Return to Transcripts main page
ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Syria's Crackdown Continues; New Developments in Penn State Abuse Scandal
Aired November 11, 2011 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. It is 10:00 p.m. here on the East Coast.
Tonight, we have major new developments in the Penn State child sex abuse scandal and a 360 exclusive, an interview with victim number one's psychologist.
But, first, we want to take you live to State College, Pennsylvania. Students there are holding a candlelight vigil tonight in solidarity with the alleged victims at the center of the still unfolding crisis. In a moment, we are going to talk to the mental health professional who's been treating victim number one.
As I said, today, his mom spoke out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "GOOD MORNING AMERICA")
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want justice. I want him -- I want him to be locked up. There's no -- there's no help for somebody that does this, not like this. There's -- he needs to be put away. He needs to be put away for a long time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Her identity obviously hidden there. That appeared on "Good Morning America."
She's talking about former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky, once a top assistant and possible successor to the legendary Joe Paterno. He's now facing a 40-count indictment, the allegations detailed in a nauseating 23-page grand jury report.
In it, the boy whose mother you just heard from is known as victim number one as I said.
Now, according to the grand jury document -- quote -- "Victim number one testified that ultimately Sandusky performed oral sex on him more than 20 times through 2007 and early 2008."
But even though he's called victim number one, he's actually the last in a long line of alleged victims that stretches back to the 1990s. We have detailed the abuses, especially two alleged incidents, one in 1998 and one in 2002.
The first, a series of fondling incidents was reported to campus and local police as well as university officials and Pennsylvania's child welfare agency. Ultimately, nothing more was done.
The second major alleged incident was simply grotesque. In 2002, the alleged rape of a 10-year-old in a campus locker room shower. Again, nothing done beyond the university barring Sandusky from bringing boys into the locker room, that was it.
Boys, by the way, he's accused of recruiting from the children's charity that he founded. And that goes to the heart of the scandal. To put it bluntly, was what happened over the years a cover-up. Mike McQueary, who says he witnessed the 2002 rape, witnessed it, was a graduate assistant at the time. That's him now. Since then he was promoted to assistant coach, but he's now on administrative leave. He says that back in 2002 he gave details of what he saw to Joe Paterno, who told his boss, athletic director Tim Curley.
Now, McQueary also briefed Curley and Gary Schultz, Penn State vice president for finance and business who, also, over saw campus police. And here what's really stunning, Schultz told the grand jury he never saw or received a report on the 1998 incident from campus police. Remember, there was a paper trail, a police report that was never sought out, even though this was the second serious allegation, yet they, local police, the county D. A. and child welfare authorities did nothing more about it.
Now, Sandusky retired from coaching at the peak of his career no less to spend more time with second mile, his charity. Then again, four years later, even more serious allegations and even less was done about them.
Now, the university did nothing except bar Jerry Sandusky from bringing any more kids from his second mile program into the football building and notify second mile. And second mile didn't bar Sandusky from contact with kids. Let me repeat that. Sandusky's charity did not bar him from having contact with kids until 2008 when he notified them he was the subject of a grand jury investigation. Yet many people knew or had reason to know about the 1998 and 2002 allegations, including, apparently, Penn State general counsel Wendell Courtney, who reviewed the 1998 report on Sandusky. That's according to the grand jury filing.
Now, at the time he was and remains counsel for, guess what, second mile. Courtney claims that last part is mistaken, but a spokesman for the Pennsylvania attorney general's office told "The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette" -- quote -- "It is clear from the findings of the grand jury that Mr. Courtney had direct dealings with both Penn State and the second mile and he acknowledged and was aware of the 1998 incident."
So that's raising suspicions, was there a conflict of interest. Also raising questions tonight, how did just about everyone know about the 1998 allegations except head coach Joe Paterno, who says his first inkling of trouble with Sandusky was in 2002. Was he being protected? Was he aware and not being truthful? We don't know.
Also, raising questions about a possible motive for hushing up a scandal, big money renovations going on in 1998 to Beaver stadium. Sixty luxury sky boxes and 12,000 more seats being added. Paid for my donations that might have dried up, if there had been a scandal. There are a lot of questions tonight.
We begin, though, with a 360 exclusive. My conversation moments ago with psychologist Mike Gillum, who is counseling victim number one.
COOPER: How is victim number one doing right now?
