tv Caught on Camera MSNBC July 21, 2012 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT
i'm contessa brewer. that's all for this edition of "caught on camera. a man knocked unconscious while witnesses walk by. >> if i'm laying on the ground, i expect that first person to call 911 right away. >> but what will they do? a cop getting a mouthful from that great grandma. >> give me the [ bleep ]'ing thing. >> stand back or you're going to be tazed. >> you're going to tase a 72-year-old woman. >> but what will he do? an nfl player and his wife desperately trying to make it to the hospital detain by an unsympathetic cop.
>> you ran a red light. >> my mother is dying! right now! >> i turned around he has a gun pointed at me. >> what will she do? people, fashioned with tough decisions. >> that's a woman. i had to make a decision what i'm going to do now. >> and moral dilemmas with life-or-death consequences. >> i said to my girlfriend, if he does jump, i'm going in, but i don't think i really believed that i would actually -- it would come down to that. >> scenarios that force you to ask yourself what would you do. hello, welcome to "caught on camera." i'm contessa brewer. how well do you think you know yourself? in this show we pose the
question, what would you do in situations that are confusing, dangerous and even life threatening? some present ethical questions. some are questions of judgment. and others are uncomfortable. but briefly put yourself in the place of the people in these stories and ask yourself, did they make the right choice? and what would you decide. a car with its hazards on runs a red light and pulls into this hospital parking lot. with police in hot pursuit. the driver is nfl running back ryan moats. earlier that morning his wife gets an urgent phone call from a nurse telling them to come to the hospital. herother sick with cancer is very close to death. >> get in there. get in there. >> excuse me? >> let me see your hands. >> get in there. put your hands on the car. >> my mom is dying. >> officer robert powell gets
out of his car gun drawn as tamisha moats tries to explain. >> do you understand? >> as i turn around he has a gun pointed at me and just a cold look in his eyes letting me know i don't care. >> do you understand? >> i was walking toward a cop, a hostile cop with a gun. >> what would you do in this situation? disobey a policeman with his gun drawn or stay and miss the only opportunity you'll have to say good-bye to your dying mother? for tamisha, the decision is an easy one. >> get over -- >> along with her great aunt, she heads into the hospital. >> i know a lot of people think that what i did was crazy or dangerous, but the truth of the matter is there's nothing in the world that would have kept me from going up at the time that i did. >> get over -- >> ryan's faced with a decision, too, should he disobey the
officer? should he go into the hospital like his wife? officer powell hasn't responded to reason yet and moats feels he's running out of time. >> you ran a red light. >> my mother is dying! right now! right now! >> that doesn't constitute a red light. >> so, your mother's dying, i waited until no traffic was coming, i got second before she's gone, man! >> echo, 642, i got -- just pulled up. let me see your insurance for the car. >> moats does provide his insurance to the officer, but the situation quickly escalates from there. >> you have a problem? >> we don't have a problem, my mother-in-law is dying. i don't understand why you can't understand it. >> you can either cooperate or i can take you to jail. >> here you go, man. >> go ahead and take my insurance and then go ahead and go. if you're going to give me a ticket, give me a ticket. >> your attitude said you need one. >> i'm not asking you for one. you are standing here talking to
me. >> my now tamisha has made it to her mother's side but she's worried that her husband is in danger. shut your mouth and listen. >> is that how you talk to me? >> shut your mouth and listen. if you want to keep you going, i'll put you in handcuffs and take you to jail for running a red light. >> yes, sir. >> okay? >> i can screw you over. i'd rather not do that. your attitude will dictate everything that happens and right now your attitude sucks. i can make your life very difficult. >> i wish you -- i home you are a great person and not do that. >> by now more than five minutes have passed. for ryan it all seems surreal. what should he do to get out of this situation? what can he do? can he make it in time to say his good-byes to a woman who has meant the world to him? >> my mom's relationship with ryan was very different than a
