tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC August 11, 2018 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT
play tomorrow. >> can we go? field trip? >> i wish. tonight -- the breaking news. the man behind that hijack horror in seattle. what we're learning about the airline employee accused of stealing an empty plane. caught on camera, doing high-flying stunts before crashing it into the ground. the fbi now leading that investigation, how he got that plane into the air. president trump condemns all racism as the country approaches the anniversary of the deadly clashes in charlottesville. this as his battle with once-trusted white house aide omarosa heats up. her latest accusation. new fire danger. those ferocious wildfires in the west, the race to protect neighborhoods intensifying. some families returning to homes miraculously spared. others coming home to cinders. child handcuffed. the uproar over the treatment of a 10-year-old boy with autism,
pinned to the floor at his own school. accusations of excessive force. what happened next. plus, sudden crash. the heart-stopping moment on an american highway. the motorcycle rider on his way to work sent flying. the dangerous collision, all caught on camera. good evening. thanks for joining us on this saturday. i'm whit johnson, in for tom llamas. we begin tonight with the deadly drama in the skies over seattle. an employee with horizon air, that company owned by alaska airlines, taking off from seattle-tacoma airport in a stolen turboprop plane. doing loops and rolls high in the sky before crashing 30 miles away. you see u.s. fighter jets tracking that rogue plane. no passengers on board. only the lone pilot who authorities called suicidal. tonight, we're learning much more about the 29-year-old
ground employee accused of bringing that busy airport to a halt and putting so many lives at risk. abc's clayton sandell is in seattle, starting us off tonight. >> oh, my god! oh, my god! is he okay? >> reporter: the alarming aerobatics of a passenger airline. >> holy [ bleep ]! holy [ bleep ]! holy [ bleep ]! holy [ bleep ]! >> reporter: looping and rolling, pursued by fighter jets. >> that's an alaska airlines q400 what the -- is he doing over here? >> reporter: proving this was no ordinary air show. that plane, stolen, surprising controllers when it barged onto the runway. >> the dash-8 on runway 16 center, say your call sign. >> reporter: taking off friday at 7:32 p.m. >> his wheels are smoking left and right, and right now he's rolling down the runway. >> reporter: at the controls, 29-year-old richard russell. a horizon airlines baggage handler. he'd passed background checks and had worked for horizon for 3 1/2 years, even posting about his job on youtube. >> and i'm a ground service agent. that means i lift a lot of bags.
>> reporter: f-15 fighters scramble from portland, flying faster than the speed of sound intercepting russ sem south of seattle. they are prepared to shoot him down, as controllers try to talk him down. >> all right, rich, now, let's try to land that airplane safely and not hurt anybody on the ground. >> i don't know man, i don't know, i don't want to. i was kind of hoping that was going to be it. >> reporter: 75 minutes after takeoff, the plane crashes into flames on a small island. russell is killed. >> i got a lot of people that care about me and, uh, it's going to disappoint them that i did this. i would like to apologize to each and every one of them. >> reporter: commercial airplanes do not have door locks or ignition keys. experts say they can be easily started using a checklist. but tonight, there are big questions about how russell was able to learn just enough to get that plane off the ground, and why, the pierce county sheriff described russell as suicidal. >> and clayton sandell joins us live outside the seattle airport where that plane took off. clayton, multiple agencies
involved. but the fbi is now in charge of the investigation? >> reporter: that's right, whit. tonight, the priority at the scene is finding those flight data and voice recorders in the wreckage. the fbi said this does not appear to be terrorism but it is a big red flag for aviation security. however, the airline said it's too early to talk about whether security procedures might need to be beefed up. whit. >> clayton, thank you. let's bring in our abc news contributor, colonel steve ganyard, a former marine fighter pilot. steve, in this post-9/11 world, this man was able to access the cockpit of a commercial airliner and then take off from a major u.s. airport. how could this happen? >> whit, i think we need to keep this in perspective. this is not just some guy that jumped the fence at sea-tac, ran out and stole an airplane. this was a trusted employee. he used that trust to gain access to the airplane. he went so far as to premeditate his suicide apparently by
learning how to start, taxi, take off and fly this airplane around just to commit his suicide plan. >> colonel, as you mentioned, this ground service employee had access to the plane and there was technically no security breach here, how difficult is it for airlines to prevent incidents like this? >> no doubt, horizon, alaska and every airline will go back and look at their procedures to make sure they're keeping inappropriate people out of the cockpit. but when employees are dealing with mental health issues that get so bad and they don't tell anybody, they create these secret suicide plots nothing the airline can do to stop these incidents. >> colonel, really appreciate it. switching to politics now and president trump condemning all racism, just one day before the anniversary of those deadly clashes in charlottesville. this amid new tensions with a once-trusted white house aide omarosa manigault newman. she's now accusing the president of, quote, wanting to start a race war. abc's tara palmeri with the president in new jersey. >> reporter: tonight, on the