MICHAEL GILLUM, PSYCHOLOGIST: Obviously any individual that sustained this kind of abuse, you know, they typically suffer from anxiety, depression. They have a lot of concern that's very humiliating to have to not only experience this but then to, you know, have to discuss it with law enforcement.
It's difficult then to be fearful or live in fear that others may determine who you are, your identity, and, you know, they may or may not, you know, approach you about it. And again, very awkward, very embarrassing for the individual, even though he's a hero, not necessarily something that everyone understands or appreciates.
COOPER: I do think that's a really important point that the public understand is just the role this young man played in setting off the chain of events setting off the investigation, which ultimately, you know, led to these charges.
At this point what do you think people should know? There's obviously a lot you can't say, but what do you think people should know about what happened here?
GILLUM: People should know that there's a power differential I would say between the victim and the perpetrator, and the more status the perpetrator has, whether it be status in the family or in the community, the more difficult it's going to be for the victim to come forward, and in particular expect to be believed when they do tell what happened to them.
COOPER: What's your impression of how other officials at Penn State dealt with the information that they knew?
GILLUM: Well, I think, yes, there are many different witnesses and probably the reasons vary somewhat among those witnesses. I think some were probably very intimidated or fearful about what may happen to them should they make a report, but as a psychologist I'm still stunned that this number of individuals actually did what they did in the cover-up.
COOPER: So you believe there was a cover-up?
GILLUM: I believe that, yes, certain individuals did not -- I know they didn't pass the information forward to law enforcement.
COOPER: Michael Gillum, I really appreciate your time tonight. And please give our best to the family involved, and I hope they know how many thoughts and prayers are with them. Michael, thank you.
GILLUM: Thank you. And you're very welcome.
COOPER: I just want to point out Mr. Gillum was very careful not to talk about specifics about his client, victim number one, or any of the details of the ongoing investigation because it is obviously ongoing. That is one side of the story.
Jason Carroll joins us now live from State college with the other side.
Jason, we understand you met with Sandusky's attorney today. What did he say?
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, first off, Joseph Amendola, who represents Jerry Sandusky spoke specifically about victim number one. Sandusky simply says, Anderson, it is not true.
He says those allegations simply did not happen. He also says he is anxious to defend himself against those specific allegations. He said -- quote -- "I want to fight this." He says it started out as allegations of fondling and then Sandusky's lawyers say it went from allegations of fondling very quickly to a sexual assault case.
So, once again Sandusky's lawyer telling me tonight that those allegations from victim number one, as well as those other allegations from the other seven victims outlined in that grand jury report, simply are not true. Anderson.
COOPER: Jason, you know, it's interesting you say that, Jason, because I specifically talked to Michael Gillum, the psychologist for victim number one, about what I assume was going to be the defense attorney's tactic, which was basically to say, well, the story shifted over time of this boy, this young man, and maybe he was coached.
Michael Gillum when I asked him about that said often defense attorneys use that strategy. Michael Gillum said in his questioning of victim number one, he was extraordinarily careful in how he asked the questions. He has a lot of experience in talking to kids who have suffered abuse and knows how not to lead them, so he is certainly prepared for that strategy from the defense.
CARROLL: I think what you're going to end up seeing in this, Anderson, is both sides preparing themselves as best they can. This is a case that has received so much publicity that it would be a mistake for any defense attorney not to do everything that he or she could to speak out or defend their particular client.
But all I can do is just tell you what this defense attorney is saying about that, and basically he said not only with this particular case but some of the other allegations that are being presented as well, he said that there are a lot of inconsistencies in the stories that are not coming out yet, but he says they will. Anderson. COOPER: Also when I talked to the psychologist, he pointed out that it is very common for particularly teenage accusers, when they come forward, teenage victims when they come forward for their stories to shift because often what they tell initially are the least egregious examples of abuse, because of the embarrassment and sense of shame, humiliation, and it's only later as they become more comfortable that they reveal the full details of what happened.
Jason, again, I appreciate all of your reporting for the last couple of days on this.
Let us know what you think. We're on Facebook or, on Google+, add us to your circle, or follow me on Twitter @AndersonCooper.
Jerry Sandusky officially retired from college football near the top of his coaching game. That's important because at the age that he retired he should have been able to get a job elsewhere but he didn't.
We are going to take a closer look at his career on the field and with his charity. Were there clues back then there could be something very wrong? Did other people know that and that's why he didn't get another job? That's next.
Also ahead, more Syrians died today. The government's brutal crackdown shows no signs of slowing, did after, remember, they had promised their policy was going to change. Instead, it actually seems to have worsened and intensified, the deaths and the killings.
