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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Search for Two Escaped Convicts Continues; Police Officer Who Pulled Gun at Pool Party Resigned. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired June 9, 2015 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:05] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. Thanks for watching.
We are live for the next two hours tonight because there are a lot of developments. We've just had a major development in the escape of these two fugitive murders, David Sweat and Richard Matt. Sweat, the cop killer on the left, Matt, the murder's torturing sadist on the right. The first inmates in more than a century-and-a-half to break out of Clinton correctional facility in far upstate New York.
Now, we begin tonight with breaking news about the role that investigators believe this woman, prison tailor Joyce Mitchell may have played in the escape. NBC News citing one of their local affiliate reports that she was hospitalized the day they broke out with, quote, "a case of the nerves." Her son, Tobey, spoke out today about his mom.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOBEY MITCHELL, JOYCE MITCHELL'S SON: She is not the kind of person that is going to risk her life or other people's lives to let these guys escape from prison. She definitely wouldn't have an affair against my father and it definitely wouldn't be with an inmate. There's no truth to that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's a report out there that your mom went to the emergency room with a panic attack. Did that happen?
MITCHELL: Yes. She was in fact in the hospital that evening. I don't know the exact details. I just know that she was having severe chest pains and she was concerned about that. My mom, she worries a lot about everything, I mean, especially with me. People might say, well, no matter what, I wouldn't do that. Well, when you're put in a situation where a family member's friend or other family members might be threatened or at risk, do you a lot of things you wouldn't think to protect your family. And in my family, family always comes first.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Were there threats, Tobey?
MITCHELL: I have no idea.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: That was earlier.
Just moments ago as we said, a huge new development. Deborah Feyerick has the story. She joins us now.
So Deborah, this prison tailor, what do we know about the role she was supposed to play in these guys' getaway?
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that we're learning as she may have been the ride for these two fugitives. The woman was a civilian employee at the prison. She told investigators that she planned to pick up the two men after they broke out and sort of popped out, out of this manhole. But apparently she changed her mind.
Now, this is significant and it really explains, Anderson, why these two men who planned such an elaborate, elaborate escape from this correctional facility, why they're on foot. It is raining, it is dark and they, right now, they're probably, according to investigators, seeking shelter wherever they can and trying to lay low.
We do know that this woman has got to be terrified right now. You heard her son saying effectively that, you know, she would have done anything to protect her family if she was threatened. Though, it's not clear whether she was. But an investigator that we spoke with yesterday said this guy, Rick Matt, he is violent, he vicious and he is extremely cunning. So now, some of the pieces are beginning to make sense, Anderson.
COOPER: Wait a minute. So let's -- I just want to repeat that because this is a really huge development if this is in fact true. What is the source of this and what are they saying? That she was supposed to drive -- she was supposed to meet them and drive the getaway vehicle?
FEYERICK: Well, that's what it sounds like. According to law enforcement sources that CNN spoke with, this woman planned to pick up the two men once they broke out of that prison. They were supposed to --
COOPER: Do we know why she would possibly do that?
FEYERICK: Well, we don't. And that's really interesting. We do know according to law enforcement source that her phone was used to make multiple calls to several of Rick Matt's friends and associates. It is unclear who made those calls and when those calls were actually made.
However, the pieces are beginning to fall into place. Again, people have been very confused why you would plan this. Go to such lengths. They didn't break out in the middle of winter. They broke out when the weather is changing, when it was much warmer. And now, of course, they are out there in the elements.
We've seen the pouring rain that has been out there. And so, why there was nobody to pick them up, whether it was supposed to be this woman or whether there was supposed to be people who were being contacted on behalf of Rick Matt or by Rick Matt himself. We don't know that. All of that now is under investigation. COOPER: And we don't know -- investigators are saying that her phone
was used to call people associated with these two. But we don't know if she made those calls or if they made those calls or somebody else who had access to the phone made those calls, correct?
FEYERICK: Correct. That's exactly right.
COOPER: OK. Deborah Feyerick, I appreciate the reporting.
