Police interrogations continue as Central Park victim hospitalized: Part 3

Some of the teens held said they didn't understand what was happening, but believed they could go home if they blamed others police said were involved. Police denied any coercion in their confessions.
7:41 | 05/25/19

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Transcript for Police interrogations continue as Central Park victim hospitalized: Part 3
This morning, the woman jogger was found unconscious and bleeding by two men passing by at about 2:00 this morning. We're told she was taken to metropolitan hospital where she's being treated for a fractured skull and a serious loss of blood. A young woman had been brought in who was pretty close to death. She had blunt trauma. They didn't know if she would survive. She looked like a little waif in the bed. No one knew who she was yet. I will never forget that day. I have seen traumatized patients many, many times. But I have never seen somebody, like, destroyed. This is the cheekbone, and it was crushed severely. Her body was just so swollen, unrecognizable really. My left eye socket had been crushed in. And the force of that blow was so strong that my eyeball exploded into the thin plates of my orbital floor. And when that happens, the entire cheek bone falls inward. And then I had several skull fractures, and there were deep lacerations. We all know what rape is. I mean, everybody knows what that is and describe it. But there's nothing like seeing something like this. The atrocity of such an act. This morning, detectives walked through the woods picking up evidence from a jogger's night of terror. We ended up with five arrests. Two of the five were Kevin Richardson and Raymond santana. The detectives who were handling it asked me to hang on to them so that they could interview them. I heard the phone ringing. And that's when the detective told me to come to the precinct to get my son. I went to the desk, and I asked them. I said, "Where's my son?" And he said, "Well, we're doing some paperwork, and you can see him shortly." They came to my house around 3:00 the morning. And when we got there, I seen my son inside a room with other kids locked in a room. We had to go back out and start getting more of the kids that were involved in the attack. That included Yusef salaam, Korey wise and antron Mccray. But by the evening of the 20th, we had all five in custody. I'm looking for my son. Yeah, where was he? He's been in the precinct since they took him from when he went to the store. I was out here with a whole bunch of other reporters and cameras, and we were waiting and waiting and waiting for information. Because in those early hours, there was an investigation going on behind closed doors. There was intense pressure to solve the case. This was the crime that had to be solved. Over the course of the next couple of days, there are these interrogations at length. Here we are at the 20th precinct on the upper west side of Manhattan where police are still questioning some of the young suspects they believe were involved in last night's attack. Those who are 14 and 15 are supposed to have a parent or guardian present. And largely they do, but even the parents I think are pretty naive about what's going on. They were telling us that Kevin is gonna come home with us. That he's a good boy. They know he didn't do anything. They used us. They used our lack of knowledge of the justice system against us. And -- and our trusting in them, they used it against us. We had all these kids now in custody, and they were all starting to talk and give stories about what happened. The cops are doing what cops do, which is, in these investigations, they can lie. They can say they know more than they do. They can say they've got evidence that implicates a suspect trying to get him to confess. They did all of those things. So these interrogations, they're not recorded in any way, right? They're not even written down. These are not my rules. These are the rules I was handed and that's what we play by. I really didn't know what -- my mouth just felt like scrambled eggs. I really didn't know what was going on. I just wanted to get the hell home. When I was in the room, I didn't know what was going on. I just know that I didn't have nothing to do with anything. The lead investigator in my case, he became fed up and he slammed his fist on the table and he said, "You're going to give me what I want?" And he lunged at me. If you take an individual that's 15 years old and you put that individual in a room by themselves with two to four to six officers, some of them wanting to attack you, that individual would be terrified. It could be almost tantamount to someone having a gun to your head. The cops were proud that they did what cops do, which is they told teen one that number two and number three were implicating one. So you'd better get out ahead of this. They told teen four that there was evidence that had been found, and if you don't get out in front, you're gonna be implicated. I didn't know who did it. I just know I didn't do it, so I was just trying to get everybody back. I was just blaming whoever. That's how it went. That's how it went for me. He's like, "Well, do you know Kevin Richardson?" I said, "No, I don't. Never seen him before." And he says, "Well, we know he did it. And so when detective Hartigan produced the picture of Kevin, it was just about me getting out of it. All of these kids, and in many cases their parents, believed that they would get to go home if they implicated other people, if they were helpful in the right way. And they were desperate to get out of that room. No detective of mine would ever say anything like that, "You're gonna go home." With a crime like this? Never. They played the parents against each other. They said, "Okay, well, we know he didn't do anything. But Yusef salaam said he did this." So then you feel like, "Well, okay, he has to defend himself." So they played us against each other. They played the boys against each other. And they made up all of these stories to get their arrest and their convictions. How do you coerce somebody when he's sitting there with their parents? It's , okay? There's no coercion. None of those detectives of their caliber would have to resort to walking anyone into a confession. Their words are their words. We don't put words in people's mouths. This interrogation went on and on and on. Whether or not you believe there were coercive tactics, the amount of time itself that these teens had to spend in that interrogation room could in and of itself have caused them to say anything to get them out of there. It is now 3:30 in the morning of April 21st of 1989. In the early hours of the morning on the second day under questioning, the teenagers make a fateful decision. They decide to start talking on videotape. This is my first rape. This -- I never did this before. This will be the last time doing it. That decision would haunt them all the way to the courthouse.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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