typical son and mother-in-law relationship. they were very good friends. very close, you know, my mom was, like, a jokester, so was ryan. >> when jo got diagnosed with cancer, her hair started falling out, so what i did was when she bought a wig, i put her wig on. and i told her, you see how good it look. and i try to cheer her up. and it worked. >> tamisha and ryan have been holding vigil at her mom's hospital bed for three weeks rarely ever leaving her side, but on march 17th, the night of the incident, janetta seems to be improving a bit. >> the nurses are, like, you've been here all night, go rest and take showers. >> they take the advice to go home and shower, eat, and head back to the hospital. but that plan would be interrupted. the moats make it home but shortly after they get a phone call. >> nurse said, you know, she's on her last leg, if you guys want to say your good-byes, then
you should probably come back right now. coming up, would you spend the last moments with your loved one or obey an officer with his gun drawn? >> do you have a problem? >> i put my hands up, like, what's going on? >> my mother is dying! >> what will ryan moats do? what will this officer do? what would you do? and a man about to jump off a bridge. >> stop, stop! >> he said to me, i might be going swimming today. >> would you risk your own life to save another? hey. hey eddie. i brought your stuff. you don't have to do this. yes i do. i want you to keep this. it'd be weird. take care. you too. [ sighs ] so how did it go? he's upset. [ male announcer ] spend less time at gas stations. with best in class fuel economy. it's our most innovative altima ever.
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now is the time? >> we proceeded to the hospital with our hazard lights on. >> it's late at night, past midnight when ryan's car gets right to the hospital. it's red. >> the light didn't change. we blew our horn and the way through the traffic and they saw hazard lights and they didn't go. they signaled to us so we went ahead and went. >> ryan and tamisha believe it's fairly obvious what they're doing, the other driver understands, allowing them to proceed toward the hospital. >> i mean, yes, i ran a red light, but same i was really safe about what i was doing. i just didn't run at the red light, i stopped at the red light, got everybody's attention to let them know, hey, i'm about to come through. can i come through first. and everybody waved me on to do so. >> but then as they're pulling into the parking lot, flashing
lights. >> get in there. get in there. >> powell says he doesn't remember pointing his gun, only drawing it. the moats say he pointed it, first at tamisha, then at ryan. while tamisha goes in, ryan decides it's best to stay outside, hoping the officer will understand their situation. >> you ran a red light. >> we went back and forth for a little bit. and then i realized that i was talking to a wall. i mean, he wasn't going to listen. he didn't care. >> did i not stop at the red light? did i not -- >> stop. and then you just blew the red light. >> i waved the traffic off. >> it was still red. >> and then i turned. >> shut your mouth and listen. >> shut my mouth and listen? is that how you talk to me, dude? >> shut your mouth and listen. >> he was just, like, i can take you to jail, i can tow your car. shut your mouth. all this different stuff that i was thinking that wasn't appropriate for a cop to say to anybody. >> it's decision time for ryan.
he knows if he stays he'll probably miss his opportunity to say good-bye and to be there for his wife. >> well, i was thinking i didn't want anything else bad to happen, so i was just trying to stay as calm as possible. >> so, ryan decides to stay and hopes if he can manage to keep it cool he'll get a ticket and manage to make it into the hospital. >> that's the nurse and she says the mom's dying right now. and they're wondering if they can get her up there for her. >> the head nurse comes out to see if she can help. but the officer seems to be taking his time. by now, nearly 13 minutes have passed. >> for the third time. >> okay. >> i guess the nurse is a little more urgent. >> and finally ryan moats is issued his ticket for running a red light. >> okay. do you remember attitude? >> by the time he makes it up to his mother-in-law, it's too late. she's already gone. >> i was angry that he wasn't understanding.
head nurse came out and told him what was going on, another police officer came and tried to talk to him. a security guard from the hospital came out and talked to him. you know, i was thinking about her. i don't know if anybody's ever, you know, seen a loved one pass like that. that's a hard thing to see them actually pass. that's hard. and to deal with that by yourself is even tougher. >> it was definitely the hardest thing that i've ever had to do in my life. and just to go in, you know, and see her like that. >> the video's released to the media and the dallas police department immediately issues an apology. >> in the course and scope of everything we deal with in a year, this is more embarrassing and troublesome because it just seems to be so unreasonable based on the circumstances. >> officer robert powell issues an apology to the moats and resigns. the moats accept his apology. >> i guess everybody deserves a
second chance as far as proving what their true character is. so hopefully after this he'll change his ways. >> and the moats think change shouldn't end with robert powell. though ryan didn't try to use his status as an nfl player during the incident, after they hoped to shine a spotlight. they meet with the dallas police department to discuss greater sensitivity training, better screening of officers, and procedures for their situation. >> the fact that he was an athlete makes people pay attention, and so if we have a voice to maybe help a situation, maybe bring about some changes to where someone else wouldn't have to go through what we had to go through, then that's what we're going to do. >> but more than anything, the moats want people to know about the type of person jeanetta collinsworth was -- a teacher, a mother, and an advocate for cancer research. they' set up a foundation called jo knows children in her honor.
coming up, a man is knocked unconscious in front of a supermarket, and nobody seems to be doing anything. >> many of the people that walked by wanted to do something but felt like they couldn't, you know? >> but why? and will someone help before it's too late? also -- >> get back over there. >> i'm getting back in my car. >> a face-off between a cop and a great grandma. >> you're going to be tased. >> i'm getting back in my car. >> don't move! >> does this officer do the right thing? [ female announcer ] research suggests the health of our cells plays a key role
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a vicious blow knocks this homeless man to the ground. he scrambles to his feet, but then minutes later he's pushed down again. and this time, he doesn't get up. it's 5:20 p.m. the beatdown occurs outside the pan am market, an international supermarket in washington, d.c. several people witness the knockout punch. watch as dozens of passersby sidestep the unconscious man,
jose sanchez. if you saw this altercation, what would you do? would you call 911 or maybe even try to help him? what if you just pass a man like him lying on the street? would you bother to find out if he's okay? >> it almost becomes sickening to see that nobody actually does anything. >> mark fischer is a reporter for "the washington post" who writes a column on the story called "166 chances to do the right thing." >> i think they ought to consider the fact that a person on the sidewalk is a person on the sidewalk. there is no excuse that so many passersby, in fact 166 of them, chose to walk by. >> hector gomez grew up in this neighborhood and now runs an organization dedicated to supporting business in the area. he says as disturbing as it is, he can understand why so many people just walked by. >> there are many homeless people and intoxicated vagrants in this neighborhood and throughout washington, d.c., that are laying on the ground,
and you don't know if they're there just sleeping or if they're there drunk, passed out. so you do become desensitized to it. >> desensitized is right. watch as five minutes pass. ten minutes. a man even loads his groceries into his minivan over the motionless victim. now it's 15 minutes since sanchez hit the ground and still people just walking by. finally, after 19 minutes, an employee in the pan am market dials 911. paramedics arrive two minutes later. by this time, 166 people either witnessed the beating or walked by the motionless body without doing a thing. the incident reminds writer mark fischer of a case from years past. >> you know, i grew up in new york city where there was the infamous case of kitty genovese. >> in 1964, kitty genovese, a 28-year-old woman, is stabbed
outside her queens home, then later raped and stabbed again. nearly 40 people either see or hear the crime from their homes, but no one responds to her calls for help. >> that led to a lot of studies looking at what's called the bystander effect, which is when people see someone in trouble, we are far less likely to reach out and help if we see that other people are around because we assume that means, hey, the other guy has it handled, when, in fact, if everybody thinks that way, nobody helps. >> unfortunately, more than four decades after the genovese murder jose sanchez suffers the same awful fate. the ambulance rushes him to the hospital, but it's too late. sanchez dies of a traumatic brain injury three days later. >> is it possible that immediate medical care would have made a difference? we'll never know for sure, but it does seem like there is a possibility. >> hector gomez thinks the makeup of the population in this