Meantime, reports surface early afternoon today, there were sightings of two suspicious men about 35 miles away from the prison in the town of Willsboro. Now, law enforcement descended on that area, started an intense search by foot and by air. They've been there all day. The latest now on the manhunt from our Randi Kaye.
So authorities, are they still searching that area?
[20:05:07] RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, they're not, Anderson. The search lasted for hours today, but it does seem to be winding down right now. But for a long time, heavily armed police were searching the barns and the fields in that area. And all of this happening after a tip that the two men were seen walking in the heavy rain and then taking off for the woods. But with no sign of them now, authorities can once again turn their attention back to the Canadian border which is not very far from here.
KAYE (voice-over): It seems the only person to have seen Richard Matt and David Sweat was a man in his own yard the night of the escape. This is what he told ABC News.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I asked him, what the hell are you doing in my yard? Get the hell out of here. And he was like, sorry, I didn't know where I was. I'm on the wrong street.
KAYE: Trouble is, nobody is sure they've seen them since. And with the Clinton correctional facility just south of the Canadian border, authorities are growing concerned they may try to flee north, if they haven't already.
If these guys did cross into Canada, they may have done so here. This is the border crossing between Sham Plain, New York and Quebec. It is about an hour or so from the prison they escaped from. But this is a high security crossing, so it would have been very, very tough. The U.S. border patrol tells me that their officers here are trained in imposter detection and fraudulent documents.
PAUL MONGILLO, U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION: We are looking at the vehicles, we are looking at the individuals, opening trunks, opening back of doors of trucks and things. So it is a lot -- very extensive.
KAYE: I assume your team has their pictures at the ready.
MONGILLO: Right, yes. We have the photos in the primary booths, the officers have them. They know who they're looking for.
KAYE: But there are 300 miles of border in just this sector. A lot of it mountainous and nearly all of it heavily wooded. And some parts of the border are so easy to cross that authorities are at a real disadvantage.
The escapees may be looking for a place like this to cross the border. They certainly would have an easier time. Border patrol can't secure the entire northern border so there are plenty of spots like this one. Open areas where you don't need any passports or documentation to cross the border.
So watch this. Here I'm standing in the U.S. I can keep one foot in the U.S. and put another foot in Canada. This is the border right here. Or I can just simply walk into Canada, no questions asked.
Helping patrol these open areas are highly trained canines.
So if they do stop a suspicious vehicle and they think someone could be hiding in the trunk, border patrol has a very special way of finding out. So we asked Aaron to get inside the trunk of this car, hide himself in there so we could see exactly how they do it.
This German shepherd smelled trouble and alerted at the car's trunk. So if this was the bad guys forcing someone to smuggle them to freedom, this may be the best hope of finding them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good boy.
COOPER: Randi, in those open areas, are there cameras or, you know, surveillance video at all?
KAYE: There is video surveillance and cameras in those open areas. And if they see something suspicious, Anderson, they can go check it out. In fact the border patrol told me that just this morning, they picked up three men after seeing them on the cameras, that they thought they were up to no good. Three men they say were from Iraq trying the make their way from upstate New York into Canada.
But remember, this is a really vast area and there are just 16 check points. And the rest of it is that open area so that is a whole lot of foot traffic for them to try to keep an eye on, Anderson.
COOPER: Well, Randi, appreciate it. Thank you.
Tonight, somebody who knows perhaps better than anyone alive, and we stress those words, anyone alive knows just what Richard Matt is capable of. He knows because he watched him do it. He watched him commit murder. As his accomplice, Lee Bates watched Richard Matt kidnapped , brutalized, torture and murder a human being. A man he later dismembered and dumped in the Niagara River. Seven years ago, Mr. Bates told a jury what he saw. He testified against Matt. Tonight he tells us. We spoke by phone a short time ago.
COOPER: So lee, you're one of the people who knows exactly just how dangerous Rick Matt is. You have seen what he's capable of. First of all, what's going through your mind knowing he is on the run?
