By Samantha Weigel
The bizarre case of a woman who repeatedly attempted to illegally board flights bound to Hawaii may be heading to the San Mateo County’s mental health court.
Marilyn Jean Hartman appeared in court Thursday to face charges related to her fourth arrest at San Francisco International Airport for trespassing and being in violation of a court-ordered ban April 7.
Hartman, 62, had settled two of her cases just days before being caught in the airport’s food court restroom.
Hartman pleaded no-contest to trespassing Thursday and was ordered to appear Friday, April 25 to evaluate whether her case should be transferred to the Pathways Program, San Mateo County’s mental health treatment court, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.
“Outstanding. I’m pleased to hear it because I have no idea what her mental health circumstances are but if she does have mental health issues, Pathways is the way to deal with it,” Wagstaffe said.
Hartman’s run-in with the law began in February when she was arrested following three attempts within five days to board Hawaii-bound flights without a ticket. The first time she managed to get on board but was discovered when the actual ticket holder arrived at the seat. The next two times, including once when she used a discarded boarding pass, she was stopped at the security gate.
During one of her arrests, she was found with her probation paperwork in her purse and told the arresting officer she felt safer at the airport than at her San Francisco apartment.
After another attempt to sneak through security, Hartman reportedly told authorities she has cancer and wanted to go somewhere warm.
It is believed Hartman may have had cancer eight or nine years ago, however, she doesn’t appear to still be suffering from it, Wagstaffe said.
The court is unsure whether she has any relatives, as every time she’s been asked for an emergency or family contact, she uniformly says “none,” Wagstaffe said.
Hartman had previously settled two cases with a plea deal predicated on up to 60 days in jail.
Hartman’s bail was reduced for one charge from $25,000 to $2,500, however, in combination with her previous charge, she is now being held on $10,000 bail and had not posted bail as of Thursday afternoon, Wagstaffe said.
Along with the April 7 charges, her March 26 attempt is still outstanding and may be tacked on depending how the April 25 appearance goes, Wagstaffe said.
Treatment at Pathways is considered very intensive probation supervision in which if one goes on medication, and very often they do, the Pathways staff will ensure they stay on their medication, Wagstaffe said.
The treatment team is comprised of people from the county’s Mental Health and Probation departments, Wagstaffe said.
However, as the county has limited resources, they will only accept people in the Pathways program who have significant mental health issues, Wagstaffe said.
Yet as no county officials seem to know what her mental health status is, her entering into the program could provide some answers to this woman’s bizarre trespassing crimes, Wagstaffe said.
“Is this because of mental health problems? Is this because she’s simply lonely? Or what’s provoking this? That’s what the team, the Pathways mental health team, will explore and give a conclusion to the judge and me,” Wagstaffe said.
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