neighborhood may have contributed to the lack of response for either those who witnessed the knockout or those who walked by. >> many of the people that walked by this person maybe wanted to do something but felt like they couldn't, you know? you might say to yourself, what if i don't have papers and i'm here illegally and i'm scared? i just won't call. >> that said, while gomez says he understands why so many people may not have called 911, it doesn't mean he thinks it's excusable. in fact, he decides to use the incident as a teaching lesson. >> i thought to myself why is it that so many people walked by and are not calling? if i'm laying on the ground, i expect that first person to see me to call 911 right away. so i thought, well, let's make a call 911 campaign. >> immediately following the incident, hector gets together with the police, has flyers translated into several languages, and distributes them in his neighborhood. >> excuses are not valid, you
know. i don't think they're valid. but i do think it's important to improve that that situation. coming up -- >> don't jump! >> a man jumps off a bridge. with no rescuers in the water, what will they do? and a bank robbery. would you try to stop this thief? a twist the teller never sees coming. [ birds chirping ] [ engine revving ] ♪ hey, hey, hey ♪ [ tires screech ] [ male announcer ] with fuel economy that's best in class and better acceleration than camry and accord, you'll wish you had the road to yourself. [ tires screech ] it's our most innovative altima ever. nissan. innovation that excites.
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i'm milissa rehberger, here's what's happening. a colorado coroner has identified 11 of the people killed in friday's mass shooting at a movie theater. a 12th victim is awaiting definitive identification. the youngest victim is a 6-year-old girl. nearly 40 others remain in the hospital, 9 of those in critical condition and police say a bomb squad has now removed all of the major threats from the suspect's
apartment. james holmes allegedly rigged his home with as many as 60 different devices. now back to "caught on camera." welcome back to "caught on camera." i'm contessa brewer. would you risk your life to save a stranger who seemingly wants to die? it's a question few people ever have to contemplate, but in our next story strangers spending a relaxing day in the park were facing that very situation and they'll have to make a decision in an instant. a man perched at the edge of a bridge contemplates life or death. >> oh, man. >> but as minutes tick by, the question soon becomes one for witnesses on the ground. what should they do? >> we're skating across the bridge here. >> tara johnson is roller-blading through fairmont park in philadelphia with her boyfriend, garrett couples, on may 6, 2000, when their
leisurely saturday afternoon takes a turn. >> i kind of glanced over my left shoulder. i noticed that there was a gentleman sitting on the bridge. >> next thing tara and garrett know, police cars and fire trucks swarm all around them. they're forced off the bridge to a nearby riverbank. >> i remember commenting to my girlfriend that, you know, if he does jump, i'm going in. but i don't think that i really believed that i would actually -- that it would come down to that. >> if it does come to that, garrett couples is qualified. he's a medical student trained in lifesaving cpr. and for eight straight summers he's been an ocean lifeguard with a perfect rescue record. >> i've been in the water at least 100 times. >> by now, more than 50 policemen and firefighters are on the scene, and couples assumes that with so many rescuers around they won't need his help. and up on the bridge, negotiators make contact with the man on the ledge as a crowd of onlookers gathers below.
>> i see the big rescue truck there. i see police all along the bridge. >> howard gillam works for a local cable station and just happens to be driving by when he notices some commotion. >> so i'm, like, hey, i've got the camera in my car. let's get out and videotape it. >> how long you been up there? >> gillam estimates by the time he starts taking this dramatic video, the man, matthew buford, has already been on the bridge for ten minutes, maybe more. >> we're here about the leg up. >> buford lets go with one hand, leaning out over the water. >> don't jump! >> police and firefighters are lining the bridge, but strangely, there's no rescue boat in the water. >> a mile down the river. >> but so far nearly 20 minutes have passed and no rescue boat has been able to make it there yet. >> whoa. >> the situation appears to be getting worse. >> oh, come on, buddy. don't jump! >> if buford does jump, he might survive the 50-foot fall.