LEE BATES, FUGITIVE'S FORMER ACCOMPLICE (via phone): It's probably the biggest question on everybody's mind. You've got a dangerous criminal and sometimes you don't know if you're safe, what his next move is, and it is like reliving a nightmare over and over and over again. Just seeing him on TV.
COOPER: He - I mean, people have described him as psychotic, he is obviously a killer. Can you please explain what you have seen him do? What you know he is capable of?
[20:10:11] BATES: I would explain, I would, the better definition is evil. It doesn't matter a religion, but if you wanted to take a picture of the devil, that's the face that you would see. And yes, I have seen him kill. He did kill Mr. Rickerson, his old boss, in my presence. And it's disturbing. You know? It is not something that you want to see in life. It is difficult on anybody, a regular civilian, any kind of person. Even your soldiers that go overseas. You never want to see anybody really die. And in 1997, witnessing what he did in front of me, it was extremely difficult and scary.
COOPER: Can you explain what he did to his boss? Because I mean, it was a long ordeal. I understand, he tortured him. I mean, he did terrible things to him before finally killing him. Can you just explain a little bit to people who don't know what he did?
BATES: Absolutely. Tortured is probably an understatement because once he -- at different points during the commission of what was the crime there, he used up tape to tie him up Mr. Rickerson and all. He beat him with anything and everything that he possibly can. A knife sharpener, a security device, the club from my automobile. He physically grabbed his hands and pulled his fingers back until they snapped. Punching him. Beating him. Yes.
COOPER: And this is while he was duct taped in the trunk of the car.
BATES: Even before. When Mr. Rickerson was in the house before Richard Matt had beat on him in the house in an attempt to find Mr. Rickerson money. And then carried him to my automobile, put him in the trunk and periodically over the almost 30 hours that we were on the road, he would have me stop the car, pull over, begin asking Mr. Rickerson where is his money. I want your money and beat him. And yes. It was -- starting from in the house throughout the car ride and then eventually when he opened the trunk and Mr. Rickerson told him, I'll take you to the money. Let me out and Richard Matt there then said, I don't believe you. I don't believe you. You've been playing games with me. I don't believe you. And in a fit of rage he reached into the car, grabbed Mr. Rickerson by his head and snapped his neck in front of me.
COOPER: You actually saw that. You heard that.
BATES: Yes, I did, sir.
COOPER: I understand even when before he was duct taped, before he was put in the automobile in this, you know, day-long, 24-hour odyssey began, this nightmare for Mr. Rickerson, I understand he also - Matt shoved something in his ear? Is that correct?
BATES: Yes. That was a knife sharpener.
COOPER: Did you think at all during the time you were driving this vehicle, you knew, you know, had seen what he had done to his former boss. This man is in the trunk of the car. Did you think about trying to escape? Did you think about getting away from this situation?
BATES: That certainly ran through my head. But then on the other hand, he was right there sitting in a passenger seat next to me and he was armed. I had no doubt that I had to try and live. And I was going to do anything that I possibly could to live, escaping wasn't - I don't think was an option.
COOPER: Obviously, law enforcement is interested to see whether he would, no matter what the cost, stick with his friend who he has escaped with. From what you're saying it seems like he will try to use anybody he can as long as he can.
BATES: You're absolutely correct. He'll use somebody until basically in his eyes, they're value zero. And he'll turn on them. But the dangerous part, as everybody knows, is that this other individual, Sweat, is a cop killer. They have something in common that says, you know, we're out and when they catch us, we're done. And their mindset will probably be, they won't take us alive.
[20:15:23] COOPER: We're going to have much more of my conversation with Mr. Bates in the next hour of 360. As we said we're on for two hours tonight. His response to the question of whether he feels he could be a target now that Richard Matt is on the loose.
Coming up next, breaking news. New reporting on the kind of off-limit access inside the prison itself that these two inmates may have had before they made their break which made their break possible.
