It looks we found another Oklahoman that could use a bit of anger management therapy.
Over the weekend, news trickled out that Terri White, commissioner for the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services and one of Oklahoma's most visible non-elected public officials, was recently arrested in Florida on assault charges.
The commissioner of Oklahoma's mental health agency was arrested July 20 during a family vacation in Florida after a confrontation with her brother but is not being prosecuted, records show.
Terri White, commissioner of the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, said in an interview Saturday with The Oklahoman that she was trying to calm down her brother when she threw a cup of water in his face.
She said he had been drinking on the trip and has a history of substance abuse.
Wow, Terri White must be quite an expert when it comes to mental health and substance abuse, because let's face it – nothing is more calming and relaxing than having a cup of cold water unexpectedly thrown in your face. It it guaranteed to sooth the nerves of even the drunkest, highest and most tweakiest of substance abusers. I wonder if she also scratched a chalkboard with her fingernails or made her brother walk barefoot over Legos to help further deescalate the situation?
Here are more details on the incident:
That evening, when White and the rest of the family returned from the beach, they planned to go to dinner. However, White's brother started yelling and cursing shortly before they planned to leave, she said.
In an attempt to stop him from getting angrier, White said she threw a cup of water in his face. She said he then slammed her into a wall.
White called 911, hoping that the police could help de-escalate the situation, she said.
However, when Walton County sheriff's deputies arrived, they handcuffed White and informed her she was under arrest on a misdemeanor domestic violence battery charge, she said. White was deemed the instigator of the situation.
White was taken to jail, where she remained for about 12 hours, she said.
At 8 a.m. the next day, White and other inmates were taken to a room in the jail, where a judge, over video conference, looked at her file and quickly said, “She's free to go.” The jail officials did not know White was the Oklahoma mental health commissioner, she said.
White's brother asked authorities not to press charges, she said.
Geeze. It seems like everyone involved in the situation overreacted. And to think the whole thing could have been averted had they let a drunk man run around the beach cursing, yelling and having a good time like all other sbeach partiers.
Naturally, News 9 asked Mary Fallin's office for a statement regarding the arrest. Double naturally, Mary Fallin misspelled Terri's name:
Gov. Mary Fallin issued a statement of support for White Saturday afternoon as well.
"Terry [sic] White is a great commissioner of mental health and has my confidence. Her family has privately faced struggles, like many Oklahomans, with a loved one who has a long-time substance abuse issue. She handled her family crisis appropriately by calling a crisis intervention expert to protect herself and family.”
Fallin also politely criticized the actions taken by the law enforcement officials who arrived after White called for help.
"The response at the scene would suggest additional training by law enforcement could have helped sort out the situation," Fallin said.
Yep, Terri White is such a great commissioner that Mary's staff doesn't even know how to spell her first name. That's a vote of confidence, for sure.
Anyway, I would say that we'll follow this story and provide updates, but charges were dropped so I doubt we'll need to. Let's just watch this video of Terri White pretending to be Michael Jackson instead: