You hear these stories and you have to remember that something on the order of one in five Americans experience some form of mental illness in a given year. According to one study, by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, roughly five percent of Americans in 2010 suffered from mental illness so intensely that it interfered with their work and family life. Moreover, women are more likely to be diagnosed with the illness than men, and you’re twice as likely to suffer mental illness if you’re between 18 and 25 than if you’re older than 50.
Without further ado, meet Sabryna T. Bell, 24, a resident of San Francisco, and perhaps other cities of mind, who was arrested on March 11, in the early afternoon, at Koret Children’s Quarter Playground. This is a petite area in the eastern part of Golden Gate Park; very popular with young mothers from finer neighborhoods; down from UCSF and just across the street from Kezar stadium. There’s a carousel from 1914. It’s all reminiscent of a park you might find on the Left Bank in Paris, politesse dripping from the jungle bars, and the atmosphere of a safe place.
But then along comes Mlle. Bell, who wanders into the play area, spots a little girl, a toddler, and, with no apparent motive, kicks her in the chest. And then goes to a nearby parent and threatens to kill all the kids.
Now if Mlle. Bell’s hairstyle is any measure of her mental style, and if her arrest photo is accurate, you have to say this is all no surprise.
The defendant is charged with felonious assault, felony child endangerment, felony criminal threats, misdemeanor battery and misdemeanor child endangerment. Bail has been set at $250,000, and stay away orders were filed with the court.
“The Arraignment has been put over until March 27th .” says SFDA spokesperson Alex Bastian. “She’s being held in county jail.” He would not say whether the suspect has a prior record.
The child who was kicked had come to the city from out of state — to be a flower girl in a wedding. Her injuries were not serious.
The Examiner: Woman kicks toddler in Golden Gate Park playground