updated 6/30/2005 9:16:55 AM ET 2005-06-30T13:16:55

Guest: William Sherman, Eric Stroud, Erich Ritter, Tim Miller, Paul Reynolds


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  The terrorists can kill the innocent, but they cannot stop the advance of freedom. 


JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST:  The president lays out a road map for victory in Iraq, but will the American people and troops on the ground buy it?  We‘re going to live to Fort Bragg to get reaction. 

Tonight‘s top headline:  The president says now is no time to raise the white flag. 

Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, no passport required and only common sense allowed. 

Rising anger among Natalee Holloway‘s family.  Her mother wants answers now.  She says this man has them.  Is the investigation in trouble?  Are Aruban police covering up a murder in paradise?  And are we getting any closer to finding Natalee?  We are going to have an exclusive interview with a close member of the family. 

Plus, two shark attacks in three days.  This boy lost his leg.  We are going to have the very latest on his condition.  Plus, what is it like to be bitten by a shark?  We are going to ask somebody who knows, because they survived a shark attack. 

And then, new details in the Russell Crowe hotel rage case.  He threw a phone.  He threw a vase.  And you won‘t believe what the Oscar winner did next.  We have got details of that major lawsuit that‘s going to be headed his way sometime soon. 

ANNOUNCER:  From the press room, to the courtroom, to the halls of Congress, Joe Scarborough has seen it all.  Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, good evening.  Welcome to the show. 

Now, in a few minutes, we are going to be talking about the growing outrage among Natalee Holloway‘s family about the progress, or lack thereof, in the investigation down in Aruba. 

And let me tell you something.  They have got a lot of reasons to be angry.

But, first, tonight, President Bush took his case directly to the American people.  In a 30-minute address at Fort Bragg, the commander in chief asked for patience, and he urged Americans to stay the course. 


BUSH:  We fight today because Iraq now carries the hope of freedom in a vital region of the world, and the rise of democracy will be the ultimate triumph over radicalism and terror. 

And we fight today because terrorists want to attack our country and kill our citizens, and Iraq is where they are making their stand. 

So we‘ll fight them there, we‘ll fight them across the world, and we will stay in the fight until the fight is won. 


SCARBOROUGH:  Let‘s go first to “Newsweek”‘s chief political correspondent, Howard Fineman. 

Howard, thanks so much for being with us tonight.  The president obviously had a lot to prove.  He had a lot of things he needed to do, with falling poll numbers.  Did he succeed? 

HOWARD FINEMAN, NBC CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT:  Well, I think he succeeded with some of the audiences he was trying to reach, Joe, sort of like concentric circles of audiences.  One was military families, military leadership right there in Fort Bragg.  That‘s number one.  The troops in the field, of course, number two, especially over in Iraq.  And new recruits.  I thought this was probably the most elaborate recruiting pitch ever made, because the president said, hey, if you are thinking of signing up, this is a great war to fight, because freedom is at stake.  And then red state America, all of America, the Middle East, and so on. 

I think, in those inner circles, he did a very good job of—of—of

explaining the stakes in as stark and as dramatic terms as possible.  You

know, every time, Joe, I think this president can‘t be more apocalyptic or

more stark in his speech about the war in Iraq or the war on terrorism, he

·         he redoubles his efforts in that regard.  You didn‘t hear about Saddam Hussein tonight.  You heard about Osama bin Laden.  You heard about the global war on terror. 

This was the axis of evil without the word axis in it all over again.  We weren‘t talking about weapons of mass destruction.  We were talking about confronting evil in the form of terrorism, in the form of Zarqawi, in the form of Osama bin Laden.  He said they made their stand there, and we can‘t blink.  It doesn‘t get any more stark than that.  And some may say that the president is going to the rhetorical well one too many times on this kind of thing, but this is what—works for him. 

SCARBOROUGH:  General McCaffrey, let me ask you, did the president lay out a clear and coherent game plan for moving forward in Iraq for Americans to succeed over there on this war in terror? 

RET. GEN. BARRY MCCAFFREY, NBC MILITARY ANALYST:  Well, first of all, I couldn‘t agree more with Howard, but I would emphasize, the audience was not U.S. armed forces.  They are already with him, 15,000 killed and wounded.  Their hearts and their heads are in the game. 

That was a—Fort Bragg is a citadel of America‘s fighting forces, 82nd Airborne, the Ranger battalions, the special operations troops.  So, they have got it.  What they are worried about is, are the American people going to be with them?  The plummeting poll numbers, the problems with National Guard recruiting, it‘s got them worried.