but no one knows if he can swim. >> garrett said to me, the guy's going to knock himself out and he's going to fall. a minute later he said i might be going swimming today. >> and then nearly 25 minutes into the ordeal, matthew buford jumps. >> there he goes. >> oh! >> what y'all going to do? >> okay. he can swim. >> after he jumped into the river, he started treading water for a while. >> swim! >> and at this time, i'm thinking, okay, where's the rescue unit at? >> ain't got no boat. >> no matter what buford was thinking when he jumped, now in the water he seems to be fighting for his life and looks like a man who needs help. >> dude ain't doing too good. >> authorities on the bridge toss down a lifeline, but it doesn't come close. you can see it off to the right. >> must have a hundred boats out there. >> by this time buford has been
struggling for almost two minutes in the middle of a 500-foot-wide river. >> come on, man. >> matthew buford is losing strength. for the first time his head slips under the water. there seems to be no official rescue response. what would you do? what would the bystanders do? should they risk their lives for someone who might not want to be saved? >> and then all of a sudden he went under and i turned around to look and garrett was gone. >> there's somebody out there coming. >> garrett couples, the lifeguard with a perfect record, is in the water, swimming from the opposite shore. buford's head pops back up, but it's clear there isn't much time. >> at that point i just freestyling as fast as i could. >> he's got a long way to go. >> couples knows that when a victim goes under, he has only a small window, about four minutes, to save someone from
drowning. >> he goes under one more time, that's it. >> 50 yards left to swim and matthew buford goes under again. >> come on, man. about a half an hour. >> more than that. >> but garrett couples is closing in. >> i mean, my record's perfect, and i wasn't giving it up. >> we got 900 cops here. >> on the shore, all hope seems lost. >> that's it. >> but under the water, near the muddy bottom, couples is still searching. >> i dove to the bottom. about eight feet, at which point i saw something that appeared white. a flash. and i didn't know what it was. i took another -- maybe a half a stroke and i opened my eyes again, and at that point mr. buford and i were face to face. >> miraculously, garrett couples brings the drowning man back to the surface. with adrenaline pumping, he's lost track of time but knows the
four-minute mark that might mean the difference between life and dead is fast approaching. >> i heard mr. buford make a sound as though he was attempting to breathe. >> breathe, buddy! come on! >> garrett calls out for a life buoy he can use to brace buford as he brings him to shore. >> i need a brig! >> but authorities don't seem to understand. >> i gave him a second look and i noticed that now his lips were getting blue and i knew at that point it's -- you have to make a decision. >> this is a very difficult decision for couples to make. to prevent the spread of aids and other diseases, modern rescue crews carry plastic equipment so they can give emergency breathing without direct mouth-to-mouth contact, part of what's called universal precautions. >> i knew that it was probably going to be a couple minutes before i could get him to shore. i didn't think that he had a chance unless i ventilated him. >> he's trying to give him mouth to mouth. >> that boy is good. >> now finally, help is on the way.
but it's not a policeman or fireman. like garrett, it's just another person who was out in the park that day. >> when he went under water, the clock's ticking instantly. and that's why i went in the water. >> steven lloyd is a 46-year-old registered nurse, but unlike garrett couples he's not a lifeguard. in fact, steven lloyd says he hasn't been swimming in ten years. >> dude looks like he's trying to do something. >> i just asked him, do you have any training? >> i gulped some water and said i'm exhausted. >> i said, okay, well grab him under his arm and we're going to tow him to shore. >> it's been more than four minutes now since matthew buford went under when garrett couples reaches the shore. but if he expects help to be waiting, he's in for another surprise. >> come on. come on. get him over. >> i expected them to have everything possible to save this
gentleman set up and ready to go. at the very minimum the bag masks we use to ventilate somebody and oxygen. i mean, that alone does worlds of good. >> get down there! >> just get down there. >> keep the camera rolling. >> out of the way. all right? >> but as the videotape shows, only now are authorities pushing spectators back, scrambling over the railing down to the river. >> i gave him two breaths before i handed him over and they pulled him on shore and began chest compressions. i remember hearing steven lloyd shouting at them. >> i said ventilate him, ventilate him, ventilate him. and they were, like, sir, we can't. universal precautions. >> now more time ticks away. you can see a rescuer carrying a plastic bag with the all-important breathing gear. only now on the way down to the river. >> the man needed to be ventilated.
