Photo: BRIAN KAUFMAN/Detroit Free Press

Health Impact News Editor

According to the Detroit News, a 56-year-old woman faces multiple felony charges and is being held on $500,000 bond after a 10-hour standoff with police, claiming she was protecting her 13-year-old daughter from unnecessary medication. The story which led to this incident, as reported in the Detroit News and The Voice of Detroit, is quite disturbing.

Maryanne Godboldo’s daughter was born with a defective foot that required amputation of her leg below the knee, which led to Maryanne becoming a stay-at-home mother after her birth. Maryanne and her sister Penny now run a dance school in Detroit. Penny Godboldo reported in the Detroit News her niece’s confidence grew, and despite her handicap, she swam, sang, danced and played the piano. However, as she approached middle school age, she apparently wanted to start attending school, and therefore had to “catch up” on required immunizations.

As the Detroit News reports:

“We believe she had an adverse reaction to her immunizations,” Penny Godboldo said.

“She began acting out of character, being irritated, having facial grimaces that have been associated with immunizations.”

Evans said Maryanne Godboldo sought help for her daughter from The Children’s Center, an organization that helps families with at-risk children, where a medical and mental health treatment plan was developed. Godboldo told relatives the medications ordered by the doctor worsened symptoms, including behavioral problems.

“It is an undiagnosed condition, but the doctor had given her psychotropic drugs that caused a bad reaction, made things worse,” said the girl’s father, Mubuarak Hakim. “Maryanne’s decision to wean her from that was making a difference, making her better, helping her to be a happy kid again.”

Child Protective Services workers apparently disagreed, however, and obtained a warrant to remove the girl because the mother had withheld her medication. Maryanne reportedly refused to surrender the child, and an ensuing 10-hour standoff with police followed, after Maryanne allegedly discharged a firearm inside her apartment. Maryanne’s attorney, Allison Folmar,claims her client never shot at police in a report in the Voice of Detroit, which reports that the police sent the “Detroit Special Response Team (SRT) officers who descended on the home with a tank and assault weapons. Video footage shows individual officers staking out the house, taking cover behind trees with their weapons, as in a military operation.”

Maryanne Godboldo apparently has a good reputation in her community, and during the 10 hour standoff many people from the community offered to help with the negotiations, including ministers and community activists, according to reports in the Detroit News. Ironically, it was Wayne Circuit Judge Deborah Thomas, a former polio sufferer and advocate for the disabled, who finally convinced Maryanne to surrender. According to the Detroit News, Thomas reported that she eventually talked Godboldo out with a promise her daughter would be turned over to a relative, but family members say the girl was taken into protective custody anyway.

Maryanne Godboldo was arraigned Sunday before 36th District Magistrate Sidney Barthwell Jr. on charges of firing a weapon in a dwelling, felonious assault, resisting and obstructing an officer, and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. Her bond was set at $500,000. Wayne Circuit Judge Deborah Thomas, who arrived on the scene and convinced Maryanne to surrender, was quoted in the Detroit News as responding: “I’m shocked by the amount of the bond. I never dreamed it would be set so high and she wouldn’t be free to care for her daughter.”

The family’s attorney Allison Folmar made this statement afterwards: “Child Protective Services was trying to force her child to take a dangerous medication, Risperdal, against her will. We have been able to get a court order signed by [Wayne County Circuit Court] Judge Richard Skutt, staying the administration of this drug, which is not approved by the FDA (Federal Drug Administration) in such cases. That’s why they put her in Hawthorne, so they could dope her up.” Folmar said Godboldo has a doctor for her daughter who practices holistic treatment, which she prefers. She said Child Protection Services has not told them what medical authority said the child would be endangered without Risperdal.

The Voice of Detroit reports that a 2007 release from the FDA said Risperdal is approved for the treatment of schizophrenia and “manic or mixed episodes of bipolar I disorder” in children. Folmar said Arianna has not yet been diagnosed with any disorder, although she may possibly suffer from autism induced by vaccinations she received earlier.

The Voice of Detroit further reports:

Folmar called the bond “outrageous,” saying Godboldo is no threat to her child or the community. She and attorney Wanda Evans, who specializes in juvenile law and is representing the child, said a motion to reduce the bond would be filed Monday. Godboldo’s preliminary exam is set for Friday, April 8 at 36th District Court (time to be posted later).

Mubarak Hakim, the child’s father, said Godboldo set an example for numerous other families, particularly in the Black community, whose children have been forcibly taken from them for questionable reasons.