So, I think the president was properly was speaking to the American people, and I actually think he laid out the strategy pretty darn effectively. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, General, one thing that struck me throughout the evening, looking at all the news networks, if you talk to family members of men and women over in Iraq, or if you talk to actual soldiers that have been on the ground over in Iraq, they are supporting this war.  They all say, you know what?

We think we are doing the right thing over there.  Those are the e-mails I get.  Those are the phone calls I get every day.  But you have been over to Iraq five times.  Are the men on the ground that you talk to, or the women on the ground, are they still supportive of this war?  Do they still think they are doing the right thing? 

MCCAFFREY:  Oh, yes, I think so. 

You know, you go to—the 3rd Infantry Division in country, one of the elite Army fighting units, their reenlistment rate was 250 percent of objective last recruiting period.  So, there‘s no question the armed forces will not crack.  These Marine combat units in Fallujah and Ramadi and out in the border are as tough and competent and effective a combat force we have ever put in the field. 

The challenge will be, we are running out of steam by next summer, Joe.  It seems to me, the 17 brigades we got on the ground right now in Iraq have got to come down to around 10.  We have expended the U.S.  National Guard.  We are running out of resources.  So, the strategy has to work.  We need Iraqi security forces, or we can‘t sustain the strategy. 

SCARBOROUGH:  There‘s no doubt, General.  I mean, we were concerned about that on the Armed Services Committee back in the 1990s, that we had stretched our men and women in uniform to far.  Now, of course, with this war, with Afghanistan, it‘s a real crisis. 

Speaking of crises, Howard Fineman, let‘s talk about the politics of this.  You got the president‘s poll numbers going down, less Americans supporting the Iraq war than ever before, less Americans supporting this president than ever before.

But I got to ask you, I mean, this is a president who even before the last campaign didn‘t seem to look at poll numbers that closely.  Does anybody in the White House really care now whether he has got 43 percent approval or 48 percent approval? 

FINEMAN:  They don‘t care as between 43 and 48.  I can tell you that. 

One interesting thing, Joe, is that Karl Rove, the president‘s top political adviser, is also very much a strategy adviser more generally.  And while he hardly was the man who designed the Iraq policy, he was in the room for those meetings, and he knew very much what was going on, and I think probably played a part in them as well.  They knew going in that there were risks here.

And they are looking at these poll numbers more as an annoyance and as a kind of battlefield tactical report, rather than they are as something that sort of pierces the soul of the administration.  They don‘t look at it that way.  They really don‘t. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, which is interesting, Howard.  There are two ways that you can view that viewpoint, and that is either, they are all very competent or else they are very arrogant. 

FINEMAN:  Yes.  Either that or very deluded.  I mean, there aren‘t any people on the inside...

There aren‘t any people on the inside disagreeing with the policy whatsoever.  None. 

SCARBOROUGH:  No doubt. 

Now, let‘s go down now to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where we have got MSNBC‘s Donna Gregory there.  She watched the speech with some of our troops. 

Donna, let me ask you, what was the reaction there? 

DONNA GREGORY, NBC CORRESPONDENT:  Well, Joe, can you say decidedly pro-Bush? 

I will tell you, most of the people that we spoke with in this Fayetteville sports bar were definitely supporters of the president.  We watched with some members of the 18th Airborne Corps.  There were several officers and some other members of the 82nd Airborne here in this bar.  They were listening very intently as the president was speaking. 

Specifically, they were interested in the portion of his speech where he talked about not outlining a timetable for withdrawing the troops. 

And we wanted to bring in one of those officers.

This is Captain Michael Kurtich.  He is with the 3rd Battalion, 321st Field Artillery. 

Thanks for being with us, Michael.


GREGORY:  Now, there are some critics who have actually said that President Bush was hiding here at Fort Bragg, so he would be speaking to a friendly audience and wouldn‘t really have to answer any questions about his U.S. policies in Iraq.  What is your response to that? 

KURTICH:  I really don‘t think he was hiding. 

I think—I think, you know, part of the audience was certainly the troops in the field.  He is here at Fort Bragg, a major military, United States Army installation, and speaking—speaking to soldiers here.

But I don‘t—I don‘t—I don‘t think he was hiding at all.  I think he—he laid out as plainly and as simply as he could whatever timeline he can lay out, the road map, if you will, for the future to come.  And I think, again, he laid it out as plainly and simply as he possibly could.  It was very cut and dry and to the point. 

GREGORY:  He talked about sacrifice, and he said it was worth it.  Do you agree? 

