's exactly what law enforcement programs, like the Georgia Crisis Intervention Team, are trying to do.

(voice-over): I visited the Georgia Crisis Intervention Team performing what they call de-escalation role-playing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't have anywhere to stay, but you here to hurt me?

GUPTA: Officers learn to diffuse crisis situations through calm communication with the mentally ill person.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because I need my medication. I need a place to stay. I need food to eat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You say you need the -- you need your medication? GUPTA: The Georgia program aims to be a national model. Officers get 40 hours of training with psychiatrists, clinicians, learning the telltale signs of a whole slew of illnesses, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, even autism.

JANET OLIVA, GEORGIA BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION: What we train our officers to do in crisis situations with consumers is to be compassionate, empathetic, understanding, and very, very patient.

GUPTA: Kay Redfield Jamison advises law enforcement officials on dealing with the distraught. She says there are obvious signs that can tip off police they are dealing with a mentally ill patient.

JAMISON: Hallucinating, where you see somebody who is tracking and looking at things that other people aren't looking at, they're probably seeing things that aren't there or hearing voices, acting in an aggressive way, when there doesn't seem to be an obvious threat, talking very rapidly or very loudly.

GUPTA: Jamison says training and role-playing help police rein in mentally ill patients.

HUNT: It's absolutely essential that police officers are trained to recognize signs of mental illness. You have to have officers who can handle such situations.

GUPTA: Whether or not this sort of training would have helped Eleanor Bumpurs, we will never know. But with estimates that one in five Americans will suffer from mental illness some time in their life, it's imperative that law enforcement be able to recognize them.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.


COLLINS: Here to take us through the videotape to see if, in his opinion, the officers acted properly is Lou Cannon. He's the president of the Washington, D.C., Fraternal Order of Police. He is joining us from Baltimore tonight.

Thanks for being with us.

Let me ask you, we have slowed down this video a little bit, so that we can get a really good look at it. And, from what you can see, are these officers following proper procedure?


They have -- obviously, following the procedure that they have been trained, they're -- number one, they're trying to contain the situation as best as possible. You know, they want to be able to, if at all possible, maneuver themselves, be able to disarm him, make this a -- you know, diffuse the situation. Also, one out things that was not mentioned that -- earlier here was the fact that they tried to use nonlethal force. They used pepper spray on him. It had absolutely no effect. He simply wiped his eyes and continued on.

COLLINS: And I imagine that escalates the situation, or at least red-alerts it a little bit more.

You know, people in the neighborhood say this man appeared to be mentally Unbalanced. And we just saw Dr. Gupta's report on how police train to deal with mentally unbalanced people. How does that factor into this, exactly?

CANNON: You -- as they said, you are looking for key signs, the way he acts, what he is doing, what he's saying, things of that -- obviously, if he's talking to people that aren't there, he is giving clear signs of hallucinating, you know that you're -- what you are dealing with.

That makes it even more difficult to diffuse the situation. He is not going to respond as predictable. The one thing that is basically predictable in situations dealing with the mentally ill is that they're unpredictable.

COLLINS: Right. And -- and I know that you have been in situations like this. Help us to understand from the officers' point of view for a moment. When you see that knife, what goes through your mind?

CANNON: One thing that goes through your mind is, you want to go home to your wife and family at the end of the day, also.

You also don't want any of your fellow officers to get hurt, and you don't want the public to get hurt. You are going to place yourself in between that threat and the public to make sure that, if anything happens, you're going to take the -- you're going to take the force. You're going to take the hit, so that he doesn't get -- get out and do more harm to the public.

You want to ensure that, hopefully, nobody gets hurt, especially the person that is doing this, especially if they're mentally ill. No one wants to take a life. But, in some cases, there is no choice left but to do that.

COLLINS: When is it OK to shoot?

CANNON: It's -- it's only permissible to shoot to stop the threat when your life or the life of someone else is in immediate danger, and that threat is imminent, such as when the individual is lunging at an officer.

