NEW YORK Last November, the Broward County Sheriff's department arrested one of Florida's most dangerous criminals, threw her in jail and forgot where they put the key. The perpetrator was 78-year-old grandma Gabrielle Shaink Trudeau. Her crime - driving too slowly.
Trudeau spent 15 days in jail - missing Thanksgiving - before authorities realized she should have never been locked up in the first place, according to the Broward Bulldog, an online Florida newspaper.
"We fell down and we fell down badly," Broward Public Defender Howard Finkelstein told the Broward Bulldog.
After being pulled over for driving her 1995 green Mercury sedan too slowly, an officer ticketed her for driving on a suspended or revoked license. The ticket required Trudeau to appear in court, but the confused granny never showed, the site reported.
Six weeks later, the website claims that Tradeu was arrested in her kitchen by three brawny Broward Sheriff's deputies.
"She's handcuffed like Houdini, for the record. She's got chains around her waist, and she's got handcuffs in front around her hands as if she was some kind of a violent criminal," an outraged County Court judge Lee J. Seidman said, according to a court transcript.
Trudeau told the site that she was never mistreated but was confused and wanted to get out of there.
"They came on real strong, like I had killed somebody or something," she said.
For more than two weeks the 78-year-old sat in jail until her arraignment when the prosecutor announced all charges were being dropped because her license was not suspended, according to the Bulldog.
Trudeau's stint in jail rounded out a dismal 2009 for the grandma. Earlier in the year, the website reports that the former waitress lost nearly all her money - $20,000 - to a Jamaican land-sale scam.
Here's hoping that 2010 brings some better luck for Gabrielle.
Story produced by Dane Cohen from 48 Hours | Mystery
Photo contributed by the Broward Bulldog