“Child Protective Services is interfering with her rights as a parent to decide what doctor and what treatment is needed for her child,” Hakim said.

The Voice of Detroit also reported the story of Starletta Banks, who filed suit in federal court in 2005 after Child Protection Services snatched her three small children, Darius, Danielle and Darren from her arms in 2000, claiming falsely that X-rays of Danielle showed evidence of old fractures:

“The illegal stealing of our children nation wide is a very serious problem that is happening every day and in every state,” Banks told VOD. “Those involved such as judges, prosecutors, social workers, attorneys, physicians, child placement agencies etc. should be exposed, prosecuted and sent to prison.  The sole reasons that children are being stolen from their families and homes are the financial incentives associated with each child and circumstance.  There is federal grant money given to states and child placement agencies to create situations that do not exist to generate these funds.  The state of Michigan is financially broke, thus surviving on the backs of our children.

Banks’ family friend Irwin Johnson said during a state-wide protest against Michigan’s foster care system, “In Detroit and across the nation, it boils down to a racial issue. How can Black kids be over 50 percent of the foster care system, but make up only 20 percent of the population?”
Go to to read complete story by this writer on the Banks-Austin case. Also go to and to view startling videos of testimony on  ”Psychotropic Drug Use Among Foster Children,” in front of a Florida Senate Committee in 2009.

For another report of how Child Protection Services uses state funds to abduct children, see Dr. Mercola’s recent article: Child Abuse Laws: Legally Abducting Children by Broadening the Definition of “Child Abuse”

A rally for the Godboldos is planned for 9 a.m. Saturday April 2nd at Hartford Memorial Baptist Church, 18700 James Couzens Freeway. For more information on the rally at Hartford Memorial, located at 18700 James Couzens Fwy. between W. Outer Drive and Seven Mile Rd,  call the Rev. Edie Worthy at 313-475-2507. Attorney Allison Folmar can be reached at (313) 930-2500.

There is also a Facebook page supporting Maryanne Godboldos here:

They also have a twitter account here:!/jstice4maryanne

ABC Channel 7 report from Detroit:

Unfortunately, this report did not give ALL the side effects of Risperdal which include: seizures, cancer, tumors, stroke, abnormal bleeding, blood clots, diabetes and sudden death.1


Detroit News:

Voice of Detroit:

UPDATE: 3/30/2011 Bond reduced, mother is released, but daughter still held. See:


Earlier today, 36th District Judge Paula Humphries reduced Godboldo’s $500,000 cash surety bond to a $200,000 personal recognizance bond. The reduction meant Godboldo, jailed since Friday morning when she surrendered to police after a 10-hour standoff in which she is alleged to have fired a shot, was released without posting any money.

Defense attorney Allison Folmer had argued today that the original bond was “enormous” and “excessive” for a woman with no criminal record and no record of mental health issues. Folmer said Godboldo was faced with authorities breaking into her home and attempting to “wrongfully remove her child.”

“Bond is set only to assure a defendant will return to court,” Folmer told the judge. “With people looking at this case nationally, she will return to court. She wants to fight these charges.”

Humphries said she didn’t see Godboldo as a risk to the public, and noted Godboldo has the support not only of a large local family, but a growing number of national advocates. A broad spectrum of activists, conservatives, liberals and anti-immunization parental and civil rights groups are expected to attend a rally at 9 a.m. Saturday to support Godboldo at Hartford Memorial Baptist Church, 18700 James Couzens Freeway.

Godboldo’s lawyers, Folmer and Wanda Evans, claim Protective Services had no authority to take the girl, and they have requested a hearing on custody April 6, in Wayne County Juvenile Court. A preliminary examination of criminal charges against Godboldo will be April 8, in the city’s 36th District Court.

From The Detroit News:

UPDATE 4/1/2011

Interview with mother:

UPDATE 4/2/2011

Hundreds show support for mother involved in standoff with Detroit police – This report from Detroit Free Press interviews the holistic doctor who was helping the family wean the daughter off of the psychotropic drugs. Her name is Dr. Margaret Betts, a medical doctor who is the President and Medical Director of  the Betts Medical Group which specializes in internal and adolescent medicine in the city of Detroit, Michigan. Dr. Betts has been actively practicing medicine for more than 20 years. In addition to operating a thriving private practice Dr. Betts also serves as the Medical Director for the city of Detroit School Based Adolescent Health Centers and Teen Clinics. Dr. Betts attended Wayne State University and received her medical degree from the Medical College of Ohio. She served her internship and residency at Providence Hospital in Southfield, Michigan and for 10 years acted as Chair of the Infectious Control Committee for the Detroit Psychiatric Hospital. And yet Child Protection Services decided that the treatment of Maryanne Godboldo’s daughter by this respected board certified physician and medical director for some reason was not good enough, and that the child needed to be removed from the home.