The other thing that you also have to take into consideration, these officers are looking at that threat. They're also trying to make sure that, if they have to use force, there's a clear shot. There's no officers behind them, officers that are trying to maneuver to drop, probably disarm him, that he's not giving them that opportunity. He is turning. He is -- he is, you know, thrashing about at everyone that's around him.


CANNON: The gentleman who took the video was saying that, you know, they backed him into his car.

Well, if you can back him up to a flat surface or something where there's -- there's less of an avenue, then -- then, you have got an upper hand, so to speak, because, hopefully, he will be able to realize that he is up against superior forces, and maybe he will have that one lucid moment where he says, gee, let me put this knife down.

COLLINS: Understood.

CANNON: Unfortunately, it didn't happen in this case.

COLLINS: We certainly appreciate your perspective tonight.

Lou Cannon, thank you again.

Another investigation -- charges of fraud at a hurricane relief center where people hired to help the evacuees are charged with having helped themselves instead to thousands of donated dollars. We're "Keeping Them Honest" -- next.

And fires in one part of the country, snowstorms in another. Nature's bag of tricks is full of surprises this time of year.


COLLINS: Back to our other developing story -- parts of the nation are dealing with some pretty dangerous weather tonight.

In Texas, a rash of wildfires -- authorities say it is the worst outbreak in nearly 10 years. The governor has issued a disaster declaration. Also, grass fires in Oklahoma have destroyed hundreds of acres there.

And, out West, millions of people are facing yet another powerful storm. This one has the potential to bring not only heavy snow, but flooding and massive waves.

CNN severe weather expert and meteorologist Chad Myers been very busy, joining us live from Atlanta for one last check.

Hey, Chad.


Wind speeds are coming down a little now, but Oklahoma City, still 17 miles per hour, Dallas, still at 10. But that's a far cry from the wind gusts of over 40 miles per hour that fanned the flames. The first fire that we knew about was around Mustang, Oklahoma, about four miles west of the Oklahoma City Airport.

The winds were blowing about 30. And that was in the heat of day. What happens in the heat of day -- and you will notice this anywhere in the country -- that the wind speeds are lower at night than they are during the day. During the day, the winds gets gusty. At night, the winds settle down. It was 81 degrees in Dallas today.

That air was rising like a hot air balloon. As it got up into the jet stream or the higher winds aloft, the momentum pushed that wind forward, pushed that little bit of air forward, and then cooled it off, because, obviously, it is colder as it rises.

Pushing that wind down pushes that air into gusts. At night, the opposite happens. The air doesn't get up and down. You don't get those momentum gusts. The air mass separates. The wind s down at the bottom, at the surface, they die off. But the jet stream keeps going. And that was the only thing that helped out those Dallas firefighters this evening. When the sun set, the winds died off, now only 10 miles per hour.

Some of the flames, though, even from Pauls Valley, down into about Seminole, and into Oklahoma City, Mustang -- had some pretty phenomenal pictures there all day long, Heidi. We were watching them all afternoon.

The next storm is now coming on shore in the West, Seattle, right on down into San Francisco, really North Bay, for the most part. But look at this. This is a moisture that goes all the way back to Hawaii. This hose, fire hose, if you will, of moisture has been coming on shore. From north of San Francisco now, all the way up to Eureka and into a place like Redding, 15 inches of rain could fall in the next seven days, with four different storms, one right now, another one that comes in on Thursday.

Heidi, you push that rain up the mountain, and guess what happens? It turns to snow. There could be 100 inches of snow around Lake Tahoe by this time next week -- back to you.

COLLINS: Tahoe, skiing, but maybe 100 inches, a little bit much.



COLLINS: All right. I'm always just looking for the silver lining.


COLLINS: Chad Myers...

MYERS: You have to ski with a snorkel.

COLLINS: That's right. Yes.


COLLINS: Chad Myers, nice to see you. Thanks so much.

Erica Hill from Headline News joining us now with some of the other stories we are following tonight.

Hi, Erica.