Tonight, a new report details just how common torture and murder are in Syria. We are going to speak to one very brave Syrian man, telling us his story tonight. His bravery I think is really going to inspire you.
Let's check in with Isha Sesay who is following some other stories for us -- Isha.
ISHA SESAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, this is the most remarkable story. Congresswoman Gabby Giffords shot in the head suffered a severe brain injury ten months ago but she is on her way back walking and talking and along with her husband telling her incredible story. It's a story Doctor Sanjay Gupta has been following very closely and he'll be here with the latest on the recovery -- that and more when "360" continues.
COOPER: As far as most of the world knew Jerry Sandusky another had two careers, two passions, football and helping kids. But the grand jury reports turns out to be accurate though. He betrayed both in the worst way imaginable and possibly top university officials were complicit either by their silence or worse by their actions. That remains to be seen.
What is plain to see right now, though, is how strange and creepy it now seems that a top football coach, Joe Paterno's heir apparent, would quit at the peak of his career to spend more time with the kids he claimed to love.
More on that now, from Mary Snow.
MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the last game coached by Jerry Sandusky, a 24-0 drubbing of Texas A&M in the 1999 Alamo Bowl, broadcast by ESPN. After the victory, players dumped Gatorade on him, an honor usually reserved for the head coach, a fitting end to a storied career.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's his son, John, a special moment right there.
SNOW: For more than two decades, Sandusky was the coach of a football team dubbed "Linebacker U" because of its stifling defense. Twice he was named assistant coach of the year. In fact many regarded Sandusky as the heir apparent to legendary Penn State coach Joe Paterno.
But Sandusky walked away from it all at the age of 55 when most coaches are in their prime. Never to coach college football again. The question is why? Was Penn State trying to move him out of their program because they knew of the allegations against Sandusky?
For his part, Sandusky said he stepped down to focus on his charity, the second mile. He also went on to volunteer as a high school football coach. Still, it was clear he had coveted Paterno's job. "I wouldn't call it devastating," Sandusky told "Sports Illustrated." "That was definitely a goal of mine when I started."
The grand jury report paints a similar picture. In it, victim number four, who had been at the stands at the Alamo Bowl and said that Sandusky tried to rape him, described Sandusky as emotionally upset after meeting with Paterno and being told that he would not be the next head coach at Penn State.
(on camera): Victim number four says that meeting with Paterno occurred in May of 1999, before Sandusky announced his retirement, but by then Penn State officials were made aware of some troubling allegations made against Sandusky by the mother of a different young boy, victim number six.
(voice-over): In 1998, she had complained to university police about her son being forced to shower with Sandusky. Detectives opened an investigation and listened on the phone as the mother confronted him. A detective testified Sandusky admitted to hugging her son and even showering with other boys, telling her -- quote -- "I was wrong. I wish I could get forgiveness. I know I won't get it from you. I wish I were dead."
Despite that admission, the investigation was closed without any charges ever being filed against Sandusky. He was named professor emeritus when he officially retired in 1999, retaining access to Penn State facilities, including the locker room showers where prosecutors say he abused and assaulted other boys. Sandusky denies the charges against him and now many of his former players are shocked by what has happened to the coach they held in high esteem.
BRYAN SCOTT, FORMER PENN STATE FOOTBALL PLAYER: As a coach and as a person, he was top notch. I saw the way that he interacted with you know, myself, my other teammates, even with the second mile program. I saw how he interacted with the kids. And he just seemed like a great, great person. SNOW: Mary Snow, CNN, State College Pennsylvania.
COOPER: It seems a far different story right now.
Jason Carroll is back with us live from State College. Also Cory Giger of Altoona Mirror Newspaper and the local ESPN radio stations and CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin joins us, as well.
So Cory, Sandusky retired at what a lot of people thought fairly early on his career at a, you know, very successful career. Isn't that a bit odd looking back?
CORY GIGER, SPORTS REPORTER, "ALTOONA MIRROR": Very strange. There's every reason to believe that Joe Paterno knew a lot about those 1998 allegations. One interesting story is at Sandusky's retirement dinner, Joe -- there was a very peculiar situation.
Joe spoke very briefly, only a few words, a minute or so, only stayed at the celebration for a few minutes and then left. And it was very odd to many people at the time. No one really knew exactly why. You would think that Joe would have stayed for a long time.
