I feel safer now.

Granby street “Hula Hoop Lady” arrested for excessive noise, assault and resisting arrest.

Pamela Brown, the Hula Hoop Lady of Granby Street, was being held in jail this morning after being charged during the weekend with making excessive noise and assault, police said.

Brown also was charged with resisting lawful arrest and is scheduled to have a hearing in court tomorrow, Robertson said.

Brown got her nickname because she hangs out and hula hoops in the grassy median near Wards Corner.

Brown’s car was hit by a tractor-trailer in the late 1970s and she spent several weeks in a coma. The crash left her with permanent brain damage and she had to relearn walking and speaking. She continues to have short-term memory problems and seizures.

My kids both went to Granby High School and my parents-in-law live on a street right off Granby. I’ve seen her happily hula-hooping there in the median and waving at passers by many times over the years.

The Pilot ran a very positive story on her early this year.

SHE’S THE HULA HOOP Lady of Granby Street, an oasis of familiarity in a city of strangers.

Hang out with her for a while, and you get an idea what her day-in, day-out routine means to people, there in the grassy median near Norfolk’s bustling Wards Corner.

“Hey, Hula Hoop Lady!” waving passengers yell. More waves come from passing fire trucks; horns toot from delivery trucks.

A reader wrote The Warrior, asking for the Hula Hoop Lady’s “back story,” and readers have weighed in since.

“I miss her when I don’t see her out there, and I wonder about her welfare,” wrote Bev Allen. “It is a relief to me when she shows up again to Hula Hoop.”

Living at the edge of ever-encroaching thugsville, I completely understand the frustrations associated with loud music at unusual hours and I don’t necessarily begrudge whomever called in the complaint. However, I do believe that the Police could have addressed the situation in a much more level-headed manner. To any observer it would be quickly obvious that she is impaired and it has been reported by those familiar with her that she wears a medical ID bracelet that identifies her condition.

The big bad Police officers couldn’t handle a physically slight, mentally handicapped woman without arresting her and hauling her to jail? No wonder they quake in their jackboots at the thought of armed private citizens in public. It’s sure a good thing we don’t have any real crime to deal with here in Norfolk so they have time to keep our streets safe from the plague of mentally disabled ladies exercising in public.

There goes some more of our hard earned tax money to lawsuits, judgments and settlements.


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