i really thought this guy could have been saved. i really did. we really tried. >> bye the time philadelphia rescue crews get him up from the riverbank and to a local hospital, it's too late. matthew buford is dead. >> no one will ever know for sure whether he could have been saved. garrett couples says he doesn't blame the crowd or the police for not jumping in if they weren't properly trained. but he says it's hard to believe with so many authorities on the scene that none of them knew how to make a water rescue. >> i mean, it's -- it doesn't make sense to me that you have fire rescue within two blocks, marine rescue within two miles, and none of them are trained in water rescue. to me, that is -- i mean, that's unspeakable.
>> after the incident, the victim's family files a complaint and the philadelphia police department conducts an internal investigation. the internal investigation concludes that their officers provided adequate service. as soon as police were notified of buford's position, they dispatch a negotiator and within minutes also call their marine unit. but the marine unit, though based nearby, had been dispatched to another river earlier that day and is miles away, pulling up abandoned cars when they get the call. they immediately head for the bridge, but as we now know, don't make it in time. as for the criticism that the officers present should have done more, in a letter to a local newspaper the then philadelphia police commissioner writes -- it's unfair to criticize officers for not making unreasonably dangerous efforts to rescue someone who made it clear he did not wish to be rescued and who could very
easily have caused the death of the officers. when garrett couples climbs up from the shore, the crowd gives him and steven lloyd a round of applause for the choices they made that day. but while the onlookers are impressed by what garrett couples did do, he can only think about the fact that a man lost his life and wonders what else could have been done. >> i think it came down to lack of training, no protocol, and no plan of action. i don't think i'll ever truly accept the fact that i did everything i could, because i'm always going to look back on it and say, you know, was there something different i could have done. coming up -- a routine traffic stop. escalates fast. >> you're going to taze a 72-year-old woman? >> a shocking incident. >> get on the ground!
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>> the deputy warns the 4'11" woman. >> you want to step back. >> katherine wiskfine may be a little feisty, but does the officer overreact? >> i'm getting back in my car. >> you would rather be tazed? >> what would you do if you're the officer? would you continue trying to talk the grandma down or would you follow through on your threat? here's what this officer does. >> i'm getting back in my car. >> no, ma'am. get on the ground! get on the ground! [ screaming ] >> now, put your hands behind your back. >> the tasing goes viral with a tantalizing headline. >> let's move now to a traffic stop in texas that ended with a tasing, the tasing of a 72-year-old woman, a great grandmother. >> and without the full story, it seems this video will be damaging to the officer. his own dashboard cam catches him yelling at and shoving an elderly woman half his size. but watch the video again.
this time listening to more of the conversation. it may change your opinion of the officer's decision. >> around the curve and coming up the hill and you accelerated. >> first the deputy tries on get winkfine to sign her ticket agreeing that she'd show up for court. >> don't take me to jail. a 72-year-old woman. >> and when he asks her to step out of the car, he says she puts both of them in an unsafe position. >> give me the [ bleep ]'ing thing and i'll sign it. >> get over here now! >> give it to me and i'll sign it. >> oh, oh, you're going to shove me. >> the police department is defending his actions saying what he's actually doing is trying to get himself and katherine winkfine away from a notoriously dangerous stretch of highway. >> she chose to disregard not only her own personal safety but she chose to disregard the safety of the deputy.
