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tv   Caught on Camera  MSNBC  July 28, 2012 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT

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they're best avoided in real life. i'm contessa brewer. that's all for this edition of "caught on camera." it's a force so deadly it can kill with a touch. >> i can't believe that i'm still alive. >> back up! >> so powerful it drops suspects on the spot, whether it's a bolt out of the blue -- >> feel the current travel through your body. >> an electrifying fall, or a dangerous crime. >> i wanted them down right there, what you're about to see is sure to be shocking. >> definitely something i'll never forget. >> don't do that.
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caught on camera, high voltage. i'm contessa brewer, welcome to caught on camera, it can happen in a flash and with devastating impact, electrical shock, when we control it electricity powers our lives, but when it's unleashed high voltage can be terrifying. february 3, 1996, a desperate man attempts a perilous high-wire act, straight into 16,000 volts of electricity. >> i thought he blew up in a million pieces because there was such a shock and a sound, it was boom! i was, whoa. east los angeles, a vibrant hub of the city. for la county firefighter eric huk, one call from dispatch would be like any or.
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other. >> everybody was shocked. myself and many guys who had many years on the job, this was something you'd never seen before. >> eric and his team arrive on the scene it find a suicidal young man perched atop a power pole, 30 feet up. the rescuers immediately recognize the danger. >> we are dealing with high tension wires. we are talking about, death. within seconds. >> it's not just the suicidal young man whose life is at risk. a crowd has begun to form beneath him and if the man pulls a live wire down with him, he could electrocute a bystander below. the fire department's first priority, cut the power. >> so the power company showed up and shut the wires from one pole to the pole that this individual was on. >> with the electricity shut down on that one pole, they have reduced the risk of electrocution.
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now their concern is whether the man will jump. >> we start anticipating spinal injuries, broken bones, major trauma. >> this is their chance to talk the man down. >> he was just looking up to the sky, seemed to be talking to the sky. maybe somebody he sees up there. >> but as the authorities move in, the situation takes a dramatic turn. the man doesn't jump. instead, he begins to move out of reach. now everything changes. a sudden shift that takes eric and his team by surprise. >> this pole right here, with the last light, he was up on that light post over there. >> the firefighters fear anything could happen. >> when he got over here, that's when the situation started to intensify because we had crowd control and we had to start pushing everybody out of way.
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>> the man is moving down the line toward the pole that's high voltage. and the crowd is exposed to serious risk. >> now we have charged lines. and we are worried about charged lines dropping down on the crowd. >> all eyes are on the man as his behavior grows increasingly reckless. >> he did like a high-wire act. back and forth. and they were yelling out prayers and trying to bless him and trying to remove satan from him. >> can you do greater deeds in jesus' name. i defy you, satan. >> finally, it happens. he makes contact. and for an instant, he completes a high voltage circuit with his body and disappears in a fiery flash of orange and white. >> it lit up the sky.
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you're going to actually feel -- you can feel the shock and the pressure of it go right through your chest. when he got zapped. something i still to this day, can still feel it and hear it. it is definitely something i will never forget. >> the onlookers are stunned. >> for us, a natural reaction would be for everyone to run over and help him. we had to take a second look, make sure the scene is safe. >> the rescue crew gets the all clear. and the biggest shock of the day, the young man survives. >> it's a miracle. how can he be alive? that's a high fall right there, that should pretty much traumatize him. crack his skull. but his major injuries were his burns. if anything can come out of this, it is respect wires, respect electricity. respect high voltage. >> coming up, lightning strikes. and two men get the shock of
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their lives. >> that was some pretty scary stuff. >> he wasn't breathing. i couldn't find his pulse. n we should be penalized for it. that's why liberty mutual insurance policies come standard with accident forgiveness, if you qualify. learn more at every communications provider is different but centurylink is committed to being a different kind of communications company. ♪ we link people and fortune 500 companies nationwide and around the world. and we will continue to free you to do more and focus on what matters.