KURTICH:  Absolutely, absolutely. 

You know, nothing good comes without some sort of sacrifice.  And our soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq are—are sacrificing a lot, whether it‘s their lives or their time or—or their energy.  And—and, ultimately, we here and the citizens of the United States are safer for that sacrifice. 

GREGORY:  Michael, that‘s pretty—thank you, Michael. 

And, Joe, it‘s pretty much the prevailing sentiment here. 


GREGORY:  Donna, I‘m sorry.  Unfortunately, Donna—Donna, I‘m sorry.  We can hardly hear you down there.  It sounds like a lot of fun at Fort Bragg. 

We greatly appreciate you being with us.

And thank you, Captain, so much for your service to our country.  We can‘t thank you enough. 

General, I want to go back to you.  Final question here tonight.  Obviously, this White House has made a lot of mistakes in this war, a lot of missteps.  Do we have a certain time?  Is the clock ticking?  Do we have a certain time period for us to clean things up in Iraq or else we lose the war over there, because we simply run out of troops?

MCCAFFREY:  Well, I think we have got a problem. 

By next September, we have got to have a major reduction in presence on the ground.  Joe, I am actually reasonably optimistic.  I think the Iraqi security forces are actually starting to appear.  This brilliant young general, Dave Petraeus, is putting together a police force, a border patrol, and army.  I think it‘s happening. 

And I also believe it‘s likely that the Iraqis want to have this succeed politically and bring the Sunnis into the process.  So, having said that, I agree.  We—by next summer, we‘d better be in a lot better shape, and part of the challenge to the president, right war, right time, right place, was fundamental misjudgments by Secretary Rumsfeld and some of the senior leaders in the Pentagon, who are in denial to this date.

So, we got a credibility problem.  The president has got to correct that.  And the speech tonight I think helped. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Thank you so much, General. 

As always, thank you, Howard Fineman. 

We greatly appreciate both of you being with us tonight. 

Now, friends, let me just tell you this right now, OK?  The president did step forward.  He did do a lot of things correctly, but the bottom line is this.  The Democrats are going to have to meet him halfway.  They are going to have to understand, this isn‘t a war about George W. Bush.  This isn‘t a war about the Republican Party.  This is a war about freedom.  This is a war about security. 

Only one out of eight Americans believe, as some of the people in the Democratic Party believe in the United States Senate, that we need to cut and run.  That is not an option.  This ain‘t 1969.  This isn‘t Vietnam.  The Democratic Party has been paying for the mistakes of Vietnam now for over 30 years.  They cannot appear to be weak on this war.  They have got to tell the president, clean your act up.  Do the right things, but let‘s stay the course. 

And if they do that, who knows.  Maybe the American people just may reward them with the White House in 2008. 

Coming up next, we are going to go live to Aruba, a lot happening down there.  And we are going to talk about the rising anger in the Natalee Holloway investigation.  Is the investigation in trouble?  Are the Aruban authorities covering things up down there?  Friends, they are. 

Tonight, we are going to have a live interview with a family member who is not happy.  Complete coverage coming up next.

Plus, the very latest on the shark attacks in my backyard in Florida.  And what does it feel like to be attacked by a shark?  You are going to actually hear from someone who survived an attack.  We are going to have it on film. 

It‘s a big night in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY and we‘re just getting started.


SCARBOROUGH:  Boy, I‘ll tell you what.  Things are starting to reach a boiling point in the Natalee Holloway case.  Coming up next, one family member shares their frustration with us, with Aruban investigators.  And I am going to ask him the tough question:  Are they covering up for a family they know? 

That‘s coming up next, when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.



SCARBOROUGH:  The desperate search in Aruba continues for Natalee, but still no sign of the Alabama teenager, nearly a month after she vanished.  A lot of questions coming out of Aruba tonight.  Is the investigation losing steam.  Is there infighting among Dutch and Aruban authorities, and will this mystery ever be solved? 

To get the very latest, let‘s go to NBC‘s Martin Savidge.  Obviously, he‘s been in Aruba from the very beginning covering this story.  And he‘s with us now with the very latest.

Martin, what do you have tonight? 


Searching today was on a limited basis on land.  They did want to put divers in the water out by the lighthouse.  That‘s one area where Natalee Holloway was believed to have been the night she vanished.  But the water was too rough, the winds were too high, so they couldn‘t go ahead with that plan. 

Now the EquuSearch folks—these are the people, the volunteers from Texas—are asking for involvement of Dutch marines.  Dutch marines were involved early on in the searching.  Now they want them back again for one big last—or last big push, I should say.  No word yet as to whether the Marines are going to be committed to that effort. 

