tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC September 19, 2014 6:30pm-7:01pm EDT
welcome to "world news tonight." breaking now, breaking his silence. the nfl commissioner, what he's now saying about that moment in the elevator, and why he won't step down. and the plane flying over america, and the passengers yelling, brace. and a new pitcture of america's most wanted. communities locking their doors. and our person of the week. billy crystal, what we never
knew about his friendship with robin williams. good evening, it's great to have you with us on a friday night. tonight, after more than a week of silence, roger goodell coming before the cameras. saying i got it wrong, vowing to get the nfl's house in order. why he won't resign, and angry reaction pouring in from players and fans. ryan smith, leading us off. >> over the past several weeks, we have seen all too much of the nfl doing wrong. that starts with me. >> reporter: for 45 grueling minutes, roger goodell, apo apologizing again and again. >> i got it wrong.
>> reporter: one after another, four players benched, amid accusations of domestic violence. and the commissioner -- the video showing ray rice punching his then-fiancee. and goodell saying he mishandled the situation. >> i got it wrong in the handling of the ray rice matter. and i'm sorry for that. i got it wrong on a number of levels. from the process that i led, to the decision that i reached. >> reporter: the commissioner still insisting that what the world saw on that tape was different from what he had been told by rice. >> it was inconsistent with what he told us. i would have loved to have seen
that tape. >> reporter: asked if he would ever consider resigning. >> i have not. >> reporter: he says the nfl will hold education classes, and have a new personal conduct policy. but it won't be ready until the super bowl. >> people are so angry, and i don't think they got the answers they wanted. >> reporter: and late tonight, another bomb shell in the ray rice case. nfl network reporting that the ravens pressed the nfl to go easy on their star player ev. and what we didn't hear last night about the midair emerge y emergency. >> ladies and gentlemen, a right
engine failure. >> and the crew chanting, brace, brace, as they come in for landing. david kerley again tonight. >> reporter: jet blue passengers heard the bang, smelled the smoke, before hearing that chilling warning from the pilot. >> ladies and gentlemen, we've had a right engine failure. shutting down the engine, we're headed back to long beach at this time. please stay in your seats. >> reporter: with oxygen masks on -- >> keep your seat belts fastened. >> reporter: -- the jet is back at the airport within minutes. the call out to brace for emergency landing. >> brace. brace. brace. [ applause ] >> reporter: while passengers were relieved to be on the ground, cindy gilbert, miles away, on a beach, was wondering what fell from the sky and nearly hit her. >> it was like a loud boom. >> reporter: she believes this panel came off the a-320. >> i'm thankful it didn't hit me or anybody else. >> reporter: jet blue could not confirm anything fell off the aircraft. and back in the plane, the final drama. >> easy victor. 's easy victor.
>> reporter: easy victor, that's the evacuation order. >> come this way. >> reporter: slides deploying, passengers racing out of the plane. the end of a frightening flight. david kerley, abc news, washington. breaking developments in the manhunt that's now gone nationwide. a cop killer on the loose. this new picture of the suspect. entire communities bolting their doors, and friday night lights gone dark. linzie janis on the ground. >> reporter: tonight, this community on lockdown. schools closed, soccer practice cancelled. football games rescheduled, as people stick close to home and to each other. choppers hovering overhead. police sweeping these dense woods for any sign of eric frein. last night, racing toward potential sightings, closing roads. even evacuating homes.
and today, this image giving us a sense of why police and neighbors are so afraid. the 31-year-old in military gear, aiming a machine gun. an expert marksman who participated in war games like these seen on youtube. people we met, trying to retain a sense of normalcy. but clearly on edge. dough feel like a hostage in your own home? >> i just can't. i refuse to feel like that. >> reporter: have you thought about what you would do if you saw him? >> i have a machete right by the door. >> reporter: taking us inside to see it. that makes me want to back up. fred and cat say they're also armed. fred's gun today, in his back pocket. >> i don't know how to say this, but we sleep with our guns. >> reporter: as this community
waits, more than 200 law enforcement officials are combing the arearea, trying to p this man before he strikes again. and from california, firefighters on the front lines. the blaze exploding in size, now nearly the size of portland, oregon. what the suspect did right after, going into a stranger's house to call 911? neal karlinsky is there. >> reporter: late today, far from the fire lines, the man accused of causing this fire catastrophe pleaded not guilty to arson in a california courtroom. 37-year-old wayne allen huntsman is being held on an extraordinary $10 million bail, accused of putting firefighters in extreme danger. you have so much to deal with, with the drought and the heat creating these fires. then it turns out, investigators say, this one is manmade?