We start off tonight in Iraq, where it was an exercise in democracy today, a good old-fashioned street protest -- hundreds of students marching in Baquba, demanding a revote of the election held two weeks. They say the Electoral Commission is fraudulently favoring the leading religious Shia party in its preliminary results. Ten people were arrested. In Baghdad, meantime,, some 3,000 fellow protesters also took to the streets.

Back stateside, in Houston, a former Enron player making a plea deal. The Associated Press says the former chief accounting officer, Richard Causey, will not have to stand trial along Enron founder Kenneth Lay and CEO Jeffrey Skilling. Causey has agreed to testify against his ex-colleagues, in exchange for a lighter sentence than if he had been convicted on charges ranging from fraud to money- laundering.

In Los Angeles, two days after Christmas, a fire that could have been fatal, if not the heroics of a sheriff's deputy -- two children, a 1-year-old girl and a 9-year-old boy, were dropped by their parents from the second floor of a burning apartment building, but a deputy, luckily, there to catch them. Although he suffered minor injuries, no one else appears to have been hurt. Pretty amazing.

And you don't expect a man with a World Series ring to rob a jewelry store. But police say former Major League Baseball pitcher Jeff Reardon was arrested after making off with about $170 in cash from a South Florida jeweler. Last year, Reardon's son died of an overdose. Reardon himself was taking antidepressants and told police -- quote -- "I completely lost my mind."

Reardon will undergo a mental evaluation.

A sad story -- really unbelievable, too.

COLLINS: Yes. It's awful.

All right, Erica, thank you.

Next on 360, gangs in the mall shoplifting -- it's getting pretty sophisticated, too. We will tell you how thieves are now using an approach called boosting. And it's all caught on tape.

Plus, they were hired to be helping hands, but are now charged with helping themselves to money that was meant for hurricane evacuees.

We are "Keeping Them Honest" when 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COLLINS: We want to be clear about one thing from the very outset. The story that follows concerns some unscrupulous individuals and not the Red Cross as an organization. Indeed, the Red Cross itself has also been victimized, by having its very good name associated with something as terrible as a scheme to turn the misfortune of Katrina evacuees into small fortunes for a greedy few.

With tonight's "Keeping Them Honest" report, here's CNN's Kareen Wynter.


KAREEN WYNTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Bakersfield, California, thousands of miles away from the area ravaged by Hurricane Katrina, and from a million-and-a-half people the storm displaced. But it's here, federal authorities say, 22 people contracted to work at this national Red Cross call center filed false claims worth more than $300,000.

And they didn't act alone. Family members and friends were also allegedly involved in this elaborate scam.

JACKIE SMITH, FAMILY OF DEFENDANTS: I'm really surprised that people in this day and time would try to take -- take advantage of the system that's intended to help those in need.

WYNTER: Jackie Smith's brother-in-law was named in the indictment, along with 48 other people, accused of wire fraud.

SMITH: If any of these charges are true, they do need to be fully investigated.

WYNTER: This Bakersfield claims center processed calls from Katrina victims across the country, as many as 16,000 a day.

(on camera): Red Cross workers say, due to the volume of calls, people were asked to provide only their name, address and birth date.

(voice-over): Call center agents would then have to confirm and approve those details before issuing a claim number, so the displaced could receive payment at local Western Unions, $360 for individuals and more than $1,500 for families.

JOHN CONKLIN, ASSISTANT U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: Unfortunately, the -- the fraud schemes are ever present. And, in this case, while we hoped nobody would be willing to take advantage of this situation, people have.

WYNTER: Officials say the contract workers tapped into the system by creating fake accounts and cashing in big. The Red Cross grew suspicious after an audit and contacted the FBI. Special Agent Javier Colon said he was surprised by the number of confessions.

JAVIER COLON, FBI SPECIAL AGENT: In many cases, they have openly admitted that they have never been to the state of Louisiana and that they weren't entitled to the money. WYNTER: This store manager says an employee at his Western Union branch also grew suspicious when the same person came in three times to collect money.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's the one who find out. She had that kind of feeling that she was here a long time. And she contacted the -- the authority.