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a single lightning strike can pack up to a billion volts. that's enough energy to keep a hundred watt bulb lit up for a century. the empire state building is new york city's lightning rod. it gets struck roughly a hundred times a year. volcanic lightning, a spectacular phenomenon, air particles can be electrically charged by an eruption and their
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plume transformed. april, 2011, a plane reported to be an em ritz airlines a-380 is about to land when it's struck by lightning. the 500 passengers on board or fine. emritz had knowledge of the incident but said all of its aircraft are designed and certified to be able to with stand a lightning strike. this is true of all modern airplanes. the planes' aluminum bodies act to conduct the current and shield the passengers from shock. on land, another glimpse of the power of nature. it's july 26, 2006, when a man working on his motorcycle is stopped in his tracks. >> i can't believe that i'm still alive. it's absolutely terrifying to go
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through that experience. to feel mother nature's fury upon you like that. i got lucky. >> james bady is an avid dirt biker who along with his brother is busy filming an adventure movie. >> all right, 210 miles of dirt today. >> no rest for the weary, right? not if we're going to cross all of the mississippi. >> i'm a filmmaker working on a documentary called, road less traveled. it follows myself and my brother as we ride motorcycles across off road america. matthew is the documentary cinemaing to fehr. >> we were in a small town in colorado. one of the few days we weren't riding, there were quite a lot of thunderstorms. but we didn't give it too much mind. >> despite the weather, james is intent on fixing his bike. and matthew is there to film him. >> this sucks. this sucks. i had to clean out the carburetor because it was just
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leaking gas nonstop. i pushed my bike underneath the awning of this hotel. i thought, i'll be safe here. no problem at all. i'm covered. >> james is wrong. holy [ bleep ]. >> there was just this huge bang and a flash. >> it's like a sonic experience. bursting through you. >> the next second all hell broke loose. >> damn it! holy [ bleep ]. >> so i feel -- >> i still feel really shaky. i'm not trying to be overdramatic or anything but my spine feels lit up. >> i'm trying to understand. not only the bolt has just gone off near us but why my body feels kind of tingly. >> the lightning seems to erupt straight out of motorcycle but the bolt didn't actually hit the
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bike, not directly at least. >> the lightning bolt hit those two vents right up there, according to one. guys who saw it. >> james believes the charge must have traveled down vent, across the parking lot, through the water pooling on the ground, straight into his kick stand. >> i didn't realize that my bike's kick stand was standing in a puddle. the same water that was pooling around the chimney seems to have conducted the lightning into his bike. >> i'm just glad i wasn't hit by the bolt itself. that was -- that was some pretty scary stuff. >> james feels like himself again only after a few minutes, but the experience leaves him shaken. >> it has been a long time since i've been scared that bad. >> every time i hear a thundercloud, even one in the distance, i can remember the feeling of being in that moment.
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>> few people know what it feels like to come in conduct with lightning. but another person who can relate is sam hall. >> to get hit by lightning, the feeling is -- it's pretty much undescribable because it happened so fast. you just feel the rush, the current travel through your body. i was worried that i would be paralyzed. >> barker, new york, for sam and his girlfriend, kim, october 3, 2008, began as an ordinary day. they were unphased by the darkening skies above. >> we get a lot of rain around here, so you really don't think much about the skies. >> we had some errands to do, so jumped into the truck and came to get gas. this is the gas station we got it here. >> this is the station we were at. >> pump three. >> pump number three it is. >> i left a little bit of me behind there at the pump.