[20:19:22] COOPER: Potentially very big news tonight in the manhunt for David Sweat and Richard Matt. Investigators believe that a woman who worked with Richard Matt and David Sweat at the Clinton correctional facility plan to pick the pair up after they escaped the prison. But at the last minute she for some reason changed her mind. Joyce Mitchell, that's her name. She is a prison tailor, worked with the inmates inside. She is cooperating and providing information according to investigators. She has not been charged with anything.
There is new reporting as well tonight on the kind of forbidden access that Sweat and Matt may have had while behind bars still. A law enforcement official telling the Buffalo News that it was considerable, considerable access. We have yet to confirm this ourselves but it could add yet another piece to the picture.
Joining us by phone is Lou Michel, reporter for the Buffalo News and buffalonews.com.
So Lou, your source tells you that these two fugitives had access to the inner passages inside the prison wall for about a month before they escaped. How did they manage to do that without being detected?
[20:20:25] LOU MICHEL, REPORTER, THE BUFFALO NEWS (via phone): At least a month, Anderson. They had somehow gotten their hands on a power saw. There was other construction going on in that area that may have covered the sound of their saw. And you could see in some of the photos that have been released, at least the back of one of the cells toward the floor, there was a square cut. And I asked my source, well, how did they hide that? And they had taken a cardboard box and disassembled it. And then spray painted it gray and placed that over the hole. Kind of reminds me of Shaw shank redemption. That photo of Rita Hayworth (INAUDIBLE). And it was something as simple as that. Then at night they would go on these nocturnal prowls along the cat walk.
And during that month, they encountered apparently a two-foot thick wall. And bored a hole through that. And then they come up to the 24-inch drain pipe. And again, photos have been released of that and they crawled through that. And that pipe of course, took them outside and they lifted up the manhole sometime between late Friday night and early Saturday morning and were free.
COOPER: It's just incredible. Did your source give you any indication as to how they knew these guys had that access for about a month or at least a month?
MICHEL: Well, I think that part of it is the elaborate planning that went into it. As you had mentioned, you know, they had to have had help. And you know, may perhaps it was inadvertent help in some respects, and some direct help as well. And - because you just don't do something like this overnight.
And Governor Cuomo in his remarks had said that he believed that they, you know, had spent quite a bit of time at night going through the passages. But I don't know exactly how the police came up with that time frame of approximately a month.
COOPER: It will be fascinating to discover, Lou, how much they knew in advance about kind of the inner structure of the prison. I talked to somebody who served time there yesterday who said that he really, and many of the prisoners he talked to when he was there, really didn't know much about the areas of the prison that they didn't have access to. It is not as if they give you an orientation course of the inner workings of the prison.
So it is interesting, and based on your reporting, it makes sense that it was only after spending about a month or so kind of wandering around in the cat walks that they were able to figure out where some pipes might have led.
MICHEL: I'm sure, you know, this prison was built almost 200 years ago, approximately 200 years ago and it was very circuitous. You know, on both sides of the cat walk is between two sets of cell blocks. And, you know, where the passage ways went, I'm sure that, you know, it was very confusing and took them time to figure out. I don't think anybody gave them blue prints. But you know, a lot of times we assume that, you know, prisoners are stupid.
Yesterday I interviewed Richard Matt's only son, Nicholas Harris, he is 23 years old. And the first thing he blurted out to me is, you know, my father has a genius I.Q. Why did they not have him under closer surveillance? And of course, Matt and this guy David Sweat were in an honor section of the maximum security prison, an honor block despite the fact Sweat had had some administrative infractions lodged against him. And I believe the other prisoner Matt as well.
COOPER: Did the son you talked to, had he had any contact with his father? Did they have a relationship?
MICHEL: Well, when Matt fled, after he had murdered and dismembered horribly with a hacksaw, 76-year-old Northton Wanda man back in 1997, and he fled to Mexico where he was arrested, for the murder of a man in a bar fight down in Mexico and spent several years in prison. And then in January, 2007, he is brought back to the United States to face trial in the death of Mr. Rickerson, a food broker who had previously employed Matt. And so --
[20:25:18] COOPER: So, the son hadn't had much of a relationship with him obviously.
MICHEL: No. He actually did visit with him at the Niagara county jail which is probably the only place that Matt hadn't been able to break out of. Matt did try to break out of the Mexican prison as well. And when the son met with the father, he was in his mid-teens. He said to me that, you know, he had this lingering impression of the father. And really didn't want a relationship with him because he had been raised by a stepfather.
He provided a couple of chilling anecdotes. He said that the father, when he was an infant, had broken into the mother's house and beat her up. And that has been corroborated with police records.
COOPER: It's incredible.
COOPER: Incredible history to this guy. Lou, I appreciate you being with us.
Lou Michel, thank you for your reporting.
Joining is now is Lenny DePaul. He is former commander of the U.S. marshal service original fugitive task force for New York and New Jersey. Also Robert Fernandez who currently runs a similar task force covering the Washington, D.C. area. Commander Fernandez, these calls made from the prison employee's cell
phone, how crucial could they end up being to this manhunt?
CMDR. ROBERT FERNANDEZ, U.S. MARSHALS CAPITAL AREA REGIONAL FUGITIVE TASK FORCE: Well, they could be. But that is up to the New York state police who are handling the investigation. And I really don't want to comment on anything like that of a sensitive nature in this investigation now.
COOPER: But you can draw your own conclusions.
FERNANDEZ: I understood.
COOPER: Commander, in terms of time line, is time on their side? Is time on law enforcement's side? The longer they are out, obviously, you know, there's greater chances of them being seen spotted. How do you view this in terms of the time?
FERNANDEZ: Well, that's difficult to say. It is different in every situation. Initially, it becomes a manhunt where you flood the area with law enforcement and you're checking all these different locations, possible hideouts if they're on foot. Eventually that manhunt can start to fizzle out and can be turn into a fugitive investigation which takes a different tone.
But either way, the importance is having the eyes of the public out there and calling in. If you could put our tip line on there, the marshal service tip line is 24 hours. And any tip that comes in, they will go straight to the New York state police and we've been following up on leads so far.
COOPER: We'll definitely put that tip line up there as we have throughout the reporting. It is up there in fact right now, in fact.
Commander DePaul, what about these sightings? Someone appeared to be walking in the rain in the middle of the night. Obviously, one wants people to call into law enforcement if they have some questions, if they think they may have seen something. The flip side of that is, valuable time can be wasted following leads that don't go anywhere.
LENNY DEPAUL, FORMER U.S. MARSHALS SERVICE TASK FORCE COMMANDER: Well, apparently this sighting in Willsboro was significant enough for our folks to head in that direction and to do a full-court press. I know they had certainly enough manpower setting up a perimeter. The aviation support, canine, SWAT teams were there. These guys, you know, desperate people are going to do desperate things. If in fact they are on foot, they have to be tired. It is raining. It is getting dark.
So, you know, you start thinking from a safety point of view also, as law enforcement, these guys that are down range, what are they thinking? What's their mindset? Suicide by cop? I mean, there's a lot going through everyone's mind at this point.
COOPER: And Commander DePaul, the fact that it is summer, how much does that affect the time line here? Obviously, the weather is on their side, obviously. Winter would be a lot more difficult for them.
DEPAUL: Sure. It is and it isn't. They have to eat. You know, I don't know how they're doing that, if in fact they are still local and on foot. They're in a wooded area, the mountains, it is certainly taking a toll on them if the sightings prove to be true. So we'll just wait and see.
It is an intense manhunt at this point. And, you know, our folks, our task force at the direction of the New York state troopers are assisting them and they're doing whatever they need to do to take care of these leads coming in. And there's certainly enough of them that need to be vetted and taken a look at.
COOPER: Commander Fernandez, the fact these guys were allowed to wear, you know, normal clothes, civilian clothes in prison as a perk of living in the honor block, I assume that makes it all the more difficult for law enforcement.
[20:30:00] It is not as if, it is one less thing they have to do when they're outside is find a change of clothes.