WYNTER: The American Red Cross released a statement, saying -- quote -- "It does not tolerate fraud. We view donors as investors. And it goes on -- quote -- "Instances of fraud represent a small percentage of the overall contributions that have been made to the American Red Cross."

COLON: Our investigation is going to be expanded to include other parts of California and out of state, and there's thousands of claims that have been made in other states.

WYNTER: The Red Cross says it's devising new systems so that such fraud will be easier to detect in the future.

Kareen Wynter, CNN, Bakersfield, California.


COLLINS: Next on 360, in case you thought shoplifting was a lonely pursuit, think again. The latest thing is what police call boosting, an organized gang caught on tape.

Plus, Dr. Sanjay Gupta reports from earthquake-stricken northern Pakistan, where the very last of a beloved breed, a MASH unit, still is saving lives. We will bring you a 360 look at the world next.


COLLINS: 'Tis the season to go shopping now even more than before the 25th with all the post-Christmas sales going on. The National Retail Federation figures sales will be up maybe six percent over last year. To something approaching $440 billion. Clearly, the country's stores are jam packed. And not just with shoppers. CNN's Deborah Feyerick reports on an alarming new form of organized crime.


DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT(voice-over): Take a look at this surveillance video from a suburban shopping mall. This is no ordinary shoplifter. Just watch. One. Two. Three pairs of shoes. All stolen in less than a minute. Now, watch this woman. Different store. Different day. Same technique. While her partner acts as a lookout, she slips box after box of perfume into a bag. Police call it boosting, organized shoplifting carried out by trained gangs of professional thieves.

(on camera): How much merchandise are we talking about in at any one time? In an hour. DET. DAVID HILL, MONTGOMERY COUNTY RETAIL THEFT UNIT: In an hour, we have made an apprehension where we recovered $40,000 worth of merchandise.

FEYERICK: In a single hour?

HILL: Single hour.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Security officer ...

FEYERICK (voice-over): Maryland Detective David Hill heads the Montgomery County police retail theft unit. We met Detective Hill at a mall but agreed not to mention which one. Stores are desperately afraid of drawing unwanted attention from gangs.

(on camera): So one person stealing, one person doing surveillance. What are the roles?

HILL: You have collectors, packers, ones that take it to the cars. Other that are watching their backs to make sure they're not being followed by security.

FEYERICK (voice-over): Authorities say the gangs that have made the biggest dent are largely from Latin and South America.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My eyes never look down, always straight.

FEYERICK: This man who we'll call Carlos says it is not unusual for his gang to hit seven malls in one day. He asked that we disguise his voice and face, afraid of retribution by those who run the criminal enterprise.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are very dangerous because in their countries they rob banks, they kidnap people, they're drug dealers. If you fail them or do something against them, yes, these people are dangerous.

FEYERICK: Authorities don't know how many gangs there are or who runs them. Yet police believe organized shoplifting has touched nearly every major retail chain in the country. Joe Larocca is with the National Retail Federation, the group that represents many major store owners.

JOSEPH LAROCCA, NATIONAL RETAIL FEDERATION: They are targeting particular types of merchandise. They have an order list and they are going out and stealing what is on their order list.

FEYERICK: You name it, police say they'll steal it. Jeans, lingerie, iPods, baby formula. Over the counter drugs. The demand is endless. Stolen merchandise then sold online or at discount shops that fuel a black market.

It looks like they've just been shopping in the mall.

Even with store clerks and shoppers around, it is surprisingly easy. Detective Hill showed us one of the tools they use. Boosting bags, ordinary shopping bags lined with foil to smuggle stolen merchandise out of a store.

This is regular aluminum foil?

HILL: Right.

FEYERICK: Regular aluminum foil. So somebody's put in a lot of work just to make it this one bag.

HILL: Oh, yes. And that does is when they walk out of the store, with merchandise that has sensors on it, the alarms will not be activated.

FEYERICK: The bag also boosts the thieves' efficiency.