>> you want to step back or you're going to be tazed. >> go ahead, tase me. >> step back! >> the deputy warns her again. then she issues a challenge. >> step back or you're going to be tatzed me. >> you tase me, i dare you. >> the officer doesn't take her up on her dare yet. she keeps moving forward. >> step back over there. >> i'm getting back in my car. >> you're going to be tazed. >> i'm getting back in my car. >> no, ma'am. >> the lady was told nine times to step back and comply with the officer's request. step back, ma'am. step back, ma'am. if you don't step back, ma'am, i'm going to taser you. >> so finally the officer makes good on his promise. >> get on the ground! get on the ground! [ screaming ] >> now put your hands behind your back. >> oh! >> put your hands behind your back or you'll be tazed again!
>> the video sparks a national debate on morning news shows. >> okay, let me ask you, did the deputy do what was right or did he go over the line? >> hands behind your back or you'll be tazed again. >> i would say he went a little over the line. >> really? i don't think i agree with that. >> he kept shoving this 72-year-old woman. >> i think he pushed her because they're in traffic. get her off the road. she kept trying to get the door of the car. >> couldn't he just grab her like this and -- >> she kept saying don't touch me. you're going to touch a 72-year-old woman. i think at some point -- [ screaming ] >> put your hands behind your back. >> so should the deputy have found another way to gain control? >> he had attempted to put handcuffs on her, advising her she was under arrest. and she broke away from him. that's physical noncompliance. if he would have forced her down to the ground against -- totally against her will, he could have broke something. he mitigated this event safely, effectively and efficiently.
>> medical personnel check out winkfine at the scene and she's not hurt from the tasing. but she is charged with resisting arrest, a charge she's fighting. and she sends a letter to the travis county commissioner's office demanding $165,000 for pain and suffering, medical expenses and humiliation. the commissioner's office settles with winkfine for $40,000. the constable's office maintains the officer did nothing wrong and calls the payout a miscarriage of justice, insists it sets a bad precedent. the county judge says defending a lawsuit would have cost more than $40,000. winkfine tells us she's satisfied and just wants to put the whole thing behind her. sometimes decisions are made on gut instinct. there's no time to evaluate the consequences. and at a bank in seattle, washington, another man makes a quick decision. will he regret it? >> put the bag on the counter. he said this is a ransom. fill the bag with money. >> jim nicholson is the teller in this video.
when the robber demands the money, caught on the bank's security cameras, jim's instincts kick in. >> i grabbed the bag from the counter, threw it on the ground, said where is it? referring to if he had a weapon. >> it's a bold move by the teller. the robber hesitates. he doesn't show a weapon. what would you do in this situation? would you give the robber what he wants or call his bluff? would you attempt an aggressive move? the teller makes his decision. >> i lunged towards him. he backed off. at that point i ran around the counter and chased him. >> nicholson chases the robber down the street, tackling him and pinning him down until police arrive soon after. some see jim nicholson as a hero, but his bosses at the bank don't agree. two days after the robbery attempt, he's fired. some customers are outraged. >> i just can't believe that he would get fired for doing something that i feel was right.
>> bank policy says tellers are supposed to comply with the robber, give him what he wants. basically the goal should be to get the robber out of the bank. key bank has this to say. our policies and procedures are in the best interests of public safety and are consistent with industry standards. money, which is insured, can be replaced. lives cannot." the fbi which advises banks on the best and safest approach agrees. >> in no way do we suggest physical confrontation with a robber. too many thing cans go wrong. >> but nicholson, who says, believe it or not, who's confronted other robbers in retail jobs in the past, says getting this guy get away with it isn't the answer. >> i have to get him so he can't do this again, so he cannot come to our branch again and try to rob us again.
>> the robber won't be visiting this branch or any bank soon. he pleads guilty to the bank robbery and is sentenced to three years behind bars followed by three years of parole. and that's enough of a reward for nicholson. he says despite being fired, if he had it to do all over again, he would. coming up, a convenience store owner makes a startling delegation. >> i said, please, don't shoot me. >> when "caught on camera," what would you do, continues. gave it greater horsepower and best in class 38 mpg highway... ...advanced headlights... ...and zero gravity seats? yeah, that would be cool. ♪ introducing the completely reimagined nissan altima. it's our most innovative altima ever. nissan. innovation that excites. ♪ nissan. innovation that excites. an accident doesn't have to slow you down.