FERNANDEZ: Precisely. It is much easier for a witness to see a couple of guys running in jumpsuits, trying to smash into cars or garages or somewhere to try to get clothes. It is one less step they have to take.
I just want to be the devil's advocate here. We can't assume anything. These guys could be anywhere. And we don't want someone in Florida or Texas or California that may think that they have spotted them going into a hotel or something, not to call because we're assuming that they're still in New York.
We don't know. We want the public to just keep their eyes open. This kind of, the safety of the community, it is not just on the law enforcement shoulders. The shoulders of law enforcement. It is everybody's responsibility. It is a civic responsibility. If you see something, call, and also, people who may have known these guys a while ago, they've been locked up for a long time. So it is difficult to establish a pattern of life. They've been in prison. So we don't have locations where they used to live recently, places they used to go recently. If there are people who know them from the past and know things about them, family members, acquaintances, anything like that. It would help us out a lot if they would call and give us that information. We can develop that, and it gives our investigation a different direction to go.
COOPER: Commander DePaul, if they were to go to Canada, does that make much difference in terms of the capabilities of law enforcement to continue to track them down? Obviously, Canadian authorities are very capable. There is a number of assets they have, and the cooperation I assume is pretty good.
DEPAUL: It is fabulous in Canada. The cooperation between our task force, the United States Marshal Service and the Canadian authorities, the Toronto fugitive folks up there, RCMP, we have great relationship with them. I'm sure there are constant communications with them as we speak because that's a possibility. As Rob said, we have no idea where they're at. We're just satisfying all these leads that are coming in. All these tips coming in. And keep them coming. We are certainly going to take a look at every one of them.
COOPER: And we'll keep that number up all throughout the next two hours. Lenny DePaul, Robert Fernandez, good to have you on again tonight, thank you.
Coming up next, given the breaking news, we'll dig deeper into what draws some women to men like these two killers, and how they manipulate people to do what they want. The latest reporting, of course, a woman who worked in the tailor shop there. Her cell phone was used to make calls to people who had contacts with some of these two. The exact details on that are not clear. It seems she is cooperating with investigators. A top criminal profiler joins us. Coming up.
COOPER: Tonight, late details about the help that two escaped killers may have gotten in prison. David Sweat and Richard Matt broke out of the Clinton correctional facility in upstate New York overnight on Friday. They are still on the loose. Very dangerous. Investigators believe this woman, prison tailor Joyce Mitchell, played a role in the escape. They believe she planned to pick the pair up after they escaped the prison. But in the last minute she changed her mind. Mitchell is cooperating with authorities. She hasn't been charged. As to why she would want to have anything to do with two guys as ruthless as Matt and Sweat, that is a question for former FBI profiler Mary Ellen O'Toole, she joins me now.
Obviously there is a lot we do not know about the nature of the relationship, if you can call it a relationship, between Joyce Mitchell and either of these men, who are now on the run. But in other cases, why do women, in cases like this, risk everything to help somebody behind bars? To help somebody, who, you know, has a history of committing murder?
MARY ELLEN O'TOOLE, FORMER PROFILER: Sure. It is really an important question. I think first of all, it is very important to point out that in these kinds of cases, cases in the past that we've seen, the woman is specifically targeted by the individual, who is really quite predatory, and predatory behavior is really consistent with someone who is a psychopath. And in this case, I think of the two, Richard Matt would actually be more psychopathic than his partner, David Sweat. Psychopaths are very manipulative, and he would have been able to exploit her.
But it would have taken time. And over time, he would have engaged in almost a grooming process, where he breaks down her defenses. He makes her feel special. They engage in behavior that she never dreamed she would ever engage in. And that could be compromising behavior that is either illegal or sexual in nature. And eventually it gets to the point where the woman believes that she is very special and this man is very special, and he is changed and he is going to change her life.
COOPER: Earlier, I spoke to a former friend of Richard Matt, a man who was actually an accomplice to the torture and murder that Matt committed. As you said, the exact words that you were using to describe his psychopathic behavior, this guy was saying how charming Matt could be in a way and how manipulative he is. He described him as the most manipulative person he had ever met. What type of person is particularly susceptible to that type of manipulation? In this case, she would have known he is a convicted felon.
