Thursday, January 31st 2008, 9:09 AM
Britney Spears was forced into a psychiatric ward early Thursday after “driving around her neighborhood like a mad woman” – and refusing to take her meds, it was reported.
The erratic pop star is on a “mental health evaluation hold” in the UCLA Medical Center, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The drama went down around 4 a.m. New York time when cops on motorbikes and a fire department ambulance rushed onto the grounds of Spears’ gated Studio City mansion.
Once inside, Britney is said to have gone easily, without a struggle.
“The package is on the way,” cops radioed once Spears was in hand, the Times reported.
People.com reported that Spears’ mom, Lynne, friend Alli Sims, manager Osama Lufti were all there and The Times said that cops were called in by Spears’ psychiatrist.
What followed was a made-for-paparazzi spectacle: the international superstar was escorted down Coldwater Canyon Boulevard by a dozen motorcycle cops, two squad cars – and two police helicopters!
The Times reported that the line of emergency vehicles “stretched longer than a football field.”
There have been several reports that Britney’s family was looking to get her intensive psychological help, perhaps by holding an intervention. It seems as her family pulled the trigger on the plan to get her help after her latest bizarre behavior.
“She was driving around her neighborhood like a mad-woman,” says a Spears family source. “Britney has been prescribed medication which she refuses to take. This is just another sad, sad evening.”
Initially, several tabloid news websites widely reported Spears, 26, had killed herself – something that was later denied by Lutfi and Sims, People.com reported.
The singer was committed by her family and Lutfi on what is known as a 5150 in California – a law that allows someone to be held against their will if they’re found to be a danger to themselves or others because of a mental illness. That was the same reason used to get Spears committed to the mental ward at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center earlier this month after her standoff with cops over her two kids.
Lutfi told ABC’s Barbara Walters that Spears has been unable to sleep and is distraught because she can’tsee her tots – Jayden James, 1, and Sean Preston, 2. A judge has granted ex-husband Kevin Federline temporary full custody of the two and demanded Britney get psychological help.
“There is no question she is bipolar… she’s had manic episodes for years,” a source told People.