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"I am not a terrorist."

The daughter-in-law of one of New York's top officials screamed, "I'm not a terrorist!" and fought with security officials in the Phoenix airport before being wrestled to the ground and handcuffed, witnesses told the Daily News yesterday.

She said she was sick but she was handcuffed, arrested and left alone in a holding cell. She was found dead minutes after being left alone in the cell.

I am not afraid of flying. I am in terror of airport security. I drove to Chicago, rather than fly because I feel fear for my life when I deal with security. They treat 45 year old housewives like terrorists. They arrest people who clazim to be sick, but don't give them medical attention. Then they tell incredible stories. They claim that she strangled herself:

Carol Anne Gotbaum, 45, of the upper West Side, died less than an hour later, after cops claim she apparently strangled herself while trying to escape from the handcuffs in a holding cell at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

The story of her strangling herself seems less than likely to me. It appears to be physically difficult, if not impossible for her to have done this to herself.

A CNN commenter nails it:

First off unless she is a contortionist I can't for the life of me figure out how she got the cuffs around her neck, as the obvious means to get your hands to the front of your body would be to bring them under you butt and under your legs. I'm a Professional Escape Artist and the average person could not bring them up over their heads without proper practice and training. So I would definetly question this situation that the police stated happened, "by accident". It sounds to me that it was staged. Secondly from what I know here in NY a prisoner is not to be left in a cell with just handcuffs on unless the cell is watched by video with someone monitoring it or an officer can view the cells physically. Something definetely stinks in this situation and unfortunately we have again another police/security situation of people not doing their jobs and a person who's only crime was missing a flight. The response from the police was incredible and still can't figure out why they made the statement that she wasn't tazer'd or pepper sprayed. I guess if they didn't do that then what they did was right

Experts interviewed by the MSM said the same thing.(update 2)

But former law enforcement officers and police tactics trainers said it would be very unusual for that to happen.

"I can't imagine anatomically how you could do that," said Roy Bedard, a former police officer who now trains officers in defense tactics, including how to use handcuffs and other restraints. "I have a hard time seeing how you could get tangled up in them."

There are not many facts presented in the reports, but if she claimed to be sick she should have been given medical attention and not left alone.

If this could happen to a 45 year old housewife, who is a family member of one of New York's leading families, it could happen to anyone.

Update (Note: I have been struggling to even add comments to my diary because my computer is tied up by the script with all the comments.)

Her family has hired a well-known Arizona attorney to investigate. He explained that she was flying to Tucson for treatment for alcoholism. He did not explain that alcoholics who have gone dry are subject to panic attacks. I know. My sister was an alcoholic. The behavior described in the airport reminds me of several times my sister had gone dry while visiting Los Angeles. She started going into complete panic.

I suspect Carol Gotbaum panicked when she missed her flight

Carol Ann Gotbaum, 45, was flying to Tucson to check into a rehabilitation facility for alcohol abuse and may have been in a "delicate" mental state when she missed her plane, said the family's attorney, Michael Manning of Phoenix.

"We have strong concerns about how this 110-pound woman may have ended up strangling herself, given that she was cuffed behind her back and shackled to a bench,"

Manning said.

Manning said there is "no question" that Gotbaum was extremely upset when she missed her flight.

"People who do muster the courage to check themselves in, they need to do it before they change their mind," he said. "It's a very delicate emotional balance when you finally realize they you need help."  

Originally posted to FishOutofWater on Mon Oct 01, 2007 at 10:01 AM PDT.

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