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>> the score's surveillance camera captured what happens. that's sam dressed in hunting camouflage. >> paid for my gas, had a little conversation with the patrons inside. >> among them, amelia joy. it is just by luck that he's safe inside when an explosion rocks the gas station. >> while i was in the store, i went to the counter, to change my pump number. and that's when it all happened. >> kim is in the couple's pickup listening to the radio when suddenly a terrifying noise. >> i heard a sound, the truck shook. i hit the floor board. it felt like a bomb, to be honest with you. or that the gas pump blew up. >> sam shows us where he stood when it all went down. >> next thing i know, all i seen was this orange v framed out by
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the brightest white. i felt the charge going through my arm. as it went through my elbow. that's basically the last thing i remember. >> it was thunderous. >> i heard it, it was loud. >> when it hit -- when it hit sam, it was just like world war iii. it was the loudest thing i've ever heard. >> in fact, the lightning never actually hit sam directly. >> the lightning bolt struck the pavement just feet from me. traveled through the pavement because it had just recently rained. >> luckily the gas pump is grounded directly the current from his body. but the force of the bolt dropped sam on the spot, unable to move. >> he wasn't breathing. i couldn't find his pulse. i started pounding on his chest. and i started shaking him and slapping him up. and i got really upset and i told him if he was faking i was going to kill him. the things that were going
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through my head, you promise me you were going stay with me until we were old, you know. he kept his promise to me. yeah, he did. >> an emergency medical team revived sam on-site and he is rushed to the hospital. but as shaken up as he is, he has only one visible injury. >> i had actually blisters on my elbow where the current blew out my elbow. so i went home, every muscle in my body was sore for a couple of days. >> still, things have changed since that bolt from the blue. sam had always wanted to sing in a rock band. now he has decided life is too short to put it off any longer. ♪ >> it made me realize that you
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only have so much time on this earth, only have so much time to do the things that you need to do to enjoy your life because you only have one life. and i need to put everything into it. ♪ ♪ the bolt from the sky coming up, a blair is blasted off a high power electric pole. >> all of a sudden we add bear like exploding in midair. >> and good thing a cat has nine lives. when "caught on camera: high voltage" continues. the wife. hey, babe. got the jetta. i wiped the floor with the guy! not really. i would've been fine with 0% for 36 months, but i demanded 60. no...i didn't do that.
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he hasn't gotten shocked already. >> minutes later, she's blasted with 7200 volts. >> and we literally had an explosion. it was really, really horrible. >> over the years, drought has driven many bears down from the mountains into the city of albuquerque, new mexico. one such bear became legend. at that time, janet blair was a network news reporter. >> we kept getting calls in the newsroom. there's a bear loose in our neighborhood. so we loaded in our news units, and we headed up there. >> nbc news camera man, barry mootz. >> bear loose in the heights. a great way to start your day off. >> a bear presumably on the hunt to find her missing cub. little did she know the cub was safe and sound. officials had caught him
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wandering through town the day before. >> and i said, now that they have baby bear, the big question is, where's mama bear. >> the answer, fast approaching a busy intersection. >> so we get over to tramway and montgomery and the bear heads for a power pole. and so, immediately, i'm thinking to myself, can bear climb a power pole? >> when a bear feels cornered, instinct tells it where to go. straight up. now, getting her down safely is up to game and fish officials like mark burkehouser. >> it is just looking for a place to get away and find a place that it feels safe. for a bear, that's high. as high as it can get off the ground where not much can get to it. >> this is not a normal volt. this is a large high-wire high voltage pole. and there's, i think, three sets of wires that were up there. and the bear's up like by the top. >> albuquerque police department is there. game and fish is there. everybody's, you know, trying it figure out, you know, what we're going to do. >> officials want to try to
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try to tranquilize the bear but they'll have to be careful. >> can't hit the bear and you miss, that dart's going to come down somewhere. with crowds around, there is also a public concern. >> the decision is made to fire the tranquilizer. the shot, a direct hit. someone seconds the 105-pound bear feels the effects. >> she's going. you can just see she's getting woozy. >> it is starting to droop a little bit. and it is hanging on to the pole the best it can. >> starting to lose function. his leg starts dangling down. >> she loses one claw and then she loses the other claw. >> the bear has avoided getting shocked until now. >> the electricity arced across and the bear immediately just boom, flies off the pole. it was like ten times louder than the gunfiring, in my mind.
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and that electrical sound, that crackle of electrical, you know -- >> all of a sudden, we had a bear exploding in mid air. >> and smoke and flash. i mean, it was intense. >> then the smell. the smell of barbecue bear. >> everybody all around is getting emotional. janet blair let's loose. you killed the bear. and she is going run over and ring someone's neck. >> i was very upset and i stamped my foot and i said a bad word. [ bleep ] very loudly. i am a journalist. and i'm supposed to be dispassionate. but that doesn't mean i don't have really strong feels about every story i do. and in this case, i had very strong feelings for that bear. i thought, she was a goner. you know, if she didn't die from that fall, she must have died from the electrocution. >> but story turns out very differently. >> we went up to the bear and the bear was still breathing, still had a heart beat.
