PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A Montgomery County mother was held in contempt of court on Tuesday while she had a full-blown seizure during her child custody proceeding. Deputies appeared to think she was faking it, according to a witness.
The woman has a valid and documented seizure disorder, KYW Newsradio confirmed, and even brought a medical advocate to court to help her. However, when the woman seized in court in front of Judge Wendy Demchick-Alloy, deputies picked her up mid-seizure and arrested her.
The woman’s advocate made the judge aware of her disorder.
“She said ‘OK’ and then proceeded to rule based on contempt of court that she's finding (her) … under arrest immediately,” said the witness, who preferred not to be named, “at which time all the deputies in the courtroom swarmed us.”
She said deputies cuffed the mother while she was unresponsive in her seat.
“(They) raised her to her feet, which you can't do when someone's having a seizure; they can't support themselves,” she continued. “She just crumbled to the ground. It's a concrete floor.”
She was concerned the woman hit her head on the floor.
“I couldn't see completely what happened; didn't look like anyone attempted to break her fall,” she added. “I heard the one deputy say, ‘Oh, come on. Stop messing around.’"
She could not recall if deputies read the mother her rights. Regardless, she said it would have been impossible for her to understand or respond to them mid-seizure.
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When deputies started to make the arrest, Judge Demchick-Alloy left the courtroom.
The mother was transported to the hospital via ambulance, treated in the emergency room and kept overnight before she was taken to jail Wednesday afternoon.
The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office declined to comment. Neither Demchick-Alloy nor the president judge have responded to repeated requests for comment.