But there was every reason to believe looking back on all of that that Joe was probably disgusted by the 1998 allegations and kind of just wanted to distance himself as much as possible from Jerry, so, therefore -- but that breeds the question why was he allowed to coach the 1999 season.
COOPER: Well, I mean that's an extraordinary idea that if he knew about the 1998 allegations and knew and, you know, at the retirement dinner, you know, didn't want to hang around because of his thoughts on Sandusky, what's extraordinary about that and the significance of it, Cory, and in fact and, you know, explain this to our viewers is that Sandusky continued to have privileges where he could -- and was seen bringing children to the facilities and it's in 2002 that he was accused in fact of raping a child in the locker room, in the shower room at Penn State.
So if Paterno knew back in 1998 or '99 and still allowed this guy to have privileges, that's extraordinary.
GIGER: Yes, it's very troubling. And even after the 2002 incident, he was spotted with a child at a practice in 2007. So you have to figure -- you would think Joe and Mike McQueary, the receivers coach, another key figure in all of this, you would figured that they might have seen Jerry at that 2007 practice with a child and they knew that he was continuing to work with children with the second mile.
So again, very troubling and unsettling if you add all that up. So many people you would think would have to have known about these incidents in '98 and 2002 and still said nothing. And that's really why when you look over the totality of this, you just have to wonder why so many people did not come forward. COOPER: Jason, so you talked to Sandusky's attorney as we talked about earlier. Did he say anything about why Sandusky would be showering with a young boy or with several young boys in the locker facilities back in -- why would he be in a shower with a boy in 1998 and why again in 2002?
CARROLL: He did actually. And again, this comes from his attorney as we talked about earlier. He basically told me this. This was his explanation for this for now. He said you have to look at it, Jason, from the aspect of an athlete. He said a lot of athletes shower with each other after a game, after a practice, and because he was working in an environment with athletes, according to his attorney, Sandusky's attorney, he said that was his explanation for him showering with these young boys.
I know that sounds incredulous, as I say it, but again, you have to remember this is his defense attorney. That's what his job is, to start building a defense. And that's what he's saying, at least for now, about his explanation in terms of why Sandusky seemed to be showering with these boys repeatedly. And he admits to that. So we'll have to see how that ends up shaking out in court, but that's his explanation for now.
COOPER: Yes, we know one of the boy's mother, actually, confronted him about that and he said he didn't plan on stopping the practice.
Jeff, there are reports that Sandusky may have molested one of the victims while in Texas. Is it possible that he could face charges in Pennsylvania and Texas as well as federal charges?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, there is so much -- that 23-page report, it's detailed, but it raises so many questions. And that is certainly one of them. Did he transport these kids?
There's a famous old federal law called the Mann Act, sometimes called the White Slavery Act. It's a really old law which involves taking people across State lines, usually young women, but it can apply to men, for, you know, for purposes of sex.
If he brought some kid to Texas or brought someone from Texas to Pennsylvania, that would certainly raise that possibility. I mean you have the department of education investigating, you have the Pennsylvania attorney general, Penn State is investigating internally. I mean there is a lot that I am sure is still to come out in this case.
COOPER: What are some of the other questions that the grand jury report raises for you, Jeff? TOOBIN: Well, the most important certainly is what did Joe Paterno know? And when did he know it? I mean there is only one reference in those 23 pages to Paterno being informed of a sexual conduct involving Sandusky. It's the 2002 incident where Mike McQueary, the then graduate assistant, now assistant coach, sees a rape in progress in the showers and tells Paterno. That's the only time he's informed of anything.
Is it plausible? Is it believable that in all these years, '98, '99, all the way to 2011, Paterno didn't hear anything else? I mean I thought that was a fascinating story about the dinner in 1999, the farewell dinner. I mean that suggests he knew something then. Year after year him knowing something and what did he does. That's a real big unanswered question in this case.
COOPER: Well, and so with McQueary as well, we don't know. I mean how is it that -- what I just can't wrap my mind around is how is it you witness a child being raped, don't try to intervene in that second, only alert your superior, you know, the coach Paterno and then have one other interview about it and then continue to be in that program, work in that program, work in that stadium and not every day try to find out what exactly happened and what's being done about what you witnessed.
TOOBIN: And what happened to the kid, is the kid OK? Only two people so far have been charged under the Pennsylvania law that says you have to report child molestation accusations, the athletic director and the vice president. That investigation is certainly going to continue and I would not be surprised to see more charges.