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it was like, amazing. we were just, amazed. >> she survived it. and she survived the burns on her paws and everything. >> lucky for the bear, the fur doesn't conduct electricity well lucky as well her body is equipped for a high fall. she needs urgent care, but her condition isn't critical. >> she seems stable. she is breathing regularly. her heart rate is regular. and i can't really find any injuries on her other than a little burn on the inside of her right rear leg. >> i can tell you then, the elation i felt when we got the call, hey, this bear's alive. >> it was amazing that she had survived all of that. it was a miracle. >> the mama bear who came to be affectionately known as sparky, spends five months at rio grande zoo under the care after team of veterinarians. she gains 75 pounds and save
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reuniting with her cub, she has returned to the wild. >> people do get attached to this bear. it became albuquerque's bear. mama bear coming and looking for her cub, this traumatic incident occurs, yet they are reunited and able to turn loose. i think it is a story of hope, you know. >> many wildlife officials rely on air bags to cushion the fall of bears they have to see date. a development they owe, in some part, to sparky the bear. december 6, 2010. in tucson, arizona, another animal is stuck high on an electrical pole. this time, a cat who's been up there for three days. >> i just thought the cat might either slip and fall off or get into the power lines and get shocked and die. >> but kim, the cat, surprises everyone. >> on a monday, cameraman andrew brown heads out to cover the
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story. all day, phone lines had been zzing in the newsroom. >> people were so upset about this cat being on this pole and them not being able to get it down. that i didn't know what to expect but i knew it was going to be kind of crazy. >> when andrew arrives on the scene, a crowd has formed. looking 30 feet up at one very confused cat. >> people heard about it. i came out this morning and i've been ever since. >> it's like, let's watch. >> the cat's been up there since saturday, 4:00 p.m. with no food, no water. as you can see, everybody is standing around. so, see how it turns out. >> live entertainment. >> also on the scene are kim's owner, amber fernandez, who's deaf, and her mother, lisa. >> we've had her for two years and now she is stuck up there. i don't know what to do. >> if you touch one of the wires, it's high voltage.
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it doesn't take much to kill a cat. with amber and her as close as they are, it would be very painful. >> given the risks to their employees, the power company is reluctant to intervene. but by the third day, the crowd is demanding action. >> i was going to get my spike shoes and climb up the pole but they said they would arrest anybody that attempts it. >> the police informed us that someone considered climbing our energized equipment to remove the cat. so when they happened, we decided the best course of action is to try and bring the cat down. >> tucson electric shuts down the power, leaving more than 2,000 people without electricity. still, there's residual charge left in those lines. enough to make the operation dangerous. for kim the cat and her rescuer s as well. >> it got really, really tense. everybody was just nervous and there was a lot of tension in the air. >> it was scary, because the cat
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started getting scared. she was scared of the two men. for kim the cat, it is a big decision. should she stay or should she go? >> i didn't know what was going to happen. i kept thinking it was going to get shocked. >> one of the onlookers on-site, provides the play by play. >> oh, jesus, joseph, mary, please. oh, god, oh, god, oh, my good. can you let the boys take you? let the boys take you. oh, no. >> suddenly she jumps. oh, my god. ahhhhh! >> it looked kind of like slow motion. >> it was shock and awe. like a moment of sheer terror. you can hear it. everybody just gasped. >> a cat's physical make-up helps it to brace for these kinds of falls. >> it was almost like she was flying like a flying squirrel does. because she was all four, you know, arms and legs out and she was kind of gliding down. then when she hit, i was praying
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inside my head, god please make my cat safe. i thought for sure, you know, she's dead. >> but kim survives. >> she did. no broken bones. no internal bleeding. like nothing ever happened to her. >> in fact, she's raring to go. >> i couldn't believe it. i really don't believe it. >> hit the ground and started running. >> went straight home. that's all she wanted to do was go home. >> i felt so happy inside, like it was like going to heaven. >> after her adventure, kim still looks for trouble. >> she isn't a good girl. a little bit fat now. coming up, a hot air balloon on a collision course. >> it's a zastd disaster
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here's what's happening. a plane carrying senator marco rubio had a make an emergency landing. rubio aide tells nbc news the plane had a serious electrical issue. rubio was on his way to a mitt romney rally in des moines. james holmes, was being treated by a psychiatrist, lawyers for holmes revealed this information in a court motion filed yesterday. now back to "caught on camera." welcome back, i'm contessa brewer, imagine drifting through a cloudless day. what could be more sublime? and what could be more frightening when the wind carries the balloon straight into high voltage wires?