eve of the anniversary of deadly protests in charlottesville that shocked the nation, president trump is calling for unity, tweeting, "the riots in charlottesville a year ago resulted in senseless death and division. we must come together as a nation. i condemn all types of racism and acts of violence. peace to all americans!" a year ago, the president was heavily criticized for his response to it. >> we condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides. >> reporter: taking 48 hours to call out hate groups by name. >> racism is evil and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the kkk, neo-nazis. >> reporter: then walking it back. >> yes, i think there's blame on both sides. >> reporter: tonight, president trump is responding to accusations of racism made by
omarosa, who was fired by the white house late last year. she was asked by tmz if the president's attack on athletes are causing tensions with the black community. >> he wants to start a race war, he's succeeding. >> reporter: she rose to fame through trump's reality show "the apprentice." >> omarosa has to go. you're fired. >> reporter: now she's out with a book, "unhinged," on her year at the administration's highest ranking african-american official. a book the white house said is, quote, riddled with lies and false accusations. according to "the washington post," which received an advance copy of the book, she writes the president is, quote, a racist, misogynist and a bigot. the president has called omarosa a wonderful woman but today he had a new name for his former friend. >> lowlife. she's a lowlife. and tara palmeri is new jersey with the president. tara, this book isn't even out yet, but omarosa has been called out already for contradicting one of her own claims. >> that's right, whit. according to "the washington
post," omarosa writes that the there's a tape of the president using the n-word on the set of apprentice. she admits she never actually heard the tape. but then on npr she said she has in fact heard the tape. changing her story. whit. >> tara, thank you, following the president. much more on this tomorrow on "this week." when jonathan karl goes one-on-one with counselor to the president, kellyanne conway and attorney michael avenatti as well on the program. on to the growing racial tension on the eve of that charlottesville anniversary, the chaos there one year ago turning deadly between white nationalists and counterprotesters. many bracing for the possibility of new clashes this weekend. abc's eva pilgrim back in virginia for us tonight. >> reporter: tonight, fists in the air, counterprotesters already in the streets of charlottesville where security is tight. police arresting at least three people. law enforcement hoping to avoid a repeat of this from last year.
when clashes turned deadly. but despite the bloodshed, one of the organizers of last year's unite the right event that brought together white nationalists, neo-nazis, and groups like the antifa out to stop them, is planning another rally sunday in the nation's capital. >> when you're dealing with race and civil rights, you're dealing with primal issues. >> reporter: jason kessler says he's not racist, but considers himself a civil rights advocate for white people. >> i think that white people are in a different situation than they have ever been before. right now, white people are about to become the minority in both the united states and europe. i think we are facing epidemic levels of anti-white discrimination. >> reporter: kessler blames police partly for last year's violence. knowing that it went in that direction, why do it again? >> i liken what i'm doing to the civil rights movement in the 1960s when martin luther king brought his freedom riders into
southern cities where they were very much opposed to the message of black empowerment, his people got attacked. i see it very similar to what happened in charlottesville. >> reporter: as kessler marches in d.c., susan bro will be in charlottesville sunday, honoring her daughter, 32-year-old heather heyer killed on this street. >> what will be will be and we'll move forward from there. >> whit, we were here security is much more ramped up. the rally isn't even here. it's in d.c., where they are also increasing security. whit. >> all right, eva, we'll be watching your reporting through the weekend. thank you. now to the new headline involving that new york lawmaker charged with insider training. republican chris collins announcing today he's suspending his re-election campaign. he was arrested wednesday after a federal grand jury indictment, now saying it's in the best
interests of the party and the president to suspend his re-election bid. and he'll fight to clear his name. next to the raging wildfires in the west. more than a dozen burning across california alone. firefighters working feverishly to save homes. that snapshot of a torched block in redding telling a story. some homes miraculously spared and other families now returning to nothing but ash. abc's marcus moore on the new threat tonight. >> reporter: tonight, on the front lines of the holy fire here in lake elsinore, in southern california, air drop after air drop the flames dangerously close to william collins' home. he's seeing it tonight for the first time since evacuating. >> just walk away and it's up to mother nature. >> reporter: grabbing water d o helping armies of firefighters in their around-the-clock battle. >> trying to defend this property. >> reporter: the fire the work of an alleged arsonist now behind bars, now 29% contained. at least 14 large fires burning across california, new wildfires
erupting to the north. >> the fire's jumped over the ridge down here. we've never seen it this bad. >> reporter: families leaving in a moment's notice. >> grabbed maybe the first half dozen most valuable things to us and then the rest can just burn. >> reporter: and the relentless historic carr fire, unpredictable in its destruction. one side of this neighbored reduced to ashes, the other untouched by the flames. and whit, the battle is still on tonight. they are continuing to drop flame retardant on these flames that flared up late today. they're trying to keep this fire from spreading. >> marcus moore, thank you. from fires to the west to flash floods in the east. strong storms and torrential downpours, from virginia to massachusetts, new york city skyline smothered in dark clouds in that time-lapse video right there. abc's senior meteorologist rob marciano in central park tonight. rob, more heavy rain in areas that don't need it. >> reporter: whit, we are saturated and here in central park, already a record rain for the day. as you can see it's still raining here.