COOPER: Jason Carroll, Cory Giger, Jeff Toobin. Thank you all.
Coming up a closer look at the assistant coach, we've just been talking Mike McQueary, who says he saw Jerry Sandusky raping a boy in 2002 and reported to Joe Paterno. McQueary is on in definite administrative leave. We'll look at how he got his start at Penn State and his history with Paterno.
Also ahead: an Arab league deal that was supposed to stop the violence in Syria. We reported on that last week. But tonight reports that nothing has changed, not by a long shot. In fact, the bloodshed seems to be worse.
Human Rights Watches says Syrian security forces have killed more than 100 people since that deal, 100 people since that deal.
Coming up, I'm speaking with a very brave voice from inside Syria, an activist who says the deaths continue, and enough is enough.
COOPER: Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary reportedly says he is in protective custody at a secluded location that's not in State College. The local newspaper, the "Patriot-News," is reporting McQueary talked to players by speakerphone today after he was put on indefinite administrative leave. During the call, team sources say that McQueary told the players he wanted to let them know he's not their coach anymore.
McQueary saw Jerry Sandusky allegedly raping a 10-year-old boy back in 2002, or a boy estimated to be around 10.
Once again, here's Mary Snow with an up-close look.
MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): His name is Mike McQueary, an assistant football coach at Penn State. An it's what he saw in 2002, say authorities, that led in part to child sex abuse charges against former coach Jerry Sandusky. Sandusky maintains his innocence.
McQueary grew up around Penn State, becoming a quarterback for the team under Coach Joe Paterno. He would later hope to follow in Paterno's footsteps as head coach.
At 28, when he was a graduate assistant, according to a grand jury report, he alleges he witnessed Sandusky raping a boy believed to be 10 years old in a locker room shower at Penn State. McQueary was described as being distraught and leaving immediately, turning to his father and then going to Coach Joe Paterno.
Paterno told grand jurors he was made aware that Sandusky was doing something of a sexual nature to a young boy. "The New York Times" quoted a person familiar with McQueary's account as saying McQueary did tell the full story to Paterno and others at Penn State. This past week, Paterno has insisted he didn't know the full extent of what's been alleged.
With Paterno and the Penn State president ousted, questions are now focused on McQueary, who's keeping his assistant coaching job. On campus, there are open calls for McQueary to also go. Many question why he didn't call police.
MARK CAROLL, PENN STATE STUDENT: I wasn't in his position, but I feel like any normal human being, when they see something like that happening, they would react a lot more -- with better intent than he did.
SAM MESSA, PENN STATE STUDENT: I figure if you're going to fire Joe Paterno, you should fire him, because he did exactly the same thing Joe Paterno did.
SNOW: McQueary's father, John, told us he's been advised not to talk, because he is a witness in the investigation. As for his son, John McQueary is quoted in "The New York Times" saying he thinks it's eating up his son not to be able to tell his side of the story, and adds, "He'll make it. He's a tough kid."
(on camera) Pennsylvania's attorney general has stressed that grand jurors found Mike McQueary to be a credible witness. CNN has reached out to McQueary several times but so far hasn't gotten a response. Others here at Penn State involved in the investigation have said that they've been advised not to talk.
Mary Snow, CNN, State College Pennsylvania.
COOPER: Well, we're going to continue to follow this. There's a lot more to learn still ahead. Let's check in on some other stories. Isha is back with a "360 News & Business Bulletin" -- Isha.
ISHA SESAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, President Obama marked Veterans Day by laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery. In his remarks he noted, with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq winding down, this holiday season will be one of homecomings. He also urged Americans to hire returning vets.
Mexico's interior minister died in a helicopter crash today south of Mexico City. The crash killed seven other people. There were no survivors. The cause of the crash is being investigated.
The Greek government has a new leader tonight. Economist Lucas Papademos has been formally sworn in as interim prime minister. One of his first orders of business is the controversial bailout package European leaders agreed to last month.
Wall Street ends the week on an up note. The Dow rallied for a second day, closing up 260 points.
And Anderson, listen to this, a Florida man had to sift through the local garbage dump after he accidentally threw his wife's engagement ring out with the trash.
COOPER: Oh, my goodness.
SESAY: Well, the good news is he found it, but along with a lot of other stuff, as well.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRIAN MCQUINN, HUSBAND: I was lifting, you know, chairs out of the way, broken glass, other sanitary items that I don't want to get into, but it was horrific, to say the least.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SESAY: Well, better to sift through the garbage dump than be in the dog house for the rest of his life.
