Woman Contaminates Baby Food, Taken in on Baker Act
Fort Lauderdale criminal lawyer William Moore believes that a substantial portion of crimes are committed as the result of mental health problems. According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, a woman in a local grocery store was engaging in odd activities in the baby food aisle last week. Police were called to the Tamarac grocery store after employees determined that the woman was engaging in odd and illegal behavior. Law enforcement officials found 50-year-old Shirley Ybarra of Sunrise wearing rubber gloves and injecting a black, ammonia-scented substance into the baby food containers and juice packaged for small children on the shelves.
Before Tamarac police arrived at the store, Ybarra explained to the store employees who confronted her that she was preparing food for her own child. Investigators later determined that Ybarra does in fact have a son, although he is 21 years old and does not resident locally in south Florida.
Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney William Moore is reassured that police checked other local stores for contamination, as well. Police determined that the store at 4121 West Commercial Boulevard was the only one in which Ybarra contaminated infant food with the smelly substance. The Sheriff’s spokesperson said, “What she did was dangerous. We believe this was an isolated incident.”
Originally, law enforcement officials took Ybarra from the store under the provisions of the Baker Act, which requires police to take people who appear psychologically unbalanced into custody so that they can go to a mental health facility for further evaluation. She was likely taken in for evaluation due to her strange behavior and statements that were inconsistent with her actions and surroundings. Ybarra was later released from the mental health center and into the custody of the police. She was charged with poisoning food or water, which is a first-degree felony and carries a potential prison sentence of 30 years. Ybarra was additionally charged with violating probation. Fort Lauderdale criminal attorney William Moore does not have information about Ybarra’s legal representation.
Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer William Moore encourages the responsible use of the Baker Act in order to protect the mentally ill and the surrounding community. The Florida Mental Health Act, which is more commonly known as the Baker Act, allows for the involuntary commitment of potentially unbalanced individuals. Police, judges, or mental health care professionals can invoke the provisions of the Baker Act. They must show that there is reason to believe that the person being held for examination is mentally ill and that he is a threat to himself or others or cannot properly care for himself. After the person is examined, they may be released, held for involuntary treatment, or referred to other community services. In this case, the professionals who examined Ybarra released her into police custody.
The Associated Press report is here:
Fort Lauderdale criminal lawyer William Moore has experience in all kinds of criminal defense, including DUI and marijuana possession. A conviction for a felony or misdemeanor can have permanent consequences concerning your freedom, your employment, and your personal life. If you have been charged with a crime in Florida, contact William Moore, P.A., which is an experienced Fort Lauderdale criminal law firm with offices in Fort Lauderdale-Dade, Broward, and Fort Lauderdale Counties.
This article should be used for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice nor as implied representation of any person.