>> yeah. unbelievable. >> reporter: investigators have traced the point of ignition to the back of this house. but that's not all they found. for whatever reason, police say the suspect actually called 911 to report the fire. they say he broke into this home, actually kicked in the door. you can see the marks here. the resulting blaze so catastrophic, it sent 2,800 people from their homes this week. at times, driving through flames. it's flaming stumps like this one they're really worried about sparking up again. and you can see the conditions have changed, the winds have died down and this entire region where the fire burned through and elsewhere is just shrouded in thick, dense smoke today. but at least the fire's not moving like it was. david? >> just scorched out there. thank you. and now to the floods, these scenes from houston. a wet and wild commute. and this semi, jackknifed.
we want to get to ginger zee, you were saying this system is still at work. >> right, parts of north texas are so juicy. any storm that comes through, could drop some big rainfall, through tomorrow night. up north, a cold front could bring severe weather. and cabo san lucas, worried about a tropical storm. it's taking a western path. >> good news that it's veering out. and to an abc news investigation. is there something on the highway that's been changed? tonight, our investigation into guardrails. a lawsuit, hundreds of thousands
of them being found across the country could be deadly. brian ross has what's been changed and the pictures tonight. >> reporter: around the country, guard rails meant to protect, doing just the opposite. >> i'm going to die. >> reporter: a north carolina motorist hit a guard rail head-on. the long steel rail sliced through the suv and the driver like a spear. >> i've lost my legs in a wreck. >> you're saying you lost both legs, sir? >> yeah. >> reporter: it wasn't supposed to happen. this test film from 15 years ago shows how an ingenious design is supposed to allow the head of the guardrail to absorb the impact, and deflect and peel the rail off to the side. but in a recent rash of accidents, the guardrail has, instead, pierced right through cars and trucks, slashing through anyone inside. rebecca dryer lost her right leg. >> it essentially was a spear that came through my car. >> reporter: and now victims are suing the manufacturer, trinity
industries of texas. the victims' lawyers claiming the company made some slight changes, just an inch here and there, that saved a few dollars but also created a dangerous flaw. and that makes a significant difference. >> it makes all the difference in the world. >> reporter: this animation shows what lawyers suing the company say can happen now with the modified version. but despite growing evidence of gruesome accidents, the federal highway official in charge says it meets safety standards. why did you make that decision? >> based on the evidence presented to us. >> reporter: and you now think it's safe? >> ask my office. >> reporter: and you can't answer the question? >> safety is relative matter. >> reporter: officials tell abc news this week that a nationwide
review of all guardrails will soon begin. >> and you'll have more tonight on "20/20." see you then. and what are people waiting hours for today? rebecca jarvis is waiting, too. >> reporter: david, let me give you a sense for all the crowds out here tonight. i'm using my phone to capture all of these people waiting in lines for hours across the country tonight. tonight, the ifrenzy across the globe. japan, australia, the first guy to get his iphone promptly dropping it on live tv. >> oh! >> 1, 2, 3! >> reporter: in california, where apple's own tim cook posed for selfies with fans. the features captivating customers here tonight? it's all about the camera. from slow-mo video to time lapse pictures like these. and that selfie burst, ten
pictures per second. we gave it a go with one happy shopper. this is the finish line. so many people waiting days on end to get right here like julia. >> yes. >> reporter: how does it feel? >> it feels good. >> reporter: do you like your phone? >> i like my phone. >> reporter: it was worth it? >> it was worth it. >> reporter: back to you. and still ahead, look at this. the surveillance tonight. a major development in the search for the college student that disappeared. >> and news about an american giant. pabst blue ribbon. and billy crystal, what he told me about the hardest moment of his life. his tribute to robin williams, and what we didn't know about their friendship.
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abc's steve osunsami. >> reporter: a person of interest -- >> that person isn't in custody. but we know who he is. >> reporter: seen in unreleased videos, walking behind her, putting his arms around her waist, and 20 minutes later, her friends received a text saying she was lost trying to get to their party. investigators believe she got in a car with that man. telling us they don't know if she's dead or alive. >> we sat with mrs. graham about half an hour ago. they want their daughter back and want to know what happened to their little girl.
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and finally tonight here, our person of the week. billy crystal, tonight, he's giving back. why he's sharing his sundays with america. and remembering his dear friend, robin williams. >> my name is bill rr ry crystad i'm a comedian. >> his dad owned a record store. and all these years later, still making us smile and laugh. and we begin where it all began for him. >> your home was filled with voices. >> i was five, and i sounded like this. why are my ankles swollen?
i'm five. >> 700 sundays, such a hit, soon out on dvd. all about sundays with his dad. >> we'd go bowling, play baseball, pitch curveballs. >> and there was always sunday dinner. >> the food was always chinese or italian food. we're jews, so -- i always remember the smell of his shaving. there was something very intoxicating about that. >> when he lost his dad, it was his mother that held his family together. >> she sat me down one day, said, i promise you, you're going to go to college.
>> was that a relief? >> i had a leader. >> your mother would wake you up every year on your birthday. >> at the time i was born. >> it's a moment he put into the movie "city slickers." and tonight, remembering someone else. you said that tribute was the hardest thing you ever had to do. >> he was my closest friend. everyone was looking to me, and i didn't have anything to say. so, i just tweeted no words. because i didn't have any. i couldn't breathe. [ applause ] he made us laugh. hard. every time you saw him. it was really hard. it was really hard. and just makes no sense. >> what do you miss the most? >> him. the friendship. >> years of comic relief
together. they would deliver the checks in person. >> we would get a call. let's go. >> and he's still delivering, after hurricane sandy. remembering his roots and his fans. still fooling them, like his book says. and so we choose, billy crystal. a always giving back, remembering family, and his friend. i'll see you tonight on "20/20," and back on monday for "world news tonight." good night.