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convenience stores are notorious targets for thieves. >> it's a change of job, you know, i'm here long time in this community. i'm here last 15 years. >> mohammad owns the shirley's express convenience store on new york's long island. he says he maintains a loyal following of customers and has managed to dodge a big bullet in
his line of work -- getting robbed -- until now. it's just past midnight and mohammed is finishing up some paperwork before locking up for the night. >> my head is just like this, down on my paperwork. and the guy come quick and say, give me the money, give me the money. >> the robber tosses the phone violently and waves a baseball bat, threatening mohammad. >> he said hurry up, give me the money. i said, hold on, let me get the money. >> one wrong move by mohammad could have deadly consequences. convenience store murders are near the top of the list of workplace slayings in the u.s. every year. and now the phone is across the room so he can't call the cops. but the clerk has been hiding something from the robber with the menacing bat. he's got a weapon of his own, a big gun under the counter. what would you do in this situation? would you fight back? break out the gun? or just give the man threatening
you with a weapon what he wants? >> that's the moment, i had to decide myself. i can't call somebody to ask, what i'm going to do now. >> mohammed makes some choices this robber never sees coming. >> i say hold up. let me give you the money. i take the gun and i tell him drop the bat. get down. and he see my gun. that's a surprise for him. just like a shock. >> almost instantly, the thief drops to his knees and begs for mercy. >> he says please, don't shoot me. don't call the police. please, i'm sorry, i'm sorry. i have no money. i have no food. my family is hungry. my little baby have no milk. >> the thieves words weigh heavily on mohammed, so next in an extremely odd twist, the shop owner makes an unexpected decision. >> i feel bad. i'm going to help him. i tell him, listen, promise me you will never rob anybody again.
>> with the promise, mohammed decides he's going to give money to the man who wanted to take it from him only minutes earlier. >> i come back around the counter, open the cash register, take $40 and i tell him take this money. go take it to your family and never rob anybody again. >> mohammed's compassion seems to hit the thief hard. the now-neiling robber tells mohammad he wants to change his life in a big way. >> he tells me i want to be a muslim just like you. i said you sure about that, you want to be a muslim just like me? i say, okay, put your right hand up. he put his right hand up. i tell him i say [ speaking foreign language ] he does same thing. and then after the prayer, i shake hand, i say congratulations. you are a muslim. you are a muslim brother. >> mohammed knows the $40 he
gave the guy will only get him so far, so he decides to do even more. i tell him, i say, take some bread, let me grab the milk for your family. i go in the back, i grab the milk, he's gone. he's left. >> mohammed says he wasn't going to call the police, but because the robber chooses to run away instead of taking his mask off and facing mohammed like a man, he decides this thief's conversion may not have been completed. and now he's alone in the store left to think about the decisions he just made. first, his decision to overtake the man attacking him. >> the person have a gun, knife, this kind of stuff, then i'm going to say, okay, brother what do you need? you want my cash register, you can have it. with i see a baseball bat, then i'm thinking to myself, i say i can handle that. >> then the decision to help the very man trying to rob him. >> some people say why don't you shoot him?
i say please, i can't do these things. when i'm a little baby, my mom tell me, son, when somebody come to you, help him. >> so that's exactly what mohammed does, and when the cops ask the good samaritan if he wants to press charges, he declines, figuring the robber probably learned his lesson, and mohammed says he learned a few lessons too. >> you know, this thing, this helped make me change my life. shirley is my hometown, but mostly people cannot believe it, mostly people in california are sending me checks and in future i'm going to make a charity. i'm going to help people. it's changed my whole life. >> unfortunately, less than a year after the incident, mohammed falls victim to a bad economy and is forced to close the store he ran in shirley for 15 years. but true to his
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