(on camera): Then I go over here and looking at the jeans, and then I can very easily take it ...

HILL: Come over.

FEYERICK: Put it in the bag.

HILL: Drop it right in.

FEYERICK: While you pick it up, this is interesting, you pick it up and you can effectively walk out.

HILL: Walk out. Unless I want more. And they are going to want this full.

FEYERICK(voice-over): This video command center in a major department store invited us to see the recent hit by a shoplifting gang. The woman in the white looked back at her colleague.

HILL: Uh-huh. She gives the okay. The coast is clear.

FEYERICK: Here's how it works. While partner trails her, the woman in white picks up a black shirt. She holds it up to block the security camera loading the bag with perfume. She passes the perfume to a third woman who switches it to a different bag. And walks out of the store.

HILL: Over 40 items of perfume were taken and it was just under $3,000. Recovery was made.

FEYERICK: Not bad for eight minutes of work.

HILL: Not bad at all.

FEYERICK: These women were caught but even when police make arrests, most of these thefts are treated as misdemeanors. The criminals get no more than 30 days in prison. Stephen Chaikin prosecutes organized crime in Montgomery County, Maryland.

STEPHEN CHAIKIN, PROSECUTOR, MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MD: When they get into the court system with multiple names and ID numbers, it is often hard to know who we're dealing with. And sometimes they bond out, they get out of jail, we never see them again.

FEYERICK: The other reason shoplifting has turned epidemic, because of their competitiveness, stores are notoriously secretive. Sometimes even refusing to alert mall security or a store next door. That's now changing.

(on camera): So basically, this data base allows the stores to talk to each other.

LAROCCA: Absolutely.

FEYERICK (voice-over): Stores joined together for a national crime database, retailers that are targeted can now post information like the type of crime, where and how it was committed and a description of the criminal.

LAROCCA: We need to be able to go after these individuals. We need to put them behind bars for their crimes and we need to keep them out of the stores.

FEYERICK: Carlos, who was recently arrested and is now awaiting trial, says it's not so much the individual but the gang leaders.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These people, I don't think they're going to stop.

FEYERICK: And even stores and police acknowledge it will take a very long time to bring organized shoplifting under control. Deborah Feyerick, CNN, Maryland.


COLLINS: So, what if you haven't had the fill of holiday food? Coming up on 360 a new concept in dieting. The secret isn't relying on willpower. It's all about using your intuition.

And, underneath this little girl's tears is a possibility of a happy ending. Thanks in part to the U.S. Army's very last MASH unit. You are watching 360.


COLLINS: If you've ever caught an episode of MASH, you want to listen up. In the U.S. military, MASH units have become an endangered species but there is one, the only one that still exists. Now doing everything it can to help the people of Pakistan devastated by the earthquake there. CNN's senior medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta reports.


SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the mountains of Pakistan, you need two functioning legs to survive. They tell me anything less and like an animal, you die. In other words, to lose a leg here is a death sentence. That's why they worry about 10-year-old Abita Danon (ph). She now has only one leg. The other crushed when the walls and roof of her school buckled all around here. Abita was one of three children to survive. Out of more than 200. But she is considered lucky.

(on camera): It's hard to believe this was actually a school once. These are actually tables over here. A bench for the students over here. This is where they studied. You have note pads still lying on the ground. Pencils all still standing just the way it was on October 8th.

I also couldn't help but notice the signs around the room. This one in particular, out of the frying pan into the fire with the Urdu translation underneath. How eerily true.

Then over here, a whole collection of papers and books. Someone came back and wrote on this chalkboard in Urdu afterwards, it reads "On October 8th, 2005, the earth shook and wreaked havoc" and it certainly did for so many students in this school and so many members of this community.

(voice-over): It was also a description of what happened to Abita Danon. She was so fragile, so badly injured, simply moving her meant it would take over a month to get her to the hospital. If she could get there at all. By the time she did arrive, she was infected and nearly dead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bones were sticking out of the skin for 30 days before they were treated and then the infection is just persistent and, you know, it requires a lot of trips to the operating room.

