Tuesday you may have read about the woman on an admitted "meth rampage," who broke into a University District couple's condominium and set up shop to cause general mayhem, cutting off her hair and strewing it about, dumping a can of paint upside down on the toilet, smearing lotion on door handles, and finally hiding under the bed when the owners came home.
At the discovery of the destruction, the couple called the police, who came, dusted for fingerprints, and filed a report before returning to the precinct, only to be called back again when the couple began hearing noises that sounded "like a dying possum or raccoon" from under their bed. I caught up with unlucky resident Bridget O'Neill, who gives us this account of her visitor, who left her phone at the scene of the crime (and is still getting texts from her mother).
Did you have much interaction with her? What I've read doesn't make that clear.
No, not at all. I was totally oblivious of the situation. I was convinced it was a raccoon the entire time.
What about when she came out? What was the scenario?
The 911 operator had to convince me to leave, but I was really adamant that I was just going to sit on the couch. I think I was still in denial. When they brought [the suspect] out, I thought she was a witness or maybe a professional raccoon catcher they had brought in.
I could hear them talking inside, but I thought they were just doing the standard police thing, announcing their presence, but I guess after I went outside she had come out from under the bed and was wandering around. They told me they were going to bring her outside, so I went around the corner of the building to wait. Once they had her in the car, I went back inside. I didn't want to be nosy and stare at her. Also it was all just very weird. They called an ambulance/fire truck, and I'm not sure, but I think they might have taken her away in that.
How have the cats handled the situation? Did they seem traumatized?
It was sort of the opposite at the time. I was wondering why they were out while the police were there (the first time)—usually they hide under the bed when strangers come around, but I guess now I know why they weren't doing that. At the time I thought maybe they were traumatized and wanted to snuggle, or maybe were suddenly brave? Brave cats are never the answer. They seem fine now. I think their cat brains have room for only one trauma at a time and currently that trauma is being too hot. I'm not sure, but I think the lady might have fed them.
In retrospect, did you find it strange that the police never looked under the bed during the first visit?
No. I wouldn't have even considered looking under the bed. It's not very high up to start with, and also the room was so full of tossed-around junk that it was hard to even see the bottom of the bed. Usually I have a big tupperware thing under there with all our sheets in it, but it had been pulled out and rifled through.
Do you get anxious when you come home now?
The only thing that's changed is that I close the windows during the day now. I used to leave the ones in the courtyard open because A) There is a gate. B) It's the second floor. And, C) They have screens. But clearly meth rampages know no bounds.
For a day I was kind of researching window bars or alarm systems, but I have lived here for eight years and nothing has ever happened before, so I think the chances of a repeat are pretty low. She definitely wasn't intending to harm me or my stuff or whatever. In the end the damage was next to nothing—some lotion and a lamp? Whatever. She left her phone at my house (and purse and shoes and hair…), and she has texts from her friends and her mom and stuff coming in. It's totally sad.
It is sad. What have you done/will you do with her stuff? Have you heard anything about it since then?
I haven't heard anything yet. I know she is still in jail. I kept finding more weird things as I was picking up, so I tossed them into a "weird shit that's not mine" box. I don't really know the process for how court cases work.
I looked it up and can see that she is in jail because there's a list for that. Right now it's listed as a B-Class felony, which seems like way too big of a deal. I hope it gets downgraded to "Bunny Lamp Destruction and Lotion Theft," and then she would just have to hang out somewhere, not doing meth for a while.
Did you press charges?
No, I haven't done anything.The police took a statement at the time that was just me saying, "No, I didn't give this person permission to be in the house." They said it was probably not a criminal issue considering how strung out she was. It's hard to have intent if you don't even know where you are.
Was it pretty obvious that she'd entered through the tree/window, or was it something of a mystery? And if so, were you guys freaked out by the lack of conclusion?
I was positive the person had come in the window, but the police were not sure. The screen was ripped out, clearly from the outside, but one police officer was really not convinced. The other one ended up going outside and climbing up the tree to show it could be done. But I was weirded out by all the details, so in some way it's nice that they found her because it all makes sense now. I guess I have the mental image of burglars as big burly dudes taking TVs and whatever, so I was just trying to figure out what was missing, and there was money laying around and my laptop and other very grab-able things. She didn't take those, but had taken out all my boot shapers. I assumed she had done that in case I was hiding stuff in the toes. It just seemed like she was looking for something, but I couldn't picture what it could be. Even the lotion was in a jar-type container, so I thought she was searching for something at the bottom.
The police said it was probably drugs, and I don't have anything like that except, like, Advil, but she didn't even go in the bathroom cabinets. Maybe I am a bad drug hider, but if I had cool drugs I would put them in the medicine cabinet, not in the toes of my boots.
How has Brian handled the whole thing?
He is fine too; I think we're the same in that way. Maybe he is a little more paranoid about weird noises and sleeping with the window open, but he was like that to start with!
Really, I'm glad the kitties are OK and that they didn't jump out the window. People keep saying that I am so nice, but if the kitties had escaped, it would be a totally different deal. Fortunately they're too lazy to run away.
What happened when you started hearing noises from under the bed?
I am not sure why she started making noises all of a sudden, like maybe she started to snap out of it, or realized we were not leaving and she wouldn't be able to get away. We had been there for hours. I can't really picture how I would get in a situation like that, but it seems like it would be the most horrible panic feeling ever. I have no clue how long she was in the house.
What are your thoughts about the whole thing? Are you angry with her?
I bet she's just a totally normal lady and meth is just bad news. Maybe this is a good thing, in a way? Enforced meth removal. I'm really not mad at her at all. The whole thing is just like, "Man, sucks to be her." I feel kind of like an outside observer on someone else's tragedy. This is probably the worst thing that's ever happened to her.