Also from Detroit Free Press:

Two supporters traveled from New York for today’s event — a Barbara Ann Polizzi and her 15-year-old son, Michael, who she said was once on the same drug Godboldo’s daughter had been taking. Polizzi said she had to fight with authorities for six years to get her son back after he was taken.

Speaking to the audience, Michael said that, when he was on the medication, he felt scare, anxious, and fearful and had physical side affects.

“I did not feel good inside,” he said.

Full Article:|head

UPDATE 4/6/2011

Physician who advised Detroit mother says she was right to refuse psychotic drugs for daughter

Girl seized in Detroit standoff to remain in state custody

UPDATE 4/14/2011

Officials say no need to medicate Maryanne Godboldo’s daugther, but she remains in custody

UPDATE 4/23/2011
Judge sets timetable for treatment, release of teen
Quote: “Under Friday’s order, the doctors representing the state and the girl’s family were ordered to meet within a week to begin work on a treatment plan. The doctors are George Mellos, director of a state facility for mentally ill youths, and family physician Margaret Betts, who had been helping wean the girl from the anti-psychotic drug Risperdal.”

Update 5/5/2011 Judge sets deadline for teen to be placed with relative

Judge Orders Maryanne Godboldo’s Daughter Be Released:

UPDATE 5/6/2011:  Mom charged in standoff celebrates teen’s release

Maryanne Godboldo’s Daughter Back with Family:

8/31/2011- Judge drops all charges:


1. From Citizens Commission on Human Rights:

Drug Study, May 19, 2009

United States
Drug Class: Newer Antipsychotics
Drug Name: Risperdal (risperidone)
Age: Adults (18 and over)
Side Effects: High Triglycerides (Fats) in Blood
Summary: American Journal of Therapeutics published a study that reported on a case of rapidly worsening hypertriglyceridemia [high levels of fats in the blood] in a geriatric patient that occurred 2 weeks after treatment with Risperidone, an antipsychotic. After review of the patient, the authors warned clinicians to be aware that hypertriglyceridemia can worsen rapidly after initiation of atypical antipsychotics even in the first 2 weeks of treatment.
Source: Kohen I, and Manu P, “Rapidly Worsening Hypertriglyceridemia During Treatment with Risperidone,” American Journal of Therapeutics, May 19, 2009.
Drug Warning, June 16, 2008
United States
Drug Class: Newer Antipsychotics, Older Antipsychotics
Drug Name: Compazine (prochlorpromazine), Haldol (haloperidol), Loxitane (loxapine), Mellaril (thioridazine), Moban (molindrone), Navane (thithixene), Orap (pimozide), Prolixin (flupheniazine), Stelazine (trifluoperazine), Thorazine (chlorpromazine), Trilafon (perphenazine), Abilify (aripiprazole), Clozaril (clozapine), FazaClo (clozapine), Geodon (ziprasidone), Invega (paliperidone), Risperdal (risperidone), Seroquel (quetiapine), Zyprexa (olanzapine), Symbyax (fluoxetine and olanzapine)
Age: Adults (18 and over)
Side Effects: Death/Sudden Death
Summary: The FDA issued a warning to health care professionals that older and newer antipsychotics are associated with an increased risk of death in elderly patients treated for dementia-related psychosis. In addition, the FDA is requiring the manufacturers to add a boxed warning about this risk to the prescribing information.
Source: “Information for Healthcare Professionals, Antipsychotics,” FDA ALERT, June 6, 2008.
Drug Study, July 19, 2007
New Zealand
Drug Class: Newer Antipsychotics
Drug Name: Risperdal (risperidone), Ridal (risperidone)
Age: Children (under 18)
Side Effects: Weight Gain, Obesity, Tooth Decay, Sleep Problems
Summary: The journal Drug Safety reported on a study of antipsychotics by New Zealand’s Intensive Medicines Monitoring Program (based at Otago University). Investigating the drugs’ effects on under 16 year olds, 30% of those studied experienced adverse reactions, including weight gain, tooth decay and sleepiness.
Source: Harrison-Woolrych, Mira, et al., “Safety and Usage of Atypical Antipsychotic Medicines in Children: A Nationwide Prospective Cohort Study,” Drug Safety, Vol. 30, Is. 7, July 2007.
Drug Study, June 2006
United States
Drug Class: Newer Antipsychotics
Drug Name: Risperdal (risperidone)
Age: Adults (18 and over)
Side Effects: Cancer, Tumors
Summary: The journal Psychopharmacology published a study that found that the antipsychotic drug, Risperdal, might cause pituitary tumors (the pituitary gland sits at the base of the brain, secretes hormones that promote growth, and regulates body functions). Antipsychotics could increase prolactin, a hormone in the pituitary gland. Increases in prolactin have been linked to cancer. This study found that treatment with drugs such as risperidone, may be associated with pituitary tumors, hyperprolactinemia (increased levels of the hormone prolactin), and galactorrhea (lactation in men or women who are not breastfeeding).
Source: Ana Szarfman, M.D., et al., “Atypical Antipsychotics and Pituitary Tumors: A Pharmacovigilance Study,” Pharmacotherapy, Vol. 26, No. 6, June 2006.
Drug Study, June 2006
United States
Drug Class: Newer Antipsychotics
Drug Name: Risperdal (risperidone)
Age: Children (under 18)
Side Effects: Cancer, Tumors
Summary: The journal Pharmacotherapy published a study that found that the antipsychotic drug, Risperdal, might cause pituitary tumors, especially in children. The pituitary gland sits at the base of the brain, secretes hormones that promote growth, and regulates body functions. Antipsychotics could increase prolactin, a hormone in the pituitary gland. Increases in prolactin have been linked to cancer. This study found that treatment with drugs such as risperidone, may be associated with pituitary tumors, hyperprolactinemia [increased levels of the hormone prolactin], and galactorrhea [lactation in men or women who are not breastfeeding].
Source: Ana Szarfman, M.D., et al., “Atypical Antipsychotics and Pituitary Tumors: A Pharmacovigilance Study,” Pharmacotherapy, Vol. 26, No. 6, pp. 748-758, June 2006.
Drug Warning, April 2003
United States
Drug Class: Newer Antipsychotics
Drug Name: Risperdal (risperidone)
Age: Adults (18 and over)
Side Effects: Stroke, Cerebrovascular Events
Summary: FDA’s MedWatch as well as Janssen Pharmaceutica (a Johnson & Johnson company) warned of a potential increased risk of stroke for elderly patients who take the antipsychotic drug Risperdal. Janssen Pharmaceutica sent letters to thousands of U.S. physicians to warn them of these newly announced risks.
Source: “Dear Healthcare Provider,” Janssen Pharmaceutica Inc., Apr. 2003; “Risperdal (Risperidone) Apr 2003,” FDA Safety MedWatch, April 2003.
Drug Warning, October 2002
Drug Class: Newer Antipsychotics
Drug Name: Risperdal (risperidone)
Age: Adults (18 and over)
Side Effects: Stroke, Cerebrovascular Events, Abnormal Bleeding, Blood Clots, Death/Sudden Death
Summary: Janssen-Ortho sent out a warning letter to Canadian doctors and pharmacists after reports of 37 stroke or stroke-like events like blood clots and hemorrhages associated with the antipsychotic drug Risperdal, including 16 deaths.
Source: “Updated Safety Information for Risperdal* (Risperidone) in Elderly Dementia Patients, Announced in Canada,” Janssen-Ortho, October 2002.
Drug Study, January 01, 2001
United States
Drug Class: Newer Antipsychotics
Drug Name: Clozaril (clozapine), Zyprexa (olanzapine), Risperdal (risperidone), Seroquel (quetiapine), Zeldox (ziprasidone), Serlect (sertindole)
Age: Children (under 18)
Side Effects: Stroke, Cerebrovascular Events, Seizures, Toxicity, Confusion, Coma
Summary: The Journal of Toxicology reported that atypical antipsychotics “will soon account for the majority of poisonings from antipsychotic agents that present to health care facilities in the US.” The study found that 304 antipsychotic exposures were reported to the Massachusetts Poison Control System, of which 76% represented atypicals. The atypical Clozapine “increased the incidence of seizures” and “the ingestion of a single tablet of clozapine, olanzapine and risperidone may cause significant toxicity in a toddler. Ataxia [involuntary muscular movement], confusions, EPS [extra pyramidal symptoms], coma, and respiratory arrest have been reported following ingestion of 50-200mg of clozapine in toddlers.”
Source: Michael J. Burns, “The Pharmacology and Toxicology of Atypical Antipsycotic Agents,” Journal of Toxicology, January 1, 2001.