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october, 1984. a hot air balloon drys perilously close to electric power lines. >> oh, my god! >> it's a disaster. it's a disaster happening in front of your eyes. and then you think, well, the people in there are -- are -- who knows what. hurt, dead. >> reporter: art and his wife, dee, are having a memorable vacation. they're visiting the albuquerque balloon fiesta. >> there's about 400 hot air balloons. >> it's really something to see. >> every color in the rainbow is there and there's all the different shapes. >> art has brought with him what was then a new toy. >> this is what i used to videotape it. you know, it's a new fad. and i thought, you know, that's a nice way to record. >> art's video of day three captures the spectacle that greet ed them, right outside
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their motel room. >> look at all those balloons. they were so pretty in the sky. it's hard to believe when you see 400 or 500 of them, ascending and floating all over. >> they were landing on the other side of the freeway, here and there. which looked a little perilous, because, you know, a little miscalculation and you get hit by a car too. >> well, this one was coming down, we were watching, and all of a sudden, we could hear the tanks, when they turn on the propane, you here whoosh, whoosh. >> the balloon has abruptly changed course, from landing to rising. its pilot and passenger may have noticed, there's a fence in his way. >> so he gave it a shot of hot air, and it started to rise. well, being in the basket with the balloon sticking out over the side, he couldn't see the hot -- or the power lines. >> the balloon rises straight into the high-voltage power
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lines. >> all of a sudden, there's this flash, i mean, flash, and it took all of our breaths away. >> the balloon could burn, could catch on fire, the tanks explode and kill people. >> but circuit breakers automatically cut the power from the line, temporarily. >> so i'm thinking, my god, what are they going to do? you know, it's -- there's -- i can't see how they're going to get down from there without something happening. >> the balloon is suspended in a deadly tangle of high-tension wires. then, suddenly, the power surges on again. >> oh, jesus. >> oh, my god! >> oh, jesus. >> there was a bigger flash, and i -- i truly thought that
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whoever was in the gondola must be burned or dead, because it was a tremendous flash. >> another big arc, an enormous arc, and it burnt through the cables that hold the basket and the balloon. and that's when they separated. >> the balloon itself is cast off, to sputter through the air. as for the gondola, it's hard to imagine anyone on board it could survive. they've endured a series of potentially lethal high-voltage shocks and a 30-foot drop. >> and it's like slow-motion. that basket, if you just see it going down, and it hits the ground. and you think, oh, boy, if they lived through that, they're going to be in really bad shape. >> but, incredibly, both balloonists are alive. the pilot sustains a broken shoulder, a fractured pelvis and ribs, and the passenger, just bruises and a broken wrist.
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>> i was absolutely amazed that they both weren't more seriously hurt or dead. but it happened so fast, and you're just thankful that this tragedy wasn't worse. coming up, police deliver a wedding present of 50,000 volts. >> let him go! let him go! >> how do we start off a marriage, having the groom get tased on his wedding day. >> when "caught on camera: high voltage" continues. n this econo. but with three kids, being home more really helped. man: so we went to fidelity. we talked about where we were and what we could do. we changed our plan and did something about our economy. now we know where to go for help if things change again. call or come in today to take control of your personal economy. get free one-on-one help from america's retirement leader.
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but that doesn't mean we should be penalized for it. that's why liberty mutual insurance policies come standard with accident forgiveness, if you qualify. learn more at a high-speed chase -- >> drop it! en >> ends with a high-voltage
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taze. december 3rd, 2007. tallahassee, florida, police officer donald poppy is on patrol. dash cam rolling, when a car pulls ahead. the driver hits 65 in a 35-mile-per-hour zone and he also hits a fence. the speeder, antonio givens, tries to bolt. poppy responds, taser drawn. stop! now! on the ground! now! >> givens drops his gun and grabs for it. poppy fires at givens with a taze of up to 50,000 volts. but givens isn't done. poppy goes for his firearm. as givens rises, he has weapon in hand. >> drop it! >> poppy fires twice and givens goes down. incredibly, he's only wounded.
