Woman jailed for road rage says ignored pleas led to miscarriage

  • Article by: DAVID CHANEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 27, 2012 - 7:55 PM

She said doctors told her infection was treated too late.

An Anoka County woman convicted of road rage last month was back in court Thursday, asking to be released from the county workhouse because she suffered a miscarriage Sunday after staff repeatedly ignored her pleas for help.

Rebecca Treptow, 33, has been serving part of her sentence at the workhouse because it was easier to monitor several serious health issues and take care of her three special-needs children through furloughs. She didn't find out she was pregnant until after she was sentenced earlier this month.

Request for new trial

On Thursday, her attorney, Seth Cobin, asked Judge Sean Gibbs to grant Treptow a new trial and move her from the workhouse either to the county jail or home on electronic monitoring. Gibbs continued the hearing until Oct. 5 to allow the prosecution to look at Treptow's medical records.

After Thursday's hearing, Treptow pulled out a stack of medical requests dating to Sept. 11 that were denied by workhouse officers and medical personnel. She said the workhouse allowed her to keep a doctor's appointment and lab test scheduled before she started her sentence, but other appointments were canceled or denied by staff, including a follow-up pregnancy-related appointment. Her pregnancy was considered high-risk, she said.

Last Friday, Treptow experienced severe pain and repeatedly asked to be taken to the hospital or visited by a nurse at the workhouse. She called her attorney in tears Saturday. He said he could hear an officer yelling at her to get off the telephone.

She was bedridden until Sunday when another staff member received approval to take her to Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids, she said. Two hours after she was admitted, Treptow was told that a septic infection had caused a miscarriage and she was taken to surgery. She remained hospitalized until Wednesday, and is now back at the workhouse.

Treptow said doctors told her that had she been treated earlier, the miscarriage might not have happened.

Dylan Warkentin, director of Anoka County's community corrections department, said Thursday that he couldn't comment on inmate medical care or any specific allegations made by Treptow. He defended the workhouse staff's handling of Treptow's situation and said that the circumstances surrounding it were under review.

"Let the court process take its course," he said.

Incident on Hwy. 10

Treptow was convicted of second-degree assault and two lesser charges for pointing a loaded handgun at another driver on Hwy. 10 in Coon Rapids in February. She was apparently angered when the driver, Nicole Hedblum, honked at Treptow because her vehicle was veering off the highway. Hedblum followed her and called police, who found the gun in her vehicle.

Treptow was facing a three-year sentence, but Gibbs reduced that to 100 days in jail plus seven years' probation. Her workhouse sentence ends Oct. 9, with the rest to be served at home.

'I'm not this angry person'

Treptow said she had already told her children Victoria, 11, Ethan, 5, and Gavin, 4, that they were going to get a new sibling.

Cobin was furious at the way Treptow was treated at the workhouse.

"She was specifically sent to the workhouse by the judge to deal with health and family issues," he said. "It shouldn't be up to the workhouse staff to decide how she is treated."

Before trial, Treptow turned down a plea offer from the county attorney's office that would have landed her on probation with no jail time. She wanted to go to trial to prove her innocence, she said.

"I'm not this angry person I'm being made out to be," she said Thursday.

David Chanen • 612-673-4465

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