O'TOOLE: She would have known and she would have been exposed to a lot of other inmates. So this individual really stands out, and therefore his manipulative abilities really stand out. Psychopaths read nonpsychopaths better than we could ever read people. So he would have seen where she's vulnerable, he would have read her weaknesses.
He would have gotten her to the point in the grooming process where she would have talked about her life, how she views herself, why she is working in a prison as a seamstress or whatever her job was. What she would like to get out of life. So he, psychopaths are very good at getting information from people and then using that information against them as part of the grooming process. So ultimately, there is a point where it's just you and I against the world, and he is already getting you to the point where you're engaging in behavior to support him. So you're really, you're violating prison rules. You're breaking the law. Maybe it's a sexual nature. But by the point where he is asking for help in breaking out of prison, there has already been a breakdown in what this person would typically be like. So -- and they don't even realize that it's happening.
COOPER: And NBC News, in an interview with her son, her son is saying she did end up going to the hospital on Friday with something akin to a panic attack, or an attack of the nerves. Again, we don't know the full details on that, but it is certainly something investigators are looking at. And she is said to be cooperating with investigators. No charges have been filed against her at this point. Mary Ellen O'Toole, appreciate your expertise.
We do have more breaking news. The police officer in Texas who you saw on video tackling a teenage girl, pulling his gun on other teenagers outside a pool party, he has resigned. Details on that coming up next.
Plus a security scare at the White House. The press corps evacuated from the briefing room, but the president, who was also in the building, was not moved. Details on that ahead.
COOPER: More breaking news tonight. The police officer in McKinney, Texas, who tackled the 14-year-old girl, kneeled (ph) on her back and pulled his gun on other teenagers outside a pool party has now resigned. In announcing that Officer Eric Casebolt had resigned, the police chief called his actions on the video quote, "indefensible." Meanwhile, there are still various accounts on what set the whole incident off to begin with. A new cell phone video has come out showing a fight between a young woman and an older woman. Take a look.
CNN's Nick Valencia is in McKinney, Texas, and he joins me now. That fight that we just watched, the video, is it clear exactly how it started? Why it started? Who started it?
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's a point of contention here. This much is clear, what we are told is that the incident on Friday's pool party in McKinney, Texas, it began with that fight we just showed video of. But why it started or who threw the first punch, so to speak, it depends who you ask. We spoke to one witness earlier, Anderson, who said that while he didn't hear it, there were others within earshot of that physical altercation, and that the adult was hurling racial slurs at the black teenagers, saying things like go back to the plantation.
Now neighbors we talked to, they paint a different picture. There is one man who has been a very vocal supporter of Officer Eric Casebolt in this case. He's a 40 year old African American man. He says this is not about race. He was there before the cell phone video started recording, and he blames the teenagers for getting out of control. He said the chaos erupted when those who were not invited to this pool party or didn't have any business being there, according to him, began jumping the fences to the pool.
COOPER: The officer who resigned, Casebolt, is he going to face any charges for what happened? Does it end there with his resignation?
VALENCIA: What we're told is that this case is really far from over. I spoke to one very vocal advocate in this community, who said that earlier this evening, he created a change.org petition to seek charges against this officer in question. Whether that will happen or not, we just don't know. But further angering people here and contributing to the outrage that is very much still evident is that this officer will likely get his pension and still receive the benefits that he has accrued in his more than ten years in law enforcement. Some people think that's unfair. But I asked the police chief at the press conference earlier if that will be the case, and he says, he believes that will be the case. That's correct.
COOPER: All right. Nick Valencia, appreciate it.
Tense moments in the nation's capital today as security threats closed parts of the White House and a Senate office building. A bomb threat forced everyone out of the White House daily press briefing. The North Lawn of the White House was also cleared. Earlier in the day, another threat caused the evacuation of a congressional hearing. White House correspondent Michelle Kosinski joins us. What exactly happened today and how serious a threat was it?
MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: To say this was highly unusual is putting it lightly. Usually when we see the most serious threats that tend to happen during working hours here, an object thrown over the White House fence, that you think could be a bomb. The most we see is maybe a lockdown of the White House grounds.
But this time, middle of the daily briefing, we have Secret Service come in and say this room is being evacuated. Come with us. You have to see this as being a serious enough threat that people were taken out of that room. Not only that, but moved not just outside, but off the White House grounds entirely, and then into a building across the street from the White House.
We also have to look at this another way. This was clearly for some reason, not serious enough to evacuate the president, the press secretary, the press secretary's staff, or the first family. Each of whom in the West Wing and in the White House residence were only yards away from the briefing room. The room that was, you know, what the threat was directed at. So you can kind of see this two ways. A lot of questions here. But neither the White House nor the Secret Service are giving any more detail on why they chose to do things this way.
COOPER: Interesting. Up next, tense moments this afternoon after reports of escaped murderers Richard Matt and David Sweat were spotted in the town of Essex, New York.
We'll take an inside look at how dangerous fugitives are actually tracked down. That's next.
COOPER: The hunt for fugitives Richard Matt and David Sweat is now in its fourth day, a day that ends with major breaking news, suggesting a prison tailor may have been the would-be getaway driver. Virtually every official we've heard from has said with certainty that the escaped killers will be caught. They expressed no doubt about that. The reality though is that finding them could take years. There's also the possibility they may never be found. Jean Casarez reports.
JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is a tale as old as time. Billy the Kid, Bonnie and Clyde and John Dillinger, fugitives on the run. Most recently, high profile cases like Eric Frein, Christopher Dorner and Eric Rudolph, on the lam, keeping communities on edge. Law enforcement, laser focused on what moves they will make next.
MATT FOGG, RETIRED CHIEF DEPUTY, U.S. MARSHAL SERVICE: We look at the background. We try to understand just how these guys operated. Even when they committed their criminal offenses. Things they did. The personalities that they have. We draw a personality profile on them and figure out pretty much how they think.
CASAREZ: And each one thinks differently. Last fall, there was Eric Frein. The manhunt for him lasted a long 48 days. Accused of killing a Pennsylvania state trooper and injuring another outside state police barracks, authorities lost sight of Frein as he evaded capture in the dense woods of northeast Pennsylvania.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody has one mission. That mission is to apprehend this individual.
CASAREZ: Fearing a shoot-out, 13 U.S. marshals stumbled across Frein, capturing him at an abandoned airport during a routine sweep through the woods. He wasn't armed at the time, although authorities did find weapons close to him, including a sniper rifle.
Christopher Dorner kept nearly all of Los Angeles on edge two years ago. The fired LAPD sharpshooter had authorities guessing for nine days. Suspected of shooting four people.
Police got a tip he was in the mountains east of Los Angeles. A manhunt ensued and Dorner panicked. Scaring locals with his gun, carjacking a truck, finally engaging in a shoot-out with Fish and Wildlife agents. The fugitive barricaded himself inside a log cabin. Gunfire echoed through the mountains. The cabin he was in then went up in flames as the whole country watched it unfold live on TV. Dorner's body was found in the charred remains.
It took law enforcement five years to find Eric Rudolph, responsible for a series of bombings in Georgia and Alabama beginning in 1996 at Atlanta's Centennial Olympic Park that resulted in two deaths. A federal warrant for Rudolph is issued, and in 1998 he was added to the FBI's most wanted list. Five years later, Rudolph is captured and arrested in North Carolina by a rookie 21-year-old police officer. These fugitives were caught. But what about the ones who get away? Never to be found.
According to the U.S. Marshal Service, there are currently 18,000 active federal warrants representing people the law is looking for but still hasn't found.
Jean Casarez, CNN, New York.
COOPER: Fascinating. Coming up in the next live hour of 360, the very latest on this manhunt for the two dangerous fugitives on the run, and also new information about the woman who may have helped them escape.