For the second time this month , Britney Spears was rushed to the hospital by ambulance. Early Thursday morning (January 31), according to reports in the Los Angeles Times, Spears, 26, was physically removed from her home by police and put into an ambulance at around 1 a.m., then escorted to the UCLA Medical Center by a phalanx of more than a dozen motorcycle officers, two police cruisers and two police helicopters. The singer is resting at the hospital, her mother, Lynne Spears, confirmed to reporters on Thursday, according to CNN.
Spears was taken to the hospital to “get help,” a Los Angeles police officer who spoke on condition of anonymity told The Associated Press.
The action came as a result of yet another call for a “5150” hold for a mental-health evaluation, which means that Spears is considered a threat to herself or those around her, authorities told the paper. The motorcycles and a Los Angeles Fire Department ambulance swept through the gates of Spears’ hilltop home in Studio City, California, shortly after 1 a.m., with a police helicopter hovering overhead, and removed the singer eight minutes later. Officers inside the home reportedly radioed to commanders that “the package is on the way out.”
According to the Times, the winding street leading up to Spears’ home, the Summit, was jammed with paparazzi vehicles for several hours prior to the arrival of the police.
On January 3, Spears was placed on a 72-hour mental-health evaluation hold when police were called to her house after she would not give up custody of her two children to a representative for ex-husband Kevin Federline, who had come to pick them up; she was released two days later. Unlike that incident, during which Spears’ trip from her home to the hospital was swarmed by paparazzi, this time officials blocked vehicles from following them.
The Times reported that authorities said the action was prompted by a call they received from Spears’ psychiatrist, and though it was unclear exactly when they received the call, the paper said it was apparent the operation had been carefully planned over a period of time. It was the second time police had rushed to the singer’s home this week, following an incident Monday night when someone reported that a group of paparazzi were trespassing in the singer’s gated community. No trespassers were found, but a number of paparazzi were given citations for illegal parking.
According to TMZ, Spears’ psychiatrist was the one who called police because she was alarmed by the singer’s recent reckless driving and conduct and decided that another 5150 hold was necessary. The site reported that the plan to hospitalize Spears had been launched days ago and was abandoned at the last minute on Wednesday, then put into place early Thursday and was so intricate that the Federal Aviation Administration had to be contacted to clear airspace on the route to the hospital. Several outlets are reporting that Spears went calmly, and had not slept for three days; she was videotaped purchasing a case of an energy drink earlier this week, and was photographed nodding off in her car.
The troubled singer lost visitation rights of sons Sean Preston, 2 and Jayden James, 1, on January 4 after her hospitalization following her refusal to hand the children back to Federline.
[This story was originally published at 7:56 am E.T. on 1.31.2008]