Then there is the investigation itself.  There is a feeling that it could be at a standstill with the release of Paul Van Der Sloot and the other suspect over the past two days.  That‘s leading to some frustration.  And there is a lot of rumors being spread, rumors that perhaps favoritism is being played to the Van Der Sloot family because of their prominence on this particular island.  There‘s even a rumor that the head of the investigation—that‘s Jan van der Straaten—is, in fact, the godfather of Joran Van Der Sloot, the 17-year-old who is in custody and a prime suspect.

That is absolutely not true.  We verified that this evening.  The only connection we could find between the two families is that the wives are friends.  Meanwhile, is this having an impact politically?  Is there fallout on the island here in Aruba?  There‘s elections that take place this fall.  We are told right now it‘s not having an impact, other than people are so monopolized into following this particular story, they are not paying attention to the elections. 

Then, could it be that the Dutch government is meddling in this case?  There again, no clear signs of anything like that.  The Dutch government is applying pressure.  So is the U.S. government.  So is the Holloway family.  Everybody wants this case resolved as quickly as possible, but there‘s nothing untoward that the Dutch seem to be doing in all of this. 

And then the frustration of the Holloway family, it is clear it is growing.  The release of Paul Van Der Sloot was very upsetting to them. 

This is Beth Twitty, Natalee Holloway‘s mom, speaking this morning. 


BETH HOLLOWAY TWITTY, MOTHER OF NATALEE HOLLOWAY:  You know, Katie, I think I have been pretty—pretty verbal from the beginning that we felt that, you know, we don‘t know how he is connected or have any of that information, but we know that he could be instrumental in helping us have a resolution here.

And I think that was only strongly confirmed after that 90-minute visit that I had at his home. 


SAVIDGE:  The Holloway family growing more vocal with each passing day, Joe.  They believe—it‘s been four weeks since their daughter vanished.  They know no more today as to what happened to her or where she is than they knew four weeks ago—Joe. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Martin, that has got to be terribly frustrating. 

You talk about their family, Natalee‘s family, being angry and firing some verbal shots.  Of course, earlier today, you also know Anita Van Der Sloot fired back a shot of her own.  She said this about Natalee‘s family. 

She said she was tired of them putting a finger at them, said: “I can‘t understand these things. They don‘t even know us.  For her, Joran is guilty and that‘s it.  What can I say to a woman who is desperate to find her daughter?”

Now, these were families that tried to come together early in the investigation and talk some.  But, right now, it looks like tempers are frayed.  And again, like you said, one rumor after another continues to go out there.  Also, you talk about the possible release of these boys.  Is there any evidence at all that that may be true? 

SAVIDGE:  Well, there is another hurdle they have to go over.  It‘s probably going to take place this weekend. 

It‘s another one of these issues where the three suspects go before the judge and a determination is measured against the amount of evidence.  We saw, say, what happened last weekend, when Paul Van Der Sloot, the father of Joran, went before the judge, and the judge said, you know what?  There‘s not enough evidence in my mind.  You are free to go.  It was not the prosecution that set him free.  The prosecution wanted to keep the father. 

It was a judge who was brought in, and another judge is going to be brought in and weigh the evidence against these three young men.  However, it‘s not believed that they will be let loose, although anything potentially could happen.  If they are held over this time, they will be held for a minimum of 60 days after this point. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, Martin, thank you so much.

Well, Martin, I want to ask you one more question.  We also have heard one other—one other rumor out there, don‘t know how nailed down it is.  Some sources are saying that the FBI is increasingly frustrated and that some agents have left the island, and now there are only a handful. 

What have you heard about the FBI‘s involvement in this investigation? 

Has it dwindled down to a handful of agents? 

SAVIDGE:  We have been told that it has dwindled down.  There are about four agents.  At the peak, we were told there were about a dozen agents that were here.  Now, is it a result of frustration on the part of the FBI?  We can‘t verify that. 

We do know that no longer are FBI agents sitting in physically on the interrogations.  Instead, what they do is receive transcripts after the interrogations are completed, Joe. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, thanks so much, Martin Savidge.  Stand by for a minute. 

As we have heard, Natalee‘s family is getting more frustrated as the investigation stalls. 

Here to talk to us about how the family is holding up is Natalee‘s uncle Paul Reynolds, who is with us now from Houston, Texas.

