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D.C. judge assigns medical guardian to excessive 911 caller

Tuesday - 3/25/2014, 6:49am  ET

WASHINGTON -- Frequent flyers often enjoy going to exotic places. But being what's known as a frequent flyer of ambulance rides can land a person in court.

Some cities criminally prosecute people determined to abuse emergency services with excessive calls to 911. The District of Columbia is trying something else. A Superior Court judge has ruled 59-year-old Martha Rigsby should have a medical guardian.

According to court proceedings detailed by The Washington Post -- Rigsby has been a nuisance to city emergency services for more than 30 years and is responsible for thousands of calls to 911.

Many of the calls involve Rigsby falling down or having seizures or fainting spells in public places.

In a recent 12-month period, Rigsby was associated with at least 226 calls to 911 and was transported by ambulance 117 times.

The Post reports a city psychiatrist testified Rigsby has bipolar and borderline personality disorders.

Another psychiatrist who filed the medical guardian petition for the city tells The Post that the city pursuing guardianship versus criminal charges was a "humane" decision.

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