- Associated Press - Thursday, December 22, 2016

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - A woman who drove her SUV down the aisles of a Springfield supermarket last summer has been found guilty by reason of insanity.

The Register-Guard reported (https://bit.ly/2hUAo6m ) that Noella Fay has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and could be sent to the Oregon State Hospital.

Her convictions include reckless driving, criminal mischief, recklessly endangering another person and unlawful use of a weapon.

Lane County Judge Mustafa Kasubhai made the ruling Wednesday and will decide next year whether Fay should be sent to the state-run mental hospital or allowed to remain in the community while receiving psychological services.

The Aug. 24 incident at a Safeway Inc. supermarket caused nearly $100,000 damage and happened after Fay got into an argument with store managers who would not let her write a large check to purchase gift cards, police said.

Fay, 42, parked a Chevrolet Tahoe in front of the supermarket’s west doors - then drove through them. Fay then barreled down an aisle, backed up the SUV and turned it toward the deli and drove between the aisle ends and the checkout stands.

She then drove out the store’s east doors and into the parking lot, police said. No one was injured.

Fay told a reporter Wednesday that she blamed the incident on a manic episode she experienced after her doctor adjusted her medication.

“It was about mania, when I wasn’t thinking as clearly as I wish I would have been able to,” Fay said.

She is expected to return to court in late January for a hearing that will help Kasubhai decide whether she must go the mental hospital.

Lane County Assistant District Attorney Paul Graebner suggested that he is likely to argue in favor of Fay’s hospitalization.

Fay’s attorney, Allison Knight, said several doctors will testify on her client’s behalf.

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Information from: The Register-Guard, https://www.registerguard.com

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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