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givens is convicted of attempted aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, and sentenced to 11 months, 29 days. >> on the ground! >> more and more, police are relying on tasers. >> it keeps us from having to fight somebody hands on. detective jared mathern should know. he along with sergeant jeffrey leered and officer brian jackson are with the houma, louisiana, police force. they were uninvited guests who brought tasers to a wedding that went very, very wrong. instead of a toast, the groom got a taze. and the bridal power got a shower of mace. >> what's going through my mind has got to be, oh, my god, i just got done with the best day of my life and my husband's
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tased. >> jeffrey leeredd has been with the houma police for 15 years. >> houma's a small town, nice to live here, quiet. >> houma is usually quiet. but not on july 23rd, 2005. riding along with police is a cameraman. >> what the [ bleep ]? >> shooting for a local tv show called "the beat" produced by martin fowles. >> sometimes you come back with no video, sometimes you come back with some pretty good stuff. this time was real good stuff. >> but how did this couple's happily ever after turn so quickly to disaster? it begins when someone calls 911, but hangs up. >> get down! >> they thought that the groom was having a seizure. just the way they were behaving, you could tell that they had had way too much alcohol. >> police and paramedics arrived at the scene. they determine the groom is not having a seizure, but he is highly intoxicated. >> back up! back up!
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>> stuff got crazy real quick. >> officers are trying to get the crowd to back up so they can help the groom. but when the groom sees police, he starts slugging away. >> trying to persuade him to take a ride to the hospital to get checked out, and for some reason, he just didn't want to have it. >> while the police are trying to control the aggressive groom, his brand-new brother-in-law leaps into the fray. >> i grabbed him and pulled him to the ground, not knowing that the stretcher was right there. >> officer jackson tries to help his fellow officer by tasing the brother-in-law. >> and i hear officer jackson behind me yelling, taser, taser! >> but officer jackson can't taze when another cop's in the line of fire. >> if one prong go into me and the another prong go into the suspect, the electricity would go through both of us. >> the groom blocks the taser. >> he hit it out of my hand and it went into the crowd. >> suddenly, the groom passes
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out. >> who shot that stun gun! >> the brother-in-law mistakenly believes the groom has been tased and goes after the cops. then he's marched down the aisle. >> he jumped up off of the ground and attempted to charge that officer who was standing directly behind me. i had to grab him. >> it's total chaos, and then, the groom is back on his feet. but not for long. >> you can see him get up again. so it's like, night of the living dead. he's back up, in the crowd. >> i'm trying to talk to him, trying to calm him down, he swung a punch at me and i deployed a taser a second time. [ screaming ] >> and here comes the bride. >> his new wife came up, screaming. it sounded like a gunshot, so she thought i shot him. [ screaming ] >> police continue to fend off the bridal party. >> they just started coming out of the woodworks over here from the house. is when officer boudreau started
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using the pepper spray. >> back up! >> it's clear, this is not going to end well. >> now, i don't know where this -- the third guy comes from. he was running out, screaming and hollering and cursing at us. >> it's the groom's brother. >> so about that point -- >> back up! k-9! back up! >> k-9 arrived and they walk up. >> get that guy on the ground! >> who? >> right there! him! >> they take him into custody and that was a wrap. >> can i pull my pants up? >> nope. >> for the wedding album, moments to treasure. three arrests, three mug shots. the groom, warren bijou and his brother, christopher, are charged with disturbing the peace by intoxication and resisting an officer. the brother-in-law, troy troops, is charged with the same, including battery with a police officer and threatening a public official. the groom pleased guilty and pace a fine. his brother pleased no contest
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and also pays a fine. the groom's brother-in-law pleased guilty and spends 15 days in jail. >> that's not a good party plan. >> let him go! let him go! >> how do you start off a marriage with having a groom get tased and arrested on his wedding day. >> back up! [ screaming ] >> who shot that stun gun? >> back up! [ screaming ] coming up, a pair of brothers stranded on a tower carrying 230,000 volts. >> i just wanted them down. i wanted them down, right then. >> when "caught on camera: high voltage" continues. the global ready one ? yeah, but you won't need... ♪ hajimemashite. hajimemashite. hajimemashite. you guys like football ? thank you so much. i'm stoked. you stoked ? totally. ... and he says, "under the mattress."
