View Full Version : Gotbaum Kin's Please Before Dying: I'm Not A Terrorist!

10-01-2007, 07:25 PM
Gotbaum kin's plea before dying: I'm not a terrorist!

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/2007/10/01/2007-10-01_gotbaum_kins_plea_before_dying_im_not_a_.html?r ef=rss

BY SOO YOUN in Phoenix and ETHAN ROUEN and ADAM LISBERG in New York
Monday, October 1st 2007, 9:31 AM

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.

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.

"I'm not a terrorist! I'm a sick mom! I need help!" yelled the mother of three after she missed the 2:58 p.m. US Airways Express flight to Tucson, said airport workers who witnessed the confrontation Friday.

They said one cop put his knee in her back to restrain her while others grabbed her flailing arms.

"I believe she was a little not-there. She kept punching. She kept screaming. She kept kicking," one worker told The News. "She looked really scared, really frightened. I think she was afraid to go to jail."

Gotbaum's husband, Noah, is the son of longtime city labor leader Victor Gotbaum and the stepson of his wife, Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum, a possible candidate for mayor in 2009.

Betsy Gotbaum said her stunned family was still searching for answers in the sudden death.

"Carol was a wonderful, wonderful person," Betsy Gotbaum said. "She was a wonderful mother. She was sweet and kind and loving. At this moment, we are awaiting the results of the investigation."

Cops said Gotbaum was traveling alone and could not explain why she was in Phoenix or what prompted her anger. She was charged with disorderly conduct.

Phoenix police spokesman Sgt. Andy Hill said Gotbaum kept screaming after she was placed in the holding cell, until cops realized she had been silent for several minutes and found her unresponsive. The county medical examiner has not determined a cause of death.

"The longest she was alone was five or 10 minutes," Hill said.

She was handcuffed behind her back, Hill said.

But he couldn't immediately explain why a distressed woman was left alone in handcuffs while seven police officers were in the security office.