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HOWARD ROSENBERG

Television News: Cut to the Chase : Newsman Harvey Levity and helicopter pilot Bob Turbo are following a suspicious van near Albuquerque, N.M. . . . and it's heading this way!

March 31, 1993|HOWARD ROSENBERG

L adies and gentlemen, please stand by. We are interrupting "CBS This Morning" for exclusive live "Friction News" coverage of a low-speed car chase.

Harvey Levity: Good morning. We'll get back to Harry Smith's interview with Boris Yeltsin shortly, but first we want to show you our exclusive live Choppercam coverage of a van we're chasing that's traveling under the speed limit on a highway . . . a highway . . . where are you exactly, Bob?

Bob Turbo: Just outside of Albuquerque, Harvey.

Levity: And that van is headed west, Bob?

Turbo: That's right, Harvey.

Levity: Sounds sinister.

Turbo: Exactly. If police were to pursue this van to Los Angeles, it would be a 15-hour chase covering 790 miles.

Levity: Boy!

Turbo: And as that happens, we'll continue covering this breaking story exclusively all the way to Los Angeles.

Levity: Why aren't police pursuing the van, Bob?

Turbo: Because the suspect so far has fooled them by shrewdly driving 10 miles per hour under the speed limit, making it appear he's committed no crime and has no insidious plan for mass mayhem and destruction.

Levity: Boy, that's so diabolical.

Turbo: The suspect is not fooling "Friction News," though.

Levity: Bob, if the suspect is heading toward Los Angeles, and if he's apprehended by police when he gets there, there's probably a bloody shootout ahead, huh?

Turbo: With us overhead covering it live, Harvey.

Levity: And if the suspect were armed with a surface to air missile, he could shoot you down, huh, Bob?

Turbo: When the public's right to know is at stake, Harvey, we can't worry about our personal safety.

Levity: And if the suspect were armed with a nuclear weapon, he could wipe out a whole neighborhood, huh, Bob?

Turbo: Right, Harvey. That's why we're here, so that this heinous individual cannot do his cowardly assassin's work in secret.

Levity: I see that the suspect switched lanes without using his turn signal, Bob.

Turbo: Yes, that's very suspicious, Harvey.

Levity: And we can see that his upholstery is ripped. Is that against the law?

Turbo: It may be in New Mexico. We're checking on it.

Levity: I'm just shaking with excitement.

Turbo: Meanwhile, as our viewers can see, Harvey, this very determined suspect is becoming an increasing threat to Los Angeles. I'd say he is now only 780 miles away.

Levity: While not wanting to alarm our viewers, it's our obligation to inform them of this peril.

Turbo: It's why we're here.

Levity: Do we have any evidence that the suspect is not engaged in female slavery, Bob, that he's not head of a criminal ring that abducts delectable young things from their homes in the middle of the night, trusses them in their nighties and then callously sells them on the open market like chattel?

Turbo: None at all, Harvey.

Levity: Could he be a terrorist?

Turbo: We don't know that he isn't.

Levity: Isn't there someone sitting in the passenger seat, Bob? Could that be a terrified female hostage?

Turbo: We have no evidence that it's not a hostage.

Levity: I'm stunned by the drama.

Turbo: Uh, oh. The suspect has just exited off the highway. It looks like he's trying to shake us with evasive action.

Levity: I doubt he'd do that if he weren't guilty.

Turbo: Exactly, and that's why we're on his tail.

Levity: From the way the suspect is driving, he could be a serial killer, Bob, someone brutal and ruthless who has savagely murdered, raped and pillaged again and again and again with regard for nothing except his own perverted thrills.

Turbo: In which case all of Los Angeles could be in jeopardy.

Levity: Could the suspect be carrying explosives in the van, Bob, enough to blow up an entire city, killing everyone, including little old grannies and helpless babies in their cribs?

Turbo: It wouldn't surprise me, Harvey. The van's tail end is riding low. But let's pause here and emphasize that the driver at this point is still only a suspect. We have no evidence that he's committed a crime or that he's about to commit a crime or that his presumably terrified, tormented and sexually abused passenger is a hostage. But ominously, Harvey, we've no evidence to the contrary, either.

Levity: If this van were being driven by a Serbian guerrilla bent on a campaign of ethnic cleansing, and if this ethnic cleansing were to involve atrocities, and if these atrocities were to involve innocent women and children, this would sure be a dramatic chase, huh, Bob?

Turbo: Yes, it would, Harvey.

Levity: Wow!

Turbo: Uh, oh. Something's happening. The suspect is stopping in front of a convenience store that I'd say is only about 770 miles from Los Angeles.

Levity: Be careful, Bob.

Turbo: Suspect opening door to the van. Suspect getting out of the van. Suspect walking toward the store. Suspect at the store. Suspect opening the door. Suspect going inside. Something happening inside.

Levity: Viewers with children might want to have them leave the room at this time.

Turbo: We're still hovering here. Still hovering. Still hovering. Still hovering. Uh oh. Something happening. Suspect opening the door. We're trying to get closer. Suspect walking outside with a dangerous looking object in his hand. Our picture breaking up.

Levity: What is it, Bob?

Turbo: Suspect has a Slurpee in his hand. Suspect drinking the Slurpee. Still drinking. Still drinking. Still drinking. Suspect finished. Suspect crushing paper cup. Suspect tossing cup on the pavement.

Levity: Oh, my heavens.

Turbo: In all my years, I've never seen anything like this.

Levity: I'm trembling. It's just so horrible.

Turbo: Yes, suspect is a litterbug.

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