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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Who's Responsible?

Recently, a alcoholic New York woman, Carol Gotbaum, traveled alone and wound up at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport waiting to connect to a flight to a Tucson rehab. While at the airport, Gotbaum went into a bar and drank. Not a surprise. What was surprising is that she was ALONE on a cross-country trip and freaked out after drinking. She was detained by Sky Harbor police and placed in a holding cell. Unfortunately, that cell had no cameras to monitor her. Gotbaum was left alone in handcuffs for a few minutes and was found dead. Her grieving husband quickly lawyered up and went on a crusade to find out why she was left by herself in her condition. He had called the airport many times to warn them of her condition, but AFTER she was already dead. Who is responsible here? The police or Gotbaum (and in turn her family)? In my experience with addiction, well documented in this blog, she should never have been allowed to travel cross-country alone to go to rehab. NEVER! While I sympathize with her condition and her family's sorrow, they have only themselves to blame. The airport police had no idea of her plight (Gotbaum was reportedly incoherent), and followed procedure. Sky Harbor should, however, install cameras in their holding areas if they haven't done so already.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Carol Gotbaum may have had a drink or two, not enough to qualify for drunkenness..or the police would have said she was drunk and they would have arrested her for public intoxication or drunk and disorderly. No crime in having a drink, even if you are an alchoholic on your way to rehab. No crime in traveling alone when your ticket assured you a seat on the second leg of your trip. No way did she have to re-check in, she was bounced off her flight because she had been pulled over for wanding. She was late, but she waited in the terminal for the second flight to Tucson at 2:58. That was the flight they did not put her on, and would not let a man give up his seat for her to board with her ticket..that she got in New York.
Something is wrong here. But flying alone, having a drink, or falling apart with tears and hysterics..isn't a crime. Yet, she was arrested and taken into lethal custody. This is wrong. Speak up, your wife, mother, daughter could be next.

Carol Peters said...

.. they told me at the airport that Carol Gotbaum recommended me .. baby she drank all 10 bottles of our liquor ..

No BS said...

Gotbaum could not exchange her ticket because of security measures in place after 9/11. She could not board her flight to Tucson because airlines are allowed to give up seats to others if they want. Maybe this is wrong, but it's their right to do so under current regulations. Finally, Gotbaum was very disruptive in the airport. Her arrest had nothing to do with drinking, unless that caused her bizarre behavior. Bottom line is that she should NOT have been flying alone if she was in an unstable mental state. Just because she may have been within the limits of the law doesn't make OK to cause a loud disruption in an airport.I doubt most of us have anything to worry about...

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