run, run, run ♪ this is "nightline." >> a young male, assault, victim of a home invasion. >> danger at your doorstep. >> they forced me to let them in the apartment. >> a home invasion with their attackers threatening to shoot. >> and they said to give them the money or they would kill me. >> we're at the scene of the crime while assailants might still be at large tonight. >> oh, my god, you guys, oh, my god. >> plus, midair crisis. these people are on a journey to face their biggest fear. >> pretend like you own the plane. >> but now can the plane whit perrer cure them. >> it's time for me to get on the plane. ♪ it might seem crazy what i'm bout to say ♪ >> if you're sick of pharrell's happy -- ♪ clap along -- >> so the weird al --
>> young gentleman home invasion. >> they say a man's home is his castle, a safe place. >> they followed me upstairs and forced to let me in the apartment. for james and meredith the place we consider sacred in one instance became safe no more. a brutal robbery brought them to university hospital at newark. it is a rare look at the aftermath of a home invasion inside of a trauma unit, all caught on tape by abc doctors new york med.
>> make sure there's no bleeding. or internal injuries. >> reporter: it began here at this apartment building in east orange, new jersey, about a 30-minute commute to new york city. the couple had just moved in, three months earlier. >> it was my normal routine. take the dog out in front of the apartment. >> reporter: what time was it? >> about 12:30. >> reporter: it was late. >> went outside and trouble found me. >> the guy came up and said, will you let me in? i said, my dog is not going to pee with you standing there. >> reporter: the two men followed james to his third floor apartment. >> i heard footsteps. and they bum rushed me from behind. and i turned around and there's a revolver in my place. >> reporter: james tries to give a peace offering, his wallet, with 25 bucks inside, doing what self-defense experts suggest. just give them what they want. >> they weren't satisfied with that. >> reporter: they wanted to get inside the apartment. he had a split-second to decide. stand and fight a man with a gun, or let them in, knowing his fiancee's in bed, already sleeping. >> do i take a stand here?
because i knew that as soon as i opened the door for them that she was at risk. >> he opens the door, trying to alert meredith as he goes. what was the first thing you remember? >> hearing yelling and commotion, ruckus. >> reporter: and you knew something was wrong? >> absolutely. the one with the gun strolled over to me and came behind me and put the gun to my head and said, where's the money now? i just remember them saying repeatedly, saying, where's the drugs? where's the money? where's the drugs? where's the money? >> reporter: as she tells the e.r. doc, what happens next would change their lives forever. >> and i pushed the gun away and grabbed the barrel and pushed away. he yelled at me, are you stupid? he pushed me down on the bed and he pulled my pants down right here and he -- >> it's all right. >> he started touching me. and i was a screaming. and -- when he had the gun to my head
before his face was right here and i could smell his breath very strongly. it smelled like burned plastic and very cheap alcohol. >> i just heard "no, no, no." and i knew that it was bad if she was telling him, you know, no. >> reporter: and he was groping you at that point? >> he had pulled my pants down and he -- i'm sorry. it's just -- >> reporter: you don't need to go into it. an unforgivable sexual assault. and for james in the other room still unaware of what's happening, it's too much to bear. instinctively he reacts, yelling at the top of his lungs. >> i had to do something. and i thought, if i make enough commotion it's going to make him nervous, it's going to get his attention, it might get the neighbors to call for help. >> reporter: at that point you were making so much noise that he eventually stopped. so, in your mind james stopped you from being raped?
