Carol Anne Gotbaum was 45. Her husband, Noah Gotbaum, is the son of a prominent New York labour leader and stepson of Betsy Gotbaum, the city's public advocate, an elected position that involves helping improve services to citizens. This makes Carol Anne the stepdaughter-in-law of a NYC civic leader royalty. Confused? I know I am.
On September 28 Gotbaum was arrested for disorderly conduct after freaking out when she missed a flight in Phoenix at Sky Harbour Airport.
After realising she had missed her flight (ironically, a connecting flight that was to bring her to Tucson where she was to enter an alcohol treatment center), Gotbaum started cursing and said, "I'm not a terrorist.''
Even before her arrest, Gotbaum was seen on an airport surveillance video streaking through the terminal, yelling, flailing and ultimately resisting arrest as three officers tried desperately to subdue her.
Once handcuffed, the wild bucking bronco Gotbaum locked her legs as officers held her by the arms and carried her through the terminal like a hippie at a college campus sit-in.
Gotbaum would not stop freaking out and screaming. Eventually airport police managed to subdue her leading her to a holding room where they finally handcuffed her to a bench and closed the door.
A few minutes later she was found, dead.
The Maricopa County medical examiner found that Gotbaum was drunk on a wonderful mix of alcohol and antidepressants and accidentally strangled herself trying to wiggle out of her handcuffs.
Naturally everyone is freaking out and blaming the cops at the airport; saying she shouldn't have been left alone in the holding room like that, etc.
Uh... what else was there to do? The, umm, arrestee is hysterical and flipping the fuck out, what else is there for a cop to do but lock her in a room and tie her wrist to a radiator? This is like standard procedure; why are we playing dumb? Because she's sorta related to Betsy fucking Gotbaum?!
It's tragic that she had to die like this and it doesn't sound as if her final moments alone were very pretty but it was a freak accident and no one is at fault here.
Phoenix cops did the right thing by leaving a hysterical, histrionic woman to calm down in a holding cell, alone. Gotbaum squirmed and struggled trying to somehow wiggle out of her handcuffs and managed to strangle herself to death in some sort of bizarre Houdini-esque contortion gone awry.
It's a tragic accident. End of story. Move on. If her last name wasn't Gotbaum we wouldn't have even heard about this story which is sad and fucked up on its own right.