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february 11th, 1997, two brothers are trapped on a high-voltage electric tower 12 stories up. >> it was way too exciting for
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this mother. i just wanted them down. i wanted them down, right then. i was terrified. >> for sandra mcneil, that day would be the longest of her life. >> i was just dealing on adrenaline. it was -- kind of makes you heartsick to see your boys up there. >> what unlikely turn of events would draw two boys to this terrible brink? the answer has everything to do with the special bond they share. 10-year-old john has autism, his brother, james, 17, is devoted to his little brother. >> he was his brother's keeper, because he loves his brother, because he had been put in a position to watch out for his brother his whole life. >> part of caring for john means keeping him out of trouble. >> he has no fear of danger.
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his sense of adventure and lack of sense of danger, it's like having a 2-year-old. >> one of his favorite fixations -- >> he's always liked to climb. right over the backyard fence, there was a 120-foot power tower. there was a greenbelt behind the house with a series of electrical towers. and john had started to climb them. >> so far, john has only managed to get up the scaffolds at ground level before his family has coaxed him down. but that day, with both parents away at work, he ventures higher. >> john had recently discovered the spikes on the side of the tower, about 20 feet up. so he was able to maneuver the tower and climb up to those spikes. >> brother, james, is afraid of heights, but he feels he has no choice. >> james followed john, because he didn't expect him to go all the way. he was climbing and then john
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just kept climbing farther, and he was yelling at him to get down, to stop. >> 911 emergency. >> there is an autistic child who is climbed one of the power poles in front of my house. >> word cliquickly gets out. >> he's way up there now. the brother is chasing him and he's about to the top where the wires are. you better hurry. >> in no time, john is 120 feet up, along with his older brother, james. >> he went straight up. i was trying to be calm, looking at things, but it was a sight i could do without. i was afraid up there. >> when he got to the htop, he took his glasses off so he couldn't see how far down it was. >> their father, byron, hears the news on a traffic report and races home. sandra get as alerted at work b police. >> as i was driving from work home and i could see the boys on the tower and the helicopters
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circling, like birds above them, i was terrified then, and i knew that john liked helicopters, and he'd get excited and flap his arms. and the first thing i asked is, can you ask the helicopters to back off little. >> he would be excited by the helicopters with with, the crowd, and all the attention it was getting. no, he was not afraid. >> the lines are carrying 230,000 volts, enough juice to power a small town. the authorities cut the electricity, but they warn there may still be 20,000 volts of residual power. captain terry south of the mesa fire department harnesses himself to the tower and leads the rescue. >> just keep getting higher and higher and before you get to the top, at some point you say, how did i get myself into this? >> the plan, terry and firefighter jeff mitchell will harness the boys and repel down the tower with them. but with night falling and temperatures dropping, it's
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becoming a risky operation. >> james had john's hand clamped down on to the little 3-inch girder there, and he was just -- had a death grip on it. when we picked up his hand, his brother's hand was blue. >> it's been two tense hours since the crisis began when another option makes a dramatic entrance. a special utility truck called a condor, equipped with with a 150-foot boon. by coincidence, it had been undergoing repairs just a few miles away. >> they only had one in the state, i believe, at the time, and the mechanic in charge of it saw this on the news, and he went back to work to reassemble it. when the condor entered the green belt, there was a roar. we were excited. >> the boys are ushered to safety. >> oh, i was so relieved.
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i just wanted to thank heavens that they were safe and i wanted to hold them. >> and james is treated as a hero. >> i still don't see what i did as that unusual. maybe a little trysome at times, but i have a really wonderful brother, and i love him. >> some day i hope you can tell me why you climbed all the way to the top. >> years later, john has now grown to adulthood. a scrapbook of clippings helps preserve memories of his brother's devotion. >> i think the world still needs heroes. they immediate need to see that will do things and not worry about their own safety that they will put someone else's needs ahead of their own and this was a sweet story of brotherly love. >> john's brother, james, has since gone on to serve in the military, stationed in af


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