Brit Heads to Hospital for Second Time This Month

A dozen cops on motorcycles, two cruisers and two choppers transport her.

ByABC News via logo
January 31, 2008, 7:19 AM

Jan. 31, 2008 — -- Troubled pop star Britney Spears was rushed to a hospital in the middle of night, escorted by a small army of police on motorcycles, cruisers and helicopters.

The huge convoy pulled away from a side entrance to Spears' Studio City, Calif., home about 1 a.m. and headed to the UCLA Medical Center.

The Los Angeles Times reported the 26-year-old was removed from her home and placed on a "mental health evaluation hold." A call from her psychiatrist prompted the committal, the Times reported.

Sam Lutfi, Spears' sometime manager, told People magazine that Spears wanted to go to the hospital.

"She went willingly. It was like something in her heart was telling her she should go. She knew something was wrong," Lutfi said.

Spears was taken to UCLA for treatment and evaluation during a 72-hour emergency hold, known as a 5150.

Under 5150, a state mental health statute, an individual who is considered by a medical professional to be a danger to herself or others can be involuntarily committed to a mental institution by her family or even friends.

It was the second time this month that the increasingly erratic Spears had been carted off to a hospital.

The chaotic Spears drama apparently continued once she was admitted to UCLA today as it became unclear who was heading Spears' psychiatric treatment. Her parents, Jamie and Lynne Spears, had an angry tug of war with Lutfi over who could speak for Britney, reported.

The Web site reported that Jamie Spears is infuriated with Lutfi's involvement and has accused him of "trying to control his daughter's mind."

Spears' paparazzo boyfriend Adnan Ghalib and friend Alli Sims also came to the hospital, according to TMZ. The Web site of Ghalib's employer Finalpixx features what appears to be a minute-by-minute blog of Spears' trip from her Studio City home to the hospital. While Ghalib frequently uses the site to discuss his ties with Spears, it was unclear whether Ghalib or another Finalpixx employee had posted the latest details.

A phalanx of police outside the hospital kept photographers at bay.

Keith Valone, a clinical psychologist in Pasadena, Calif., who is not associated with Spears' treatment and declined to comment specifically on her case, told ABC News earlier this week that a 5150 hold translates into 72 hours in a locked mental institution and must be approved by trained professionals like a psychiatrist or a nurse.

The Los Angeles Police Department told ABC News that it is routinely asked to transport involuntary holds to a hospital. The LAPD has a Smart Unit that routinely handles such requests.

After the 72-hour stay is completed, patients can either voluntarily admit themselves to treatment or the family can request another evaluation for a 14-day stay, according to the California Department of Mental Health.

This is the second time this month Spears has been carted off to a hospital. On Jan. 3, the Louisiana native was removed from her home and transported to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center after a custody dispute in which she refused to turn over her two sons, Sean Preston, 2, and Jayden James, 1, to her ex-husband Kevin Federline.