GUPTA: Nine operations so far. It would take all the resources of the U.S. Army's 212th MASH Unit to coax her leg and life back to health.

A MASH unit. Remember? A Mobile Army Surgical Hospital and this is the last MASH in existence. After it's gone, MASH will be disbanded in favor of more nimble units but here, in northeastern Pakistan, 200 patients a day are lucky MASH is still open for business. Here, a young boy with scabies. This man simply can't sleep. A woman who's lost all feeling in her hand.

And some of the stories are just too much to bear. Dr. Mohammed Hoc (ph) from New York City is volunteering. A Pakistani American doctor and Muslim. He took care of Americans after 9/11.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I saw 9/11, the tower went down. That was 9:00, 8:30. (inaudible) might not have lost. But they bring a baby. The babies.

GUPTA: No matter how hard he works, he can never bring back a young girl's mother. This woman was carrying her baby that morning. And even though she broke her arm trying, she could not save her baby's life. My own daughter is six months old. These stories, so incredibly hard to hear. And this is just one day. All of this pain and grief in just 24 hours. At the MASH unit here in Muzaffarabad, Pakistan.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Basically, this lady is 40-year-old female. She had ARDS (ph) lung failure.

GUPTA: It's worth pointing out, tremendously ill patients here. This woman is on a breathing machine. She has monitoring over here. She has chest tubes in which are actually draining some of the fluid from her lungs. Taking the pressure off of her lungs as well probably. Has just pointed a patient would die in any teaching hospital here in Pakistan but in this tent, here in the middle of Muzaffarabad, she may actually survive this type of injury and we are seeing this here as we're spending some time with this MASH unit here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Medical problems before, they were not really taken care of. On top of that, some of them had trauma so it's very difficult to take care of them, yeah.

GUPTA: Dr. Fareed Sheikh (ph) is also hoping provide something that didn't exist before in many parts of Pakistan -- basic healthcare. According to the World Health Organization, immunization rates for disease have climbed in this area. Before, less than 50 percent had been immunized. Now it is above 70 percent. Life changing operations such as hernia repairs and removal of a goiter of the thyroid gland were considered elective, a luxury but are now performed free of charge.

(on camera): Now, one of the most important things you have got to be able to do is to be able to operate and take care of people who need operations right away. Just behind me over here is the operating theater. One patient has just had their operation completed. They're being woken up. At the same time, another patient has just been put off to sleep. Their operation will start momentarily.

(voice-over): As for little 10-year-old Abita Danon with the crushed leg, when she found herself in the middle of an earthquake, she didn't even know what to call it. The Urdu word is zalzila (ph) but she had never needed to learn it. Today, her life is forever changed by zalzila. Her school and home will be rebuilt probably stronger than before. And the doctors at the 212th MASH have given her her leg back but for the time being it is unclear how long they'll be staying or what will happen to her after they leave.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, Muzaffarabad, Pakistan.


COLLINS: And tomorrow night, we'll learn more about mountain medicine from Dr. Sanjay Gupta. And we'll be right back


COLLINS: With every bite of holiday party cake, every little sip of eggnog, every extra taste of just about anything, you're probably approaching the New Year with two words, uppermost in your mind, no thanks. Well, that is unless you want to try a new diet that doesn't even look like a diet. At first glance, it looks more like what you're eating for a couple of weeks. Here's CNN's Gary Tuchman.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Food shopping with Steven Hawks is, well, an unexpected experience.

If I have a craving, at breakfast at breakfast for chocolate cake, is that OK, chocolate cake?

STEVEN HAWKES, INTUITIVE DIET: Oh yeah. In fact, that sounds good right now.

TUCHMAN: Especially when you consider he's a health science professor. He teaches at Brigham Young University.

What about lunch? I want more chocolate cake and dinner.

HAWKES: As an intuitive eater, day-to-day fluctuation is going to happen. It may be erratic. One day a total chocolate cake day and that's fine.

