The cure for a serial 911 caller?—Dating a felon

Martha Rigsby got into a car with her attorney Vickey Wright-Smith as she left the courthouse, November 06, 2013 in Washington.
Mark Gail | The Washington Post | Getty Images
Martha Rigsby got into a car with her attorney Vickey Wright-Smith as she left the courthouse, November 06, 2013 in Washington.

She just can't stop calling 911—but a judge seems more interested in getting her a date than in sending her to the doctor.

A judge reportedly has bizarrely urged the District of Columbia's all-time champion 911 caller to date a close friend who has a prison record as a means to control her troubling habit of picking up the phone and asking for an ambulance—which she has done thousands of times over the course of three decades.

The judge's matchmaking effort came after his efforts to control Martha Rigsby's strange serial calling by appointing a medical guardian eight months ago backfired: Rigsby went from calling 911 an average of seven times per month to calling 13 times per month, The Washington Post reported.

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"Mr. Pearson, if you are good friends, you may be able to help us on this," Washington, D.C., Judge Erik Christian told Demetric Pearson, 48, during a hearing earlier this month on the 59-year-old Rigsby's habit, according to The Post.

Rigsby arrived at the hearing from Sibley Memorial Hospital.

"I don't know what your relationship is, but if you all are like, dating, or something?" Christian suggested to Pearson, who was in court to support Rigsby.

Pearson, who served more than six years in a Maryland prison for assault and handgun possession convictions, told the judge, "We were at one time," the Post reported.

"Right. So, if you all resume your relationship, you could probably help prevent the 911 calls," said Christian, who went to far as to suggest a "window" of time, from 4 to 10 p.m., when Pearson could be with Rigsby.

Rigsby, who claims to suffer from fainting spells that lead her to call 911, seemed fine with that idea, although the Post noted that she asked Christian "why we can't make it from 2 to 7?"

She indicated to the judge that she regularly watches "Wheel of Fortune" and "Jeopardy!" after 7 p.m. each night.

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Pearson told the Post later he wasn't happy with the judge playing Cupid, saying he is not interested in rekindling a very brief dating relationship he had with Rigsby years ago.

"He can't force me into a relationship," Pearson said.

D.C.'s chief medical officer, Elspeth Ritchie, also looked askance at the judge's unorthodox prescription for Rigsby.

"In general, it would be inappropriate to purse a romantic relationship as a solution to this sort of problem," Ritchie told the Post.

Read the entire Post article here.