Paul, you know, I have got to tell you, I—as an outsider, I am increasingly frustrated by what I‘m hearing is going on in Aruba.  Obviously, just my opinion.  I am not down there.  I am not with the interrogation.  But you have got to be very frustrated that the FBI is not involved in the interrogation, that this investigation appears stalled.  Tell us, what is the family feeling tonight about the way this case has been handled by Aruban authorities? 

PAUL REYNOLDS, UNCLE OF NATALEE HOLLOWAY:  Well, we‘re very frustrated at this point. 

You know, we—last week, we thought the investigation was making progress, identifying the individuals involved.  But with the father‘s release this weekend, we are very concerned.  You know, my sister was able to arrive on the island, along with her husband, the day that Natalee was missing, that night.  They were able to identify the boys that she was seen with last, even went to one of their homes and confronted the father.  They were suspicious of his actions that very night. 

You know, despite all of that knowledge—and again, that confrontation was with the police.  Despite all of that information, those individuals were questioned briefly and released.  And 10 days were allowed to pass before those individuals were taken into custody and any attempt was made to obtain evidence.  That‘s 10 days...

SCARBOROUGH:  Does—does the family believe tonight that those 10 days were critical in the investigation and may actually have caused a cover-up of Natalee‘s disappearance to take place in Aruba? 

REYNOLDS:  Ten days is absolutely critical, especially in a missing person case. 

You know, if something has happened to Natalee, you know, was she alive at that time?  Was she alive in those first few days after her missing status?  We don‘t know.  But the boys were allowed 10 days to develop a story, to hide evidence.  Unbelievable, that that was allowed to occur. 

SCARBOROUGH:  So, what do you know?  What does the family know that the rest of us don‘t know?  I mean, I take it, the Aruban authorities have taken you aside and they have kept you all informed from the very beginning of this process, at least so that might stem some of the frustration. 

REYNOLDS:  I don‘t think that we know any more than anyone else. 

The secrecy under which they keep this case leads to speculation.  And, to be honest with you, it allows them an opportunity to protect these suspects.  And I can‘t help but think sometimes that the primary interest here from Aruba is protecting the reputation of Aruba, rather than resolving this case. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Wait, Paul.  But wait a second, Paul.  Are you telling me that your family, not only in America, but down in Aruba, in this desperate search, knows little more than those of us in America that aren‘t even connected to this case?  They are keeping you totally in the dark? 

REYNOLDS:  Well, that‘s correct.  They are simply not releasing information. 

You know, what we have is what everyone else has.  And that places the Dutch boy Joran on the beach with Natalee alone.  And that‘s by his own admission to his mother.  You know, what happened then?  He said he didn‘t harm her.  What did he do?  How did he get home?  Who did he call?  There‘s many questions there.  Again, that is the third story.  Certainly, we have to be suspicious of that. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Now, what is Beth saying tonight?  I mean, does she believe that Joran was involved in this?  And does she believe, like you, that her daughter was abducted by this young boy, who is obviously very well connected in Aruba, and these two other young men, and that because of his privileged family and because of his privileged background, he is getting a free pass in this investigation? 

REYNOLDS:  There are certainly things that lead us to believe that‘s possible.  That was a concern we had from the beginning.  We—those concerns were alleviated somewhat with the initial FBI presence.

But it does not appear that they were allowed to come in and provide as much assistance as they would have liked, and so we are going back to our original feelings. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Martin Savidge, let me bring you back in here. 

What‘s the feeling on the street with the men and the women that you talk to in Aruba?  Obviously, elections coming up.  In America, that‘s enough to put pressure on politicians and prosecutors to step forward.  But do a lot of people feel like they just want this case to go away, that it may be hurting Aruban tourism? 

SAVIDGE:  Well, they are greatly—greatly worried about that, Joe.  I mean, that‘s the number one concern you have of the people in Aruba, other than wanting to find Natalee Holloway alive and well.

They want this resolved because, yes, they fear for their livelihoods.  I mean, they know that 70 percent of the jobs on this island are directly due to tourism, and that half-a-million tourists, or just about 80 percent of the tourists that come to this island are American.  So, they fear what all of this nightly news is doing to the tourism industry.

But the truth is, the hotels here are packed to overflowing.  And next week, they will be overbooked when it comes to the hotels on the island.  So, if it‘s having a negative impact, as far as turning away Americans, we have not seen it with the Americans that are here. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Thanks a lot.  Greatly appreciate it, Martin Savidge, as always.

Paul Reynolds, greatly appreciate you being here. 

We have got a lot more coming up next in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. 


SCARBOROUGH:  A string of shark attacks have vacationers spooked.  We are going to talk to a man who was actually attacked by a killer shark and lived to tell about it.  That‘s coming up next.

