A woman who was 'ranting in public' on
Rodeo Drive was taken into custody and sent to a psychiatric hospital
for evaluation before authorities realized she wasn't crazy after
all... merely talking on her discreet cell phone.
By George Wolfe
BEVERLY HILLS — A woman shopping on Rodeo
Drive yesterday was taken into custody by the police after they
assumed she was mentally deranged. Only much later, after the
woman was an inpatient at a local psychiatric ward did it become
clear that she woman had merely been using a cell phone with an
Officer Rupert McDooley responded to a 911 call
from a store owner that a "deranged woman is ranting and
raving and pacing back and forth on Rodeo Drive." McDooley
arrived at the scene and spotted the woman in question.
"She seemed very agitated and psychotic...
I saw nothing to indicate that she was involved in a phone conversation
— Officer McDooley,
Beverly Hills police
"She seemed very agitated and psychotic,"
McDooley reported. "I tried repeatedly to get her attention
— both visually and verbally — and to engage her in
conversation, but she didn't respond. I saw nothing to indicate
that she was involved in a phone conversation per se."
The woman, Blanche Milquetoast, claims that
she was having a "very important conversation" with
her best friend and that she has "no recollection" of
either being arrested or entering the psychiatric ward."
She went along willingly, that's for sure,"
admitted McDooley. "Wouldn't you think someone would get
it — that they're being arrested? In hindsight, it seems
obvious, but at the time we had no choice but to ship her over
to the county psych hospital."
At the ward, Ms. Milquetoast not only went through
an intake interview with a psychiatrist while still on the phone,
but received her room assignment, attended an occupational therapy
session, and was about to get showered by two attendants before
finally terminating her conversation and inquiring with a staffperson,
"How late is Tiffany's open?".
Milquetoast's friend on the other end of the phone, Bippy Limeburner,
admitted that she could hear people in the background asking her
friend questions. "So I was like, 'Blanche, hon', you'd better
answer those people,' but she didn't listen. We sometimes really
get into it and time passes in no time flat. She was really upset
'cause — … oh, will you excuse me? I should really
answer that call."
Milquetoast defended her behavior, saying "Look,
if I'm talking, I'm talking. I don't care if you're Joe Blow or
the CIA, last time I checked it wasn't a crime to talk on the
phone! My lawyers will be sending them a bill. We'll see them