A 45-year-old mother of three from a prominent New York family died in police custody yesterday after being arrested for disorderly conduct at the Phoenix airport. Carol Ann Gotbaum became agitated after missing her flight—the door was locked when she arrived at the gate—and was subdued and removed by police. Left in a holding cell, she apparently strangled herself as she tried to wriggle free of handcuffs, police said.
Gotbaum yelled "I'm not a terrorist! I'm a sick mom! I need help!" as police restrained her at the airport, the New York Daily News reports. She was the daughter-in-law of New York City public advocate Betsy Gotbaum and veteran labor leader Victor Gotbaum. "Carol was a wonderful person," Betsy Gotbaum said last night. "She was a wonderful mother. At this moment, we are awaiting the results of the investigation."