But, first, here‘s the latest news that you and your family need to know. 


SCARBOROUGH:  The search for Natalee Holloway continues.  Today, it was in the waters off Aruba.  And one of the leading searches is Tim Miller.  He‘s, of course, the head of Texas EquuSearch.  It‘s an all-volunteer group that‘s been in Aruba searching for Natalee. 

Tim, thank you so much for being back with us.  Obviously, we were the first to talk to you before you went down to Aruba.  When we talked to you, you were filled with hope.  Can you tell us, have you seen anything down there that could provide even a glimmer of hope to Natalee‘s family that she could still be alive or that she can could be found? 


You know what?  We have worked awfully hard at it.  But it would be wonderful to be back in the states right now and with Natalee with us.  We are not there.  Do I want to put a glimmer of hope on this right now?  I think only a glimmer, if you want to know the truth, only a glimmer. 

SCARBOROUGH:  It‘s looking pretty bad right now, isn‘t it? 

MILLER:  Well, we are doing some things that—I mean, we brought some things in that weren‘t here.  We are going to do some things tomorrow morning that I don‘t know if anybody has ever done in an area that is pretty sophisticated that we are interested in. 

I am not going to say we are discouraged.  You know, I am not going to say we built ourselves up for a disappointment.  We knew this was going to be a challenge.  I don‘t know where we are at right now.  I mean, we are not giving up right now.  We are not done with our resources.  You know, I think we‘re exhausted in a lot of ways.

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes.  Certainly, you look exhausted right now.  And, obviously, a lot of people very disappointed, but let me ask you this question.  And it‘s a tough question.  But let‘s say she was killed.  If she was killed—and, God, let‘s hope not—but if she was killed and dumped in the water, is there really any way you are ever going to be able to find her? 

MILLER:  From what we are doing right now, you know what?  It would just only be a miracle. 

I know when—I know the time is going to come when we are going to say, you know what?  We have exhausted all our resources, that we can‘t do anything else, and we are going to have to walk away from this island.  And I would hope that it would be with her.  But I have kind of got some doubts now that that might happen. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Tim Miller, thanks so much for being with us.  And, also, obviously best of luck with your search down there.  And we will check in with you again.  And, boy, I will tell you what.  God bless you for your efforts. 

MILLER:  Thank you. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Let‘s move on now to a story that obviously has been impacting the coastline in Florida.  Continuing shark attacks are making headlines in the beaches in Florida.  Of course, they are open again, but some people are afraid to go back in the water because of two shark attacks just three days ago. 

Now, on Saturday, 14-year-old Jamie Marie Daigle tragically died from injuries she sustained after her leg was mutilated by a bull shark.  And, yesterday, a 16-year-old man, Craig Adam Hutto from Tennessee, was attacked by a shark in waist-deep water.  He is now in critical condition.  And doctors had to amputate his leg to save his life.  Obviously, tonight, our prayers are with him and also with Jamie‘s family. 

But with me now, let‘s bring in Dr. Erich Ritter.  He is a chief scientist for the Global Shark Institute.  And also Eric Stroud.  he‘s a research chemist with the Shark Defense who says he has a way to keep swimmers safe. 

Let‘s go to you first, Erich Ritter. 

You, of course, have survived a shark attack and can tell us about it.  Take us through those steps.  What—well, first of all, tell us, what were you doing when you got attacked by a shark?  And then explain the process from beginning to end. 

DR. ERICH RITTER, GLOBAL SHARK ATTACK FILE:  Part of my research is shark-human interaction, where we recreate accident scenarios.

And we actually were preparing for a documentary, so we were standing

in the water.  We needed a few bull sharks.  We had food around us.  It is

·         it was a pretty controlled scenario, because we always have spotters who stand above us to tell us when sharks come directly from behind.  But during that shoot, my spotter did not do his job.  He didn‘t tell me.  The animal came through, bit me.  And then the scenario got pretty worse.

And, yes, I ended up losing most of my lower leg. 

SCARBOROUGH:  We—obviously, we were—we have been seeing some still photos of that situation.  Talk about the attack.  When you were bit by the shark, what did you feel? 

RITTER:  Well...

SCARBOROUGH:  Other than excruciating pain. 

RITTER:  It was pretty—I mean, the first bite was not too bad.  I had been bitten before, because part of my work is recreating bite scenarios to find out how—what happens when a shark bites.

But the second bite was a stress bite by the animal, and that was a pretty intense pain.


Let me bring in you, Eric Stroud.