we have ongoing flood warnings in areas of new jersey and pennsylvania. some of these spots -- long island, over 4 inches of rain already. flash flood watches now posted from northern virginia all the way up to southern new england. you see the heavy pulses of rain that will be moving through tonight. kind of congregating around the mid-atlantic, d.c., baltimore, gets it the heaviest. and look at monday, more heavy rain across the northeast. that coverage beginning to spread out. as you mentioned, this is over areas that don't need the the rain. more rain over the next 48 hours. whit? >> a wet weekend in the east. rob, thank you. moving on to that major court victory for a terminally ill school groundskeeper. took on corporate giant monsanto. he claims their weedkiller roundup made him sick. a san francisco jury awarding him $289 million. what this may mean for similar lawsuits. here's abc's adrienne bankert. >> reporter: the first cancer patient to take monsanto, one of the world's largest pesticide
companies, to court wins his case to the tune of $289 million. >> i'm glad to be here to be able to help with a cause that's way bigger than me. >> reporter: dewayne johnson is dying of non-hodgkins lymphoma he says diagnosed after working just 2 1/2 years as a school groundskeeper applying the weedkiller roundup up to 30 times a year. in a san francisco court the jury finds monsanto, the makers of roundup, did not provide sufficient warnings about the potential risks, and the product was a substantial factor in his illness. monsanto plans to appeal, saying in a statement, "we are sympathetic to mr. johnson and his family." but they defend the herbicide's claim saying, "it has a 40-year history of safe use and continues to be a vital, effective, and safe tool for farmers and others." the company points to hundreds of studies that it says find the product's main ingredient does not cause cancer. the epa has not restricted its use. if the verdict stands, it could set precedent for thousands of cases just like this. whit, his attorney say they
didn't know if johnson would live to see his day in court. >> incredibly emotional for him an his family. adrienne, thank you. there's much more ahead on "world news tonight" this saturday -- desperate rescue on the waters. several onboard. smoke swallowing their boat and who sped in to save the day. handcuffed in the classroom. the uproar over a children -- child pinned to the ground at his own school. did police go too far? and danger on the highway. a motorcycle rider slammed and sent flying. those terrifying moments, all caught on camera. it's the ford summer sales event and now is the best time to buy. you ready for this, junior? yeah, i think i can handle it. no pressure... ...that's just my favorite boat. boom. (laughs) make summer go right with ford, america's best-selling brand.
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>> reporter: tonight, two texas parents outraged, sharing this school resource officer's body camera video, showing their son with autism handcuffed at school. >> it's totally excessive. >> reporter: police and teachers say back in april 10-year-old thomas brown was poking other students and refusing to listen. the officer and another staff member appear to pick him up and carry him out of the classroom. the child seen screaming as the officer forces him to the ground. >> do you want the handcuffs? >> reporter: eventually putting him in handcuffs several times. once the boy relaxes, the restraints are removed. the staff claiming for much of the time inside that room they sat quietly with thomas, trying to settle him. tonight, the city of denton standing behind the officer, saying in a statement, "the decision to use restraints was made only when the child posed a serious threat to himself or others." and the school district telling abc news, "we have protocol in place to ensure the safety of all of our students. we will continue to review our
practices and work with our partner law enforcement agencies." but thomas' parents say, plans they had discussed with the school, were not followed. >> it doesn't make sense. someone who's supposed to protect our children are hurting them. >> and the denton police department says it conducted an investigation and found no policy violations. that officer is still employed in the district and whit, thomas' parents say he will be attending a different school this year. >> difficult to watch that video for all parents. erielle, thank you. when we come back -- the late breaking news. heat stroke on the field. the college football player dying after a brutal training session. the coach now put on leave. befo, burning, pins and needles of diabetic nerve pain these feet... ... made waves in high school... ... had a ball being a dad... ...and built a career in construction. but i couldn't bear my diabetic nerve pain any longer. so i talked to my doctor and he prescribed lyrica. nerve damage from diabetes causes diabetic nerve pain.
