May 11, 2006

“Paralyzed” woman gets up, runs from police

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A wheelchair-bound Los Angeles
woman, who has repeatedly filed lawsuits over access for the
disabled, got up and ran after police arrested her for fraud,
authorities said on Thursday.

Laura Lee Medley, 35, had sued in at least four California
cities over injuries she claimed she sustained while trying to
navigate her wheelchair before she was suspected of fraud.

Medley, who claimed to be paralyzed from a drunk driving
accident, was tracked to Las Vegas where police there took her
into custody and then, when she complained of medical issues,
to a local hospital, Long Beach prosecutor Belinda Mayes said.

"She gets to the hospital and while she's waiting for an
examination, she gets up from the chair and runs," Mayes said.
"Somebody remarked, 'That's where the great miracle occurred."'

Medley sprinted through the hospital corridors but was
quickly apprehended by police and booked pending extradition to
San Bernardino, southern California, where she is facing
charges of filing false documents, attempted grand theft and
insurance fraud.

Medley has sued the cities of Long Beach and South Pasadena
and counties of San Bernardino and Riverside over various
injuries she claimed she sustained in her wheelchair. She was
also being sought on arrest warrants by the states of Oregon
and Washington, Mayes said.