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This is my neice and her partner


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  • This is my neice and her partner

    This happened to my neice, Janie (my namesake) and her partner. She is extremely upset. I talked to her briefly but we could only talk in terms of me asking her if she was ok and me telling her how much I love her. She can not discuss the case right now. It's really heartbreaking.

    ST. PETERSBURG -- A 41-year-old woman was in a coma Thursday after she
    jumped out the window of a patrol car on her way to jail for a DUI chaarge,
    police said.

    Lisa Barbella, 41, of St. Petersburg was in critical condition Thursday
    at Bayfront Medical Center.

    Police officers said they rolled down the car's right rear window to
    bring in fresh air after Barbella urinated in the back seat.

    St. Petersburg officers said they pulled over Barbella's car about 2:45
    a.m. because she was driving erratically on Fourth Street N near 76th Avenue

    Police said Barbella was acting oddly, so officers searched her car and
    found two rocks of crack cocaine. Police said Barbella struggled when they
    arrested her, kicking and punching at least two officers until they subdued
    her with pepper spray.

    Officers cuffed Barbella's hands behind her back and put her in the back
    of a police cruiser, where she urinated and yelled until officers calmed her
    down and put a seat belt on her, said St. Petersburg police spokesman George
    Kajtsa. Two officers, Robby Arkovich and Janie Staples, got in the car to
    take Barbella to the Pinellas County Jail. Police said Barbella, still
    handcuffed, slipped free of the seat belt and jumped out of the car as it
    turned from 49th Street N onto 144th Avenue N near the jail.

    The St. Petersburg Police Department will review the case to make sure
    officers followed procedures.

    "There is no policy against having an open window in a cruiser," Kajtsa
    said. "She was handcuffed and was restrained in the seat belt. They did
    everything they could do to keep her safe back there."

    Court records show that Barbella has a history of drug arrests, and she
    is on probation after being convicted of possessing cocaine last year.
    However, Barbella's relatives don't believe the police account of what
    happened and want a full investigation.

    "She is a drug addict. I'm not surprised that she put up a fight," said
    her brother, Dan Barbella of New Jersey. "But she wouldn't have jumped from
    the car. Not possible. She would not do that."

  • #2
    It's a tragedy, to say the least. But, going on the information presented, it doesn't sound like the police officers could have done anything but what they did. I'm sure they are pretty upset about it as well.
    Hope and Prayers to your family!


    • #3
      I would add that in light of the airborne nature of some of the diseases we deal with, that in light of her KNOWN drug use and behavior, not to mention the little behavior of urinating in the car, that having the window open was indeed GOOD procedure, but most citizens won't know that is TAUGHT as proper procedure in Infectious Disease training-they'll no doubt sit around with that "Bubba" mentality:

      "What were thoise officers thinking? That's plum stupid-you KNOW you wouldn't take somebody to jail with the window open!"

      I'm amazed ( ) at all the people that "know" something about LE or police procedure that have never worked a day in it. They usually show themselves after high profile incidents involving police (and long periods of wetness around the genitals.) I guess we can thank television or them trying to apply plant worker or corporate crony mentality to a job that is NOT routine and unlike ANYTHING they COULD imagine or CARE to imagine... But they sure as HE** want to have an opinion about it.

      Ask me how I feel...
      People have more fun than anybody.


      • #4
        I feel for your niece, it will be a stressful time for her. What you can do and this is what I would do is call the news director of all the local T.V. stations. Tell them what a great person your niece is and how upset she is by this whole deal. If she did it on purpose would she be acting like this?
        I was involved in a similar type deal and found out later several friends did exactly what I am telling you to do. The press was extremely good to me.
        I wish I could talk to your niece.


        • #5
          How can her brother think that she wouldn't jump out of the window.... after he says that he believes she did fight.

          I say... charge her with attempted escape.

          I hope that your niece is doing well. It isn't her fault.. no matter was anyone says. She did everything that she could. It is easy for people to sit down on Monday morning and point fingers, especially when the are the media and don't have any training and experience in law enforcement.
          Drug Recognition Expert


          • #6
            That is ghetto mentality for you. Anything doesn't go your way, blame someone else and spread the hate. That crack head was the one who made the series of bad decisions that lead up to this. Will they put any blame on her? No way!


            • #7
              I talked to her again this morning and she sounds better. She's very professonsal about what she does and I told her I was just so worried about her. She said she is doing a job she loves and that she would not be happy doing anything else. She has been a police officer for 5 years now. I talked to her husband and he said that, despite how up she sounds, she is having a great deal of trouble eating and sleeping. I told him that was probably still in shock. It sounds like this happened so quickly and she still hasn't gotten her bearings. He is also a police officer so she is lucky she has a husband that understands. I could hear the concern for her in his voice.
              I just remember her has the beautiful baby with white blond hair, big blue eyes and a goofy smile. She is my twin sisters daughter but looks like her father. My sister and I both have brown eyes and dark hair.
              I pray for Janie and her husband every night. My blood turned to ice when my sister called me and told me what happened. But she also has a wonderful partner, very professonal and very nice. He has been a police officer longer then her, I think 10 years.
              I just thank God this woman didn't have a gun. Janie works mainly DUI and deals with a lot of substance abuse. It sounds like this is one of the worst cases she ever had. I got angry, of course, that the family would think this was anything but an accident. But I'm positive review will show procedures were followed.
              I will see Janie at Christmas and told her I'm going to make her open a hot dog stand instead. She said, "Oh, Aunt Janie, then I wouldn't be doing what I love."


              • #8
                She is a drug addict. I'm not surprised that she put up a fight," said
                her brother, Dan Barbella of New Jersey. "But she wouldn't have jumped from
                the car. Not possible. She would not do that."

                That ALONE says what she is capable of, doesn't it?

                I know this sounds pathetically naive, Mitzi, but have faith that cooler, saner heads will prevail in this issue. All will turn out alright. [Wink]

                American by Birth, Aggie By Choice, TEXAN by the grace of God...

                "It's not the size of the dog in the fight, what matters is the size of the fight in the dog."


                • #9
                  I know all will be ok. But, like so many of you, there my neice and her partner are, out in the wee hours of the morning trying to protect all of us and they are critized for how they do it. I can't talk to my neice about it right now as it is still under review. But I KNOW her family would have said nothing if my neice and her partner had been the ones hurt.


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