You say that you have done research and have figured out a way to protect Americans from shark attacks off of America‘s beaches.  How do you do it? 

RITTER:  I would not say I can protect them, but I definitely have good indication how we can reduce it.  Some of our beaches are just not safe.  We have to say it.

Although we have not that many bites per capita, but, you know, we allow like fishing from piers, and next to the pier are people swimming.  We have beaches that go close to jetties.  It‘s just not safe to allow that.  And we definitely have to change the law on this.  Even if we lose some tourism money, safety comes first. 


Now, Eric Stroud—maybe I delivered to the wrong Eric. 

Eric Stroud, you claim that you have got a method to protect Americans from shark attacks.  Tell us about that. 


My—our research began in 2001, looking at the reasons why sharks seem to be repelled in the presence of other dead, decaying sharks.  So, we began to look at the chemistry of that and isolating compounds.  And we tested that in conjunction with Dr. Samuel Gruber and Michael Herrmann in  South Bimini.

And the results surprised us, that small amounts of this chemical would break up populations of feeding sharks.  We then began to test more on a variety of sharks in the  South Bimini area and then also in the New England area, and we were able to reproduce the results. 

We are at the point now where we are making that chemical very potent.

SCARBOROUGH:  What does it do?  What does it do?  What does the chemical do, and what would you do?  I mean, would you spread chemicals along coastlines where vacationers go out and swim? 

STROUD:  We probably would not spread great quantities of the chemical, because not only does that condition the sharks, but it‘s just a waste of the compound. 

We are looking at more of a way of making it a point dose.  If a lifeguard sees a situation, he can deploy the chemical over his area and get the sharks out of there. 

And we can also use the chemical in commercial fisheries to reduce shark bycatch, et cetera.  It‘s more of, “when you need it, use it” type of situation at this point in our development and research. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Erich Ritter, let me bring you back in here.  I want to show these stills of you getting attacked again by this shark.  Let me ask you, does it happen—how quickly did all of this happen, where you come in, you get bit once, you get bit again?  If you had any repellent, could that have done anything?  Could you have acted quickly enough to save your life there? 

RITTER:  No, no, I don‘t believe in this type of repellent, because, in my case, we had current.  And when you have current, you step out of current, or whatever you do, it‘s a very tricky situation.  So, in my situation, a repellent would not have done its job. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And I want to show, again—we‘re showing these pictures again.  Obviously, this young girl, if she had—you know, she got attacked 100 yards out or so.  And, again, it‘s just hard to figure out exactly—look at the size of that bite.  It‘s hard to figure out exactly how repellent would have saved her life. 

Eric Stroud, how do you employ it quickly enough?  And could it have saved Jamie‘s life? 

STROUD:  This is something that we are still working out, because a lot of our research has been on the chemistry side. 

When you are in a situation like that, you have to see your approaching shark, and you have to know the direction he is heading towards you in releasing the chemical.  And I believe, in that situation, they may not have known that the shark was coming up to it. 

In that case, a repellent may not have been the best situation.  It‘s more for someone that probably is aware of the situation and the attack going on and needs to perform a rescue.  I see that the chemical would be very suitable for that, where they can get the sharks out of the area, perform the rescue, and get the victim back to shore much quicker. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  We are going to have to leave it there. 

Eric Stroud, thank you so much. 

Also, Dr. Erich Ritter, greatly appreciate you being with us tonight in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. 

Coming up next, Hollywood bad boy Russell Crowe, he is going to be facing a mega-lawsuit from the front desk fight he had earlier this month.  And, tonight, we are also getting incredible details about exactly what happened in that hotel lobby.  And you will hear it all coming up next. 

And, later, caught on tape, an off-duty cop springs into action when a robbery happens in front of his eyes.  And you are going to see why we are calling him a hero here in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.



SCARBOROUGH:  Superstar Russell Crowe is already facing felony charges and up to seven years in prison for throwing a phone at a hotel concierge in New York earlier this month.  Today, “The New York Daily News” broke the story that the worker, Nestor Estrada, is filing a lawsuit against Crowe and providing new details about the phone-throwing rampage. 

With me now is the reporter who broke the details of that story, Pulitzer Prize winner William Sherman of “The New York Daily News.” 

William, get us up to date.  What exactly happened that night? 

WILLIAM SHERMAN, “THE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS”:  Well, June 6, about 4:20 a.m., Crowe was trying to make a long-distance call to Australia to his wife, Danielle.  And he was unable to get through.  And he called the desk clerk repeatedly. 