COOPER: Yes, that's for sure.
All right, let's check out "The Shot." We found this one on YouTube under the title, "Oscar, my very weird handstand-peeing dog."
COOPER: How can you not look at a video with that kind of headline? It's not a bait-and-switch trick either. Take a look. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here we go.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: That is the weirdest thing. He's tiny. Presumably, so is his bladder. It clearly was streaming video. His paw stand lasts a full 20 seconds. That's pretty amazing there.
SESAY: And he just -- yes. I don't know is that nature or nurture. Someone taught him that.
COOPER: Is that nature or nurture? Gosh, I hope somebody did not teach him that.
All right. We'll check in with you a little bit later on.
Let's turn to a far more serious story. A new case of Amish-on- Amish violence in a close-knit Ohio community. Such a bizarre series of attacks we've been documenting. Surprising suspects in this latest attack. We'll tell you about that ahead.
Also a new report shedding light on the violence Syria's government is trying to hide from the world. We're going to speak to a man who knows it all too well and is risking his own safety right now tonight to tell you his story.
Also Gabby Giffords, triumph after the tragedy at Tucson. We have the latest on her -- her recovery.
COOPER: Piers, thanks. Good evening, everyone. It is 10 p.m. here on the East Coast. Tonight we have major new developments in the Penn State child sex abuse scandal.
And a 360 exclusive. And two dozen civilians in the latest round of violence today. Two dozen people just today. A tragedy that's now all too common, according to a new report just out from Human Rights Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (speaking foreign language)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: The new report describes the near-constant torture and murder in the Syrian city of Homs is nothing short of crimes against humanity. The reports backs up what we've been seeing in amateur video on the Internet. International journalists, as you know, are barred from Syria. So CNN is unable to independently confirm what's happening on the ground there. The report from Human Rights Watch calls on the international community to step in and protect the Syrian people. The Assad regime reneged on a deal this month brokered by the Arab League to withdraw troops from cities and allow international monitors. Since then, according to Human Rights Watch, more than 100 Syrians have been killed, and the bloody crackdown shows no signs of slowing down.
I spoke with one brave man who wanted to offer his firsthand account of what he has seen. Zaidoun Alzoabi is from the city of Dara. He spoke to us from Damascus. He also insisted that we identify him by his real name, despite fears of repercussions.
COOPER: Zaidoun, you live in Dara. What happened there today?
ZAIDOUN ALZOABI, SYRIAN: I live in Dara, but I'm right now in Damascus. I came yesterday from Dara. Throughout this week, nothing changed from before the initiative. The same killing is happening on a daily basis. Shooting, arresting people, firing at peaceful demonstrators. The regime seemingly doesn't want to move to a peaceful transition to the democracy of Syria.
And I don't know until when this is going to last. On a daily basis we are losing 20 people, 25 people. Today we lost almost 25 people. A quarter of them possibly in Dara and maybe the major -- other places where we are facing war against the people.
COOPER: November is turning out to be one of the bloodiest months in Syria that we have seen. To your knowledge, has the Assad regime complied with any of the agreement that it came up with with the Arab League? They made a lot of promises. Have they lived up to any of them?
ALZOABI: Not a single one. And there is no sign of anything happening in the future.
COOPER: You've coordinated demonstrations. You've attended demonstrations in Dara and Damascus. Who is on the streets? Who's attending the demonstrations? Because if you listen to the Assad regime they say it's Islamists, it's foreigners, it's armed terrorists, it's gangs.
ALZOABI: People on the streets are from universities, from different sects. They were not Islamists. They were not from one sect. They were not the poor people. It's everybody.
COOPER: You're being extraordinarily brave. You're using your full name. You're asking us to use your full name. You're telling us where you are. I know you've been interrogated by Syrian security forces. Why are you still willing to speak out and use your name?
ALZOABI: Because it's enough. People are dying over there for just saying freedom. I'm telling the regime it's enough. Don't think people will go back to their homes after eight months. You still believe a lie, that you can control and overcome this uprising. It is impossible.
You can just do one thing now: save more lives, please. Stop the killing. When I chant "I want freedom," I can hear my voice for the first time in my life. Now how can I give up this, even if it costs me my life?
COOPER: What does that feel like to be the age that you are and to be able to hear your voice for the first time? That's an extraordinary statement, to hear -- that you're hearing your voice for the first time.