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to the index now, terrifying moments on a california highway caught on bodycam. this motorcycle rider on his way to work suddenly slammed and sent across several lanes of traffic. sparks flying. an suv swerving out of control. flipping as it strikes another car. the biker says he suffered two fractured vertebrae. major news tonight from the university of maryland. following the death of standout football player jordan mcnair. the university now placing head coach dj durkin on leave. along with three other athletic staff members. investigating bullying allegations. 19-year-old mcnair collapsed after a grueling training session in may, later dying of heat stroke. the university now investigating. the fiery rescue in boston harbor. a good samaritan speeding in to help when he saw smoke billowing across the water. a boat up in flames. five were save from the 32-foot recreational craft, no injuries
reported. when we come back -- one little girl's sweet stand that has the whole neighborhood lining up. it's america strong. this is your wake-up call. if you have moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis, month after month, the clock is ticking on irreversible joint damage. ongoing pain and stiffness are signs of joint erosion. humira can help stop the clock. prescribed for 15 years, humira targets and blocks a source of inflammation that contributes to joint pain and irreversible damage. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened; as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure. before treatment, get tested for tb. tell your doctor if you've been to areas where certain fungal infections are common, and if you've had tb, hepatitis b, are prone to infections, or have flu-like symptoms or sores. don't start humira if you have an infection.
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and my doctor and i choose to treat my mbc with verzenio. be relentless. ask your doctor about everyday verzenio. finally tonight, america strong. one young girl taking life's lemons and putting them towards a cure. here's abc's john donvan. >> get your food and drinks here! >> reporter: one buck at her little food and drink stand, that will buy you one lemonade, one bag of chips and the knowledge that you're something big here. >> trying to get $1 million, a thousand. >> reporter: actually, it's $2,000 so far, all of which she's giving away to cancer
charity, started by women with stage 4 breast cancer. her mom lisa was diagnosed with that sort of cancer three years ago. a category that's invariably fatal typically within five years of the diagnosis. so, in this picture, time means a lot. >> i was 36 when i was diagnosed, pretty young, i know. >> reporter: while she's just 6 and starting first grade on monday, shielded for now. >> and mom's medicine is working. but we want better medicine for other people. >> reporter: yet inspiring the mom who inspired her. >> even after i'm gone i hope she continues to do this and makes a huge difference in this world. >> come on by! >> reporter: a mom's faith in a future that she dares to believe. >> i believe she can. say thank you. >> thank you. >> reporter: john donvan, abc news. >> and we're wishing that family the very best tonight. i'm whit johnson in new york. "good morning america" and "this week" in the morning. and tom llamas right back here tomorrow night. have a great evening.
overrun with excitement. see the jam-packed crowds at san francisco's newest landmark that's not even officilly open yet. plus new signs of west nile virus nearby, and we may be seeing a lot more in the next few weeks. the bay area isn't all about technology. tonight there's a reason to celebrate a tractor. the lines went out the door and stretched beyond the escalators and all wait up them. so many people dime to see san francisco's new sales force transit center that police had to get involved to keep everyone safe. good evening and thanks for joining us. i'm eric thomas. >> i'm dion lim. years of work and billions of dollars about to pay off and benefit thousands of commuters in the bay area. >> starting tomorrow ac transit, muni, west cap links, amtrak,
and greyhound buses will use the new sales force transit center. they've been waiting years to move in and they're not the only ones who can't wait. >> cornell bernard joins us live after battling the crowds at today's public party. >> reporter: deon and eric, i wasn't the only one wanting to look inside the new sales force transit center. the crowds were massive today for this preview event. there were even concerns about overcrowding here. police turned some people away, limiting access to the new sales force transit center's public open house after huge crowds showed up. the doors opened at 11:00 a.m., and by noon this was what we saw. a sea of curious spectators wanting to get new center. >> connects sf to the bay. there's been a lot of investment, this is a big deal, i'm impressed. >> reporter: the $2.26 billion transit center is impressive. 1 million square feet.