>> absolutely. he did. because he was making such a problem so he's just -- grabbed the back of my shirt and pulled me off the bed, put the gun back on me, said get your purse. >> reporter: finally back in the same room, they each saw their chance of survival as meredith fumbles with her purse. >> and then he told me dump it out. so, i dumped it. and when i dumped it my phone fell face down on the couch and i remember thinking there's my phone. it's right there. and in that moment james comes face to face with a life or death decision. >> and he looked over and the gun instead of being pointed at me it sort of drifted off a little bit and i thought to myself if i don't take in this chance i might not get another one. so i reached up and i put the meat here of my hand in between the hammer and the gun. >> you have a large scar here from where the hammer went going
back and forth. >> reporter: oh, my gosh. >> i couldn't wrest it free but i knew that i had control of it. and that was the opportunity that she needed to call. >> that was the absolute hardest part was that when i dialed 911 they were just beating him so absolutely mercilessly and brutally and one kept yelling shoot him, shoot him, shoot him. >> please help me and my fiance. he held us at gunpoint. i need an ambulance right now. >> his buddy jumped in. that guy was hitting me, too. >> did you get knocked out? >> yeah, when i it this floor i think i lost consciousness. >> you're an american hero. >> all i could think of was that i didn't want them to do anything to hurt her. >> i know. we're going to take care of you now. >> reporter: in the end, the attackers fled but not before breaking james' nose, both cheekbones and the bones around his eye sockets. rushed to the e.r., james and meredith are separated for treatment. >> the girlfriend may have been sexually assaulted while he was
passed out. which is horrible. and that won't be communicated to him, at least certainly right now. >> they went through quite an ordeal. hopefully we'll get them together. so they can see each other. so she doesn't keep freaking out. two people could have been killed today. it was a close call. >> you are so brave. >> you have to do what you have to do. >> honey, you were willing to risk your life for me. >> what did you think i was going to do? >> reporter: that was a little more than a year ago. today the couple have moved back home to youngstown, ohio. for the first time since they moved away they ventured with us back to show thus apartment and all they say was wrong with it. so tell me, what are you thinking? >> i'm thinking, look, there's the camera that did absolutely nothing and here are the lights that did nothing. >> reporter: they say their building, lenox on the park, was
supposed to have surveillance equipment. but when it counted most those cameras were not functioning. we reached out to the manager but not go comment. and your view of surveillance cameras in general has changed. >> definitely. >> reporter: what did you think before? what do you think now? >> i think they should be everywhere. >> reporter: as they walked us through that trauma, the memories of what happened here became too much to handle. >> i don't need to see this again. >> they really need to catch these guys. they really do. because they're going to do it over and over and over again. >> right. >> reporter: more than a year later, police found no suspects but just a few days after we called the essex county prosecutor, meredith got a call asking them to come look at a lineup of possible suspects. the news is good. >> there is dna and a suspect in custody. >> if they're in custody and they have a dna match at least that one is off the street. >> reporter: they say they're on the road to recovery but admit that their experience has drastically changed them and their views on gun control.
>> i didn't want a gun. i specifically did not want one. i guess i got the realization that, you know, the police really can't protect you. you're on your own. >> reporter: so you're now proud gun owners? >> absolutely. >> reporter: where do you keep it? >> in the bedroom. >> we just keep thinking about that scenario if it ever happened again, you know, she would have it right there by the bed. >> reporter: but the gun makes you feel safer? >> 100%. >> reporter: and for all the life lessons this is trauma has brought, meredith says there's one that sticks out the most. you know what's amazing, meredith, is we all like to think when we're in that position that we would risk our lives to save our loved ones but james actually did it. >> i think about that every day. >> i just felt like i did what i had to do. like anyone in my position would have done the same thing. >> protecting your woman, i respect that. save your dog, save your girl. she's the world. >> you think you love them so much and, okay, this is it, this
is the best feeling you can have and you realize, no, i can actually love someone even more than -- i can even love someone more than that. >> reporter: for "nightline," i'm juju chang, in east orange, new jersey. >> tune into "new york med" tomorrow night at tn p.m. -- 10:00 p.m. eastern right here on abc. next, nearly two dozen injured today on a plane that hit turbulence. so can you really cure a fear of flying? anges. the problem isn't likely to go away... ...on its own. so it's time we do something about it. and there's help. premarin vaginal cream. a prescription that does what no over-the-counter product was designed to do. it provides estrogens to help rebuild vaginal tissue and make intercourse more comfortable. premarin vaginal cream treats vaginal changes due to menopause and moderate-to-severe painful intercourse caused by these changes. don't use premarin vaginal cream if you've had unusual bleeding, breast or uterine cancer,
blood clots, liver problems, stroke or heart attack, are allergic to any of its ingredients or think you're pregnant. side effects may include headache, pelvic pain, breast pain, vaginal bleeding and vaginitis. estrogen may increase your chances of getting cancer of the uterus, strokes, blood clots or dementia, so use it for the shortest time based on goals and risks. estrogen should not be used to prevent heart disease, heart attack, stroke or dementia. ask your doctor about premarin vaginal cream. and go to premarinvaginalcream.com this is worth talking about. looks like we're about to board. mm-hmm. i'm just comparing car insurance rates at progressive.com. is that where they show the other guys' rates, too? mm-hmm. cool. yeah. hi. final boarding call for flight 294. [ bells ring on sign ] [ vehicle beeping ] who's ready for the garlic festival?