ALZOABI: You know, Anderson, you don't know this feeling. Maybe you were born free. You could always say whatever you liked to say. But when you dismiss that for 30 years and you think that you can't do this and this is something impossible, and this is something you don't have to think of, believe me, when you do it, then you can just easily give up your life after that.
COOPER: Zaidoun Alzoabi, I hope to meet you one day in Syria. Thank you.
ALZOABI: Thank you very much.
COOPER: Stay safe.
COOPER: Still ahead on "360," another attack in Amish country. Elderly men assaulted, their hair and beards cut. We'll tell you what's behind these kind of attacks in this normally peaceful community.
SESAY: This Sunday Soledad O'Brien has a "Black in America" special that follows young black entrepreneurs who are trying to change the diversity landscape in Silicon Valley. There are eight entrepreneurs living together and waiting to get their dot-com start ups launched. Early on the entrepreneurs are put on the spot to pitch their ideas at an event at Google. Then afterward, they get some advice from a mentor. Here's Soledad O'Brien with a preview.
NAVARROW WRIGHT, CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER, INTERACTIVE ONE: So right now all you should be thinking about is how do I execute on my idea?
SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): One week after the Google event, the entrepreneurs have dinner with one of their mentors, Navarrow Wright, the chief technology officer for the Internet company Interactive One. Navarrow was also one of the four drag-ins during the Google event.
(on camera) What was your take? Describe for me that moment. WRIGHT: I said to myself that they weren't ready. Everyone here is kind of looking at this environment of this incubator and saying, "I don't want to be the first person to tell this black person that, hey, they're not doing a good job." Right? So I guess to a certain degree that role has kind of fallen on me.
O'BRIEN: On the black guy.
WRIGHT: On the black guy, yes.
Show of hands, who thinks they did well? So nobody thinks they did well?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I did OK.
WRIGHT: I think you guys need to be a little bit harder on yourselves.
And let's be clear. My goal to say that is to not belittle anybody in this room. My goal to say that is I need you guys and want you guys to understand the vastness of this opportunity, right? You guys walked through Palo Alto to get here. This is probably the most black people who are in this -- the town right now. Let's be honest, right? So you need to understand the reality that you're in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No one that walked into that room knew they were about to pitch.
WRIGHT: Let's say you walked in there and Mark Zuckerberg was in there and said, "Hey, I want to hear your idea." So you're going to tell me that it's OK to say, "Oh, well, I didn't know I was going to pitch him, and I shouldn't be ready"?
You can make those excuses and at the end of the nine weeks not be where you need to be, but you've got to recognize that you're the only person that was in control was yourself. It wasn't the valley; it wasn't the investors. It was you because you guys made the decision to come out here and it's bigger than you.
If an investor's only seeing only one African-American a year, give a pitch, right, and you don't do well, you not only affected you. You affected other people. It's that important.
All right. So with Angela, there's a tag line. No whack demos on demo day.
O'BRIEN: For "In America," Soledad O'Brien, CNN.
SESAY: Be sure to tune in for the "Black in America" special, "The New Promised Land: Silicon Valley," which airs this Sunday night at 8 Eastern right here on CNN.
Breaking news tonight, Major League catcher Wilson Ramos has reportedly been found and is alive and unharmed. That's according to Venezuelan state TV. The Washington Nationals catcher was kidnapped in Venezuela on Wednesday. Ramos was taken by gunmen in his mother's home in Santa Anas (ph) and was found about 60 miles away.
Once again the breaking news, Venezuela state TV reporting that Ramos has been found and is alive and unharmed.
Now, the death toll has risen from 25 from the earthquake that hit Turkey on Wednesday. Rescue workers are still searching through rubble from the 5.6 magnitude quake.
A 360 follow, an attack on another Amish man in Ohio. The local sheriff said the man was held down and his hair and beard were cut by his own son and grandchildren, an act considered extremely offensive within the Amish community. The Jefferson County sheriff said the attacks are connected to Sam Mullet, the leader of a breakaway Amish sect in the area.
The White House has handed over some internal e-mails to a House panel investigating the collapse of the Solyndra solar panel company. But it didn't release everything that the Energy and Commerce Committee had asked for. White House counsel says the committee subpoena was too far-reaching. The House panel is investigating whether a key Solyndra investor and Obama fundraiser got preferential treatment and loan guarantees approved by the Department of Energy.
