Records detail prior police encounters of mentally ill woman shot near Capitol


An interior look of the home of Miriam Carey, photographed through a window that had been broken by police, in Stamford, Conn., on Oct. 4. (Andrew Sullivan/For The Washington Post)

The woman fatally shot by police early this month after a dramatic car chase from the White House to the Capitol had police officers summoned to her Connecticut apartment at least twice after her boyfriend grew concerned about her deteriorating mental stability, according to documents and audio recordings released Thursday.

In one of the incidents, Miriam Carey told officers in Stamford, Conn., that President Obama had “put her residence under electronic surveillance and that it was being fed live to all the national news outlets,” according to a police report. In another, she fought officers trying to restrain her with such vigor that one had to be taken to the hospital for treatment of a shoulder injury, according to a report.

The documents — released Thursday by the city of Stamford in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from The Washington Post and several other news media outlets — offer new details to accounts from friends, family and authorities about 34-year-old Carey’s struggles with mental illness. In at least one of the cases, Carey was hospitalized, according to the reports.

Carey was shot and killed Oct. 3 near the Capitol before her Infiniti crashed with her 1-year-old daughter inside. According to authorities and court documents, she was driving in reverse when officers opened fire at her car. The incident immediately drew national attention, then sparked debate about mental illness and whether police used the appropriate tactic in an unusual situation. Carey’s daughter was unharmed.

Valarie Carey, Miriam Carey’s sister, said what was described in the documents was “irrelevant to the case in Washington.”

911 calls

AUDIO: Miriam Carey calls police to report stalkers.

Note: Please upgrade your Flash plug-in to view our enhanced content.

AUDIO: Miriam Carey's boyfriend calls police.

Note: Please upgrade your Flash plug-in to view our enhanced content.

“As far as the shooting in Washington, D.C., whether it’s justifiable, that is very questionable,” she said.


This 2011 photo provided by Dr. Barry Weiss, from the website of Advanced Periodontics in Hamden, Conn., shows former employee Miriam Carey. (AP)

Valarie Carey said family members are still seeking custody of Miriam Carey’s daughter, who was taken by child protective services after the incident.

Miriam Carey’s family previously has said that she had been diagnosed with postpartum depression with psychosis. They said Carey had been treated with counseling and medication.

Carey had at least four contacts with Stamford police in late 2012 and early 2013, according to the reports and recordings. The first came in November, when Carey dialed 911 to report that people who had been stalking her for five or six months were outside her apartment. No one was there when officers arrived.

The next month, Carey’s boyfriend, Eric Francis, 55, called police to report that his girlfriend had walked out of her apartment with their daughter, who was dressed only in pajamas, according to the report and an audio recording of the call.

“Miriam, she’s outside now with the baby without any coat,” Francis said, adding that Carey had earlier locked herself in the bathroom. “I definitely need to take her somewhere to get some help.”

Carey was pacing inside the apartment when officers arrived, and she asked them to make Francis leave, according to the report. When officers tried to calm her, she told them Stamford and Connecticut were on a “security lock down” and she was “the Prophet of Stamford,” according to the report.

“She further stated that President Obama had put her residence under electronic surveillance and that it was being fed live to all the national news outlets,” the report says.

Officers eventually removed Carey’s daughter from her grasp and took Carey away, according to the report.

Less than two weeks later, officers were again sent to Carey’s apartment when Francis called police early in the morning to report that he had not heard from Carey since the afternoon before, and he was concerned about her and their daughter, according to the report. Francis told officers Carey had been having problems with “delusions” and “episodes of Schizophrenia” ever since the birth of their daughter, according to the report.

Carey came home just as officers were beginning to prepare missing persons reports, and Francis told police he would call back if he needed more help, according to the report. They returned about an hour later for “reports that [Carey] was beginning to fight others in the apartment,” the report said.

Carey tried to kick an officer searching her, and another officer was hurt in the ensuing scuffle, according to the report. Carey was taken to the hospital for evaluation, the report said.

Francis did not return a phone message seeking comment.

Carey’s fourth contact with Stamford police came in May, when four tires were stolen from her Infiniti as it sat in her apartment complex’s parking lot.

Colum Lynch contributed to this report.

Matt Zapotosky covers the federal district courthouse in Alexandria, where he tries to break news from a windowless office in which he is not allowed to bring his cell phone.
Mary Pat Flaherty works on investigative and long-range stories. Her work has won numerous national awards, including the Pulitzer Prize.
SECTION: {section=local, subsection=crime}!!!
INITIAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=m6yzjj840m, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, comments_period=14, defaultsort=reverseChronological, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, includesorts=true, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, childrenitemsperpage=3, includeheader=true, includeverifiedcommenters=true, defaulttab=all, includerecommend=true, includereport=true, maxitemstop=3, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=15, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!!

UGC FROM ARTICLE: {allow_comments=true, allow_photos=false, allow_videos=false, comments_period=14, comments_source=washpost.com, default_sort=, default_tab=, display_comments=true, is_ugc_gallery=false, max_items_to_display=15, max_items_to_display_top=3, moderation_required=false, stream_id=}!!!

FINAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=m6yzjj840m, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, comments_period=14, defaultsort=reverseChronological, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, includesorts=true, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, childrenitemsperpage=3, includeheader=true, includeverifiedcommenters=true, defaulttab=all, includerecommend=true, includereport=true, maxitemstop=3, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=15, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!
Comments
SECTION: {section=local, subsection=crime}!!!
INITIAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=m6yzjj840m, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, comments_period=14, defaultsort=reverseChronological, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, includesorts=true, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, childrenitemsperpage=3, includeheader=true, includeverifiedcommenters=true, defaulttab=all, includerecommend=true, includereport=true, maxitemstop=3, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=15, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!!

UGC FROM ARTICLE: {allow_comments=true, allow_photos=false, allow_videos=false, comments_period=14, comments_source=washpost.com, default_sort=, default_tab=, display_comments=true, is_ugc_gallery=false, max_items_to_display=15, max_items_to_display_top=3, moderation_required=false, stream_id=}!!!

FINAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=m6yzjj840m, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, comments_period=14, defaultsort=reverseChronological, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, includesorts=true, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, childrenitemsperpage=3, includeheader=true, includeverifiedcommenters=true, defaulttab=all, includerecommend=true, includereport=true, maxitemstop=3, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=15, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!
Show Comments