And, in one of several profanity-laced tirades, he asked the desk clerk his name.  And the desk clerk said, Joshua.  Crowe said, I am coming downstairs, came downstairs with the phone, and asked, are you Joshua?  Joshua said yes.  Crowe picked up the phone, with two hands, as I have been told the videotape shows, and from three feet away, threw it at Estrada and hit Estrada. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.  Hold—hold—hold on. 

He was only three feet away from this young man when he threw the phone? 


SHERMAN:  Right.  That is what Estrada‘s attorney, Eric Franz, maintains. 

SCARBOROUGH:  That‘s unbelievable.  What happened next? 

SHERMAN:  Well, Estrada was knocked down to the floor, he maintains, and I guess he was—suffered a one-inch gash in his right cheek.

And then Crowe apparently picked up a ceramic bowl and hurled that at Estrada, who was at that point lying on the floor.  The ball shattered near Estrada‘s face, but did not injury him.  Estrada then sort of scurried out a door, called 911.  In the meantime, Crowe bowed to two other hotel employees who were sort of standing there, mouths agape, if you will, and took this deep bow, and then assumed a karate stance and then left.  The cops came shortly thereafter. 

SCARBOROUGH:  That—OK.  That is absolutely amazing.  So this guy, allegedly, again, of course, allegedly, takes a phone.  He shoves it into this poor hotel worker‘s face from three feet away. 

SHERMAN:  Allegedly threw it at him. 


SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, threw it at him and then gets a ceramic bowl, throws that at him, and then takes a bow while this guy is scurrying away bleeding with a one-inch gash and assumes a karate stance? 

I mean, any suggestion, anything that you have read or heard that he was either on drugs or that he was inebriated in any way?  Or are they just saying he was crazy?

SHERMAN:  No, I don‘t know that.  I don‘t know that. 

But it should be said that Crowe apologized on three different national television shows, tried to make amends.  He did try to contact Estrada to apologize to him, couldn‘t locate him.  I think he‘s—Crowe is contrite at this point.  But there have been no meaningful...

SCARBOROUGH:  But the lawsuit is coming, though, right? 

SCARBOROUGH:  I mean, this guy is going to sue him, right? 

SHERMAN:  There are no meaningful settlement talks, so far as I know.

And Crowe has a terrific attorney who happens to be a friend of mine, Gerry Lefcourt.  And Estrada has a very fine attorney, Eric Franz, as well.  So, we will see how this—how this works out. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Thanks a lot, William Sherman.  We greatly appreciate you being with us and getting us up to date with it.

And I got to tell you, he needs all the attorney help he can get.  Obviously, he could lose a lot of money in this case.  And I understand he could possibly face seven years in prison for the criminal assault charge. 

Coming up next, a would-be robber picks the wrong store at the wrong time.  Next, see how a hero off-duty cop puts his life on the line to stop a suspect in his tracks. 


SCARBOROUGH:  Coming up, shocking video.  We are going to show you how a cop was in the right place at the right time and saved some people‘s lives, even though he got cut up himself. 

Also, if you want to be the smartest person at work, I will tell you how you do it.  Check out my morning read.  You get the latest hot stories of the day.  And you can find it at Joe.MSNBC.com.

Stay with us.  We‘re going to right back.


SCARBOROUGH:  You know, this next story is for all of you that ever made a joke about a cop in a doughnut shop.  Whey oh, whey oh.

Now, this was the scene inside of a Dunkin‘ Donuts in Brooklyn, New York, in the early hours Monday morning.  The man in the baseball cap looks like another customer.  But, after he orders, he pulls a knife on the store clerk.  The quick-thinking customer behind him is actually an off-duty police officer.  He jumps on the would-be robber, stops him from robbing the place, but he gets stabbed in the process. 

The cop, Vincent Schiavelli, doesn‘t realize he has been stabbed, and he chases the man out the door.  Witnesses say the would-be robber and the punk got away in a red Kia.  Officer Schiavelli was taken to a local hospital.  He was treated for his stab wounds, but he‘s expected to make a full recovery.  Today, of course, he is being hailed as hero.

And let me tell you something, Officer.  We in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY add

our list—our name to the list of everybody out there that is calling you

a hero.  Now if the Bangles would just apologize for their derogatory

reference to cops in doughnut shops in “Walk Like an Egyptian.”

Well, that‘s all the time we have for tonight.  Thanks a lot for being with us tonight in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. 

If you got something to say, please e-mail me at Joe@MSNBC.com.

“HARDBALL” is next.  Have a great night.  And we‘ll see you tomorrow in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. 


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