And it was a very special Veterans Day for one little girl in if New Jersey. Sergeant Joseph Mulvaiser (ph) surprised his daughter in her preschool class, as you see there. He was just back from a three- month deployment to Saudi Arabia.
In tonight "Connection," picture this. Remember the old Polaroid cameras that printed as soon as you took a picture? Well, Polaroid has just launched a high-tech version. The Z-340 lets you select which photos you want to print and do minor editing and cropping. It will cost you, though, about 300 bucks.
And United Airlines this week introduced the first commercial flight partly fuelled by algae-based jet fuel. Its subsidiary, Continental, operated the flight from Houston to Chicago. Airline analysts describe it as kind of an eco-friendly publicity stunt but say it does set the stage for greater use of biofuels when they become less expensive.
Now back to Anderson.
COOPER: "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" is ahead at 11 p.m. Check in with Erin. What's up?
ERIN BURNETT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: All right. Well, Anderson, we're going to be talking about Penn State, like you did; spending most of the hour there. We're going to go live to the campus.
And also, we've got some shocking details on the location of Jerry Sandusky, where he has been seen. We're also going to be talking to a board member of the Second Mile Foundation that was allegedly the source of the young boys that Jerry Sandusky abused. Also, one-year birthday of Lisa Irwin, the little baby that is missing from Missouri. High-powered attorney Joe Tacopina is going to be our guest tonight.
All that coming up, top of the hour. Back to you, Anderson.
COOPER: Erin, thanks. Look forward to it.
Up next, what would you do if your iPhone wasn't working? All right? Forget those genius guys at the Mac store. One genius in Illinois decided to call 911, and he called his way onto "The RidicuList." That's next.
COOPER: Time for "The RidicuList," and tonight we're adding a man by the name of Michael Alan Skopec. As you might be able to guess from the mug shot obtained by The Smoking Gun Web site, Mr. Skopec ran into a bit of trouble this week.
According to authorities in Illinois, he called 911 to report -- wait for it -- that his iPhone wasn't working. Oh, and when I say he called 911 to report that his iPhone wasn't working, I mean to say he called 911 five times to report his iPhone wasn't working.
Now, I know what you're thinking. If only there had been some examples over the years that might have taught Mr. Skopec that 911 is to be used only in case of an emergency.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CALLER: I just ordered some food, and the manager just took my money and won't give me my money back. They're trying to make me get something off the menu I don't want. I ordered chicken nuggets, and they don't have chicken nuggets. And so, I told her to refund, give me -- to just give me my money back, and she told me I have to pick something else off the menu.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: And listen, I can relate. Who among us hasn't thought to ourselves, "You know, this lack of chicken nuggets is really something for the police to look into. In fact, let's hit the sirens and send in the SWAT team"?
But it's not like this is an epidemic happening across the country everywhere from Florida to Oregon. Oh, wait. It did happen in Oregon.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CALLER: I was at a McDonald's. I paid $10, and these guys gave me one burger and a fry.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir, this is not a 911 emergency. This is nothing the police are going to get involved in. You need to take that up with the manager.
CALLER: You cannot tell me I can call 911 and not get a cop right here. If I can't get a cop right here at 82nd and Sunnyside, I will sue (EXPLETIVE DELETED) your office right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Of course, not all misuse of 911 involves fast food disputes or broken iPhones. Some people just want advice.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nine-one-one, what's the location of your emergency?
CALLER: Let's not get into that yet.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is it life-threatening or an active crime in progress?
CALLER: Crime in progress possibly. I was just growing some marijuana. I was just wondering what -- how much, you know, trouble you can get into for one plant.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: He found out the answer to that question, by the way, when the police showed up at his house.
Let's be honest: those incidents are by far the exception. Most calls to 911 do involve true matters of life and death.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CALLER: I think I'm having an overdose and so is my wife.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Overdose of what?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you guys have a fever or anything?
CALLER: No, I'm just -- I think we're dying.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How much did you guys have?
CALLER: I don't know. We made brownies, and I think we're dead. I really do. Time is going by really, really, really, really slow. What's the score in the Red Wings game?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Oh, the red wings score.
By the way, that caller? A police officer who had confiscated the pot from suspects. As for the guy who called 911 about his iPhone not working, he was released on his own recognizance and is due in court next week. We called the number listed for him to ask for comment but, perhaps not surprisingly, we got no answer. Lucky for him, though, tech support is open 24/7 on "The RidicuList."
Hey, that's it for us. Thanks for watching. "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts now.