for some, just boarding a plane can be a near-death experience. but tonight we found a man who promises and often delivers relief from those fears. they call him the plane wh whisperer. for many, flying on a plane is a terrifying experience. >> oh, my god, you guys, oh, my god. >> 35 years. >> but then the mere thought of being trapped in a plane 30,000 feet in the air, pure white knuckle chest thumping i can barely breathe fear like in this documentary "fear of flying" caught on camera. and that's why these men and women are here. >> this retired air force pilot is the plane whisperer for those deathly afraid of flying. this is captain ron nielsen's class at sky harbor international airport. they have one week to overcome a
life of saanxiety and for what more is a deep fear of plane it's estimated 20% of all flyers have some degree of fear. for this group it's moderate to severe. that's despite knowing the numbers. your chances of dying in a plane crash is 1 in 60 million no matter how frequently you fly. but hollywood has made a profit off of people's fears for a generation. blockbuster movies like "flight." >> for some reason my brain attacks my body. it tells me i'm going to do. >> sue is a member of a rock band by night and weekends. this mother of three with an'm bay is fearless in most phases of her life but put her on an airplane -- >> sometime i jump up and go to flight attendant and say "i'm scared" scared". >> so get on and pretend like
you own the thing. >> this is the fourth time she's taken captain ron's class. shell face her anxiety head on. they do a walk through aboard a plane they've been reassured won't take off. >> how about a big cheer for all of us who made it? [ applause ] information, the captain tells them, is key to overcoming fear. >> what i find for most people is the first thing they need to do is give themselves permission to be afraid. >> easier said than done. in seven days, they'll go from a classroom to a real flight from phoenix to burbank, california, and back home. sue will be taking a different flight, to las vegas. >> no no matter what it takes, i'm going to keep putting myself in that plane and if i embarrass myself, so be it. >> it's saturday morning, we're at phoenix airport, it's the third and final stage. call it graduation day. but who will pass. >> i need to accomplish this task. this is something i've put off for a long time. >> ross mcginley's fear of flying kept him from attending
his own parents' burial. >> why didn't i go? i should have gone, etc., etc. >> it's painful, this fear. >> very painful. very painful. it's shameful. >> shameful why? >> everybody seems to do it so effortlessly. >> he hasn't flown in 35 years. >> i want to take care of my panic attack. >> for classmate jessica it will take a team, her, her husband and her children. she's never flown before. captain ron gives them tips, distractions like a book or music can take your mind off of anxiety, and breathe. >> go past the food court, grab a drinking straw, get on the airplane and restrict your breathing through the straw. if you can control your breathing for the first two minutes of flight you've got 90% of the battle lick ed. >> how about over here? >> who's going to hold me? oh, my god. >> jessica forgot her straw. >> oh, many i god! oh, my god, oh, my god! >> she took a pill to take the
edge off. >> are we okay? are we good? are we done? close the window. >> what happens when you take that much medication? >> i didn't take a lot. >> she only took one. >> i know but what happens is then you end up inducing anxiety in yourself, okay? >> captain nielsen says no alcohol or drugs unless prescribed by a physician. self-medication, he says, might only add to your anxiety. >> it's a crack open. >> when you focus on anything -- the thing you should be focussing on is you. >> i know, but i don't want to die. >> minutes later, much to our surprise, jessica is calm. actually enjoying herself. >> it wasn't as bad as i thought. i think maybe this is my first time flying so just getting over that hurdle. it's actually beautiful. >> the landing was as smooth as the flight. jessica spoke -- or should we say screamed -- for everyone in the class. [ applause ]
everyone but ross. although he kept quiet the entire flight, he was horrified. >> the beginning and the end are -- i'm thinking about driving back. >> the anxiety overwhelming. he decided to drive back to phoenix. alone in a car for six hours with more regrets. more shame. >> but remember, it's taken sue four classes to get to this point. it wasn't easy, but she made her flight to vegas. as for the other students -- >> i'd love to take credit for it but it has nothing to do with me. it's always to do with you guys. >> captain ron rewards them with a certificate. once again you've cheated death by flying with me. >> but the real reward is having traveled from fearful to fearless. >> people who have a fear of doing this kind of stuff, they feel like they don't have control of things but you know what? i think the best part is not having the control. not having it. just letting it go.
"tacky." >> i would live tweet and take selfies. >> weird al is back parodying some of the year's most famous songs with help of famous friends. eric stonestreet takes on tacky clothes. >> wear my ed shard di shirt with fluorescent orange pants. >> well jack black is all about tacky manners. >> bringing along my coupon book wherever i'm on a date. >> and the tacky takedown wouldn't be complete without some twerking. ♪ you can call me queen bee >> but if you think classy singers are spared. lord e's "royals" gets the royal treatment, too. ♪ with aluminum foil, never settle for less ♪ >> he'll spoil anyone's fame and there's more to come. ♪ keep your sandwich nice and fresh ♪ stick it in your cooler >> al is releasing eight videos over eight days for his new album "mandatory fun."
heat shields are compromised. we what's that alarm?ures. fuel cell two is down. i'm going to have to guide her in manually. this is very exciting. but i'm at my stop. come again? i'm watching this on the train. it's so hard to leave. good luck with everything. watch tv virtually anywhere with the u-verse tv app. with at&t, the u-verse revolves around you.