TUCHMAN: Chocolate cake, all day on a diet? Cake, cookies, candy, they're all okay if you're on the intuitive diet. And it's fairly easy to follow. Eat whatever you crave whenever you crave it. OK. It is not that easy.

HAWKES: You can eat whatever you're physically hungry for. That doesn't mean that you can eat what you're emotionally or socially or environmentally.

TUCHMAN: That's where it might get confusing. Unlike simply counting calories, this diet is more complex. It puts onus on you, the dieter, to ask yourself two tough questions before you even take a bite. Question one, what am I really, really hungry for?

(on camera): We're in the meat island. Here I see ground pork.


TUCHMAN: And here I see pork chops.


TUCHMAN: And here I see hot dogs with 15 grams of fat for a serving. This diet food?

HAWKES: All food is legal. Everything's legal. But I would qualify that, if I am looking at the meats and if I'm thinking, again, I have to think what am I hungry for and satisfy my hunger, what is going to take the edge off and hit the spot. And I'm looking at this, hot dog could do it or a lean cut of meat to do it if they can both do it equally well, then yeah, choose the healthy one for sure. TUCHMAN: You see, the theory behind the intuitive diet is this, if you give yourself permission to eat what you really want, you will find you don't want the bad stuff all that much. So if I get a Starburst and a Hershey's Bar and let's go for the Kit-Kat and Twizzlers. Okay? And I'm having this for breakfast, lunch, dinner, a snack, is that OK?

HAWKES: Again ...

TUCHMAN: Not the whole thing but some of it.

HAWKES: What you will find is that honestly that is not what your body wants to be healthy and strong and you are not going to really want that.

TUCHMAN: But I want it right now.

HAWKES: And if you want it right now, then we can -- we can get you some.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Question two, now that I'm eating what I want, how will I know when to stop?

HAWKES: If you think of it on a scale of one to 10, one I am starving to death and 10 I am stuffed until I'm sick, I want to wait until I'm about a 3 and I know I'm hungry and then stop when I'm a five or six.

TUCHMAN: But if you are eating anything you want is there any hope of eating healthy? In addition to certain foods making you gain weight, certain foods can also clog your arteries, right? May not be good for you. If I eat a lot of foods, lots of fats, not going to be good for my cardiology

HAWKES: That's true. And one of the questions about intuitive eating is if you eat this way, what's that going to do your health? And the research that we just did at BYU shows that people that eat this way, who eat intuitively, have a lower body weight, they have less risk for cardiovascular disease. They have a better blood lipid profile, lower triglycerides.

TUCHMAN: Professor Hawkes says he's living proof that intuitive dieting works. How much did you used to weigh?

HAWKES: Between 210, 220 pounds.

TUCHMAN: How much do you weigh now?

HAWKES: About 165.

TUCHMAN: So you lost 45, 50 pounds on this diet?

HAWKES: About 50 pounds.

TUCHMAN: On a diet eating whatever you feel like eating when you're hungry. HAWKES: That's exactly right. And I stop when I'm satisfied.

TUCHMAN: Critics might complain the discipline required may be too much for the average dieter. But Steven Hawkes says the country's rising obesity rate shows traditional diets simply fail to stem the tide.

You realize a lot of diet experts think this is nuts?

HAWKES: Well, where has dieting got us? I mean, you know, every year, we get more and more overweight, dieting has not fixed that. This is an alternative to dieting that I think for many people will lead to actually eating less, having a much happier, more satisfied relationship with food, still eating a balanced diet and maintaining a stable weight. I think it is -- I think it has potential.

TUCHMAN: Something to keep in mind on January 2nd when you're staring a the a bag of carrots but craving one more piece of pumpkin pie. Gary Tuchman, CNN, New York.


COLLINS: Sadly, I think my intuition is off when it comes to food.

Thanks so much for watching 360, everybody. I'm Heidi Collins in for Anderson Cooper. Coming up next, the mystery of memory. A special hour hosted by CNN's senior medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta.


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