BRAINTREE – Police said a “confused” driver ended up on the upper level of South Shore Plaza in Braintree Thursday. 

The Braintree Fire Department said an elderly woman was disoriented behind the wheel. The mall’s automatic doors opened as her car approached, so she drove in “very slowly, took a left and parked it in front of a retail store.”

Police said the woman made it about 60 yards inside the mall. When officers arrived, she had already come to a stop on her own and was talking to bystanders.

The woman met with a mental health clinician and was taken to an area hospital for evaluation. 

No charges have been filed, but an immediate threat license suspension has been requested from the Registry of Motor Vehicles. 

No one was hurt, though firefighters said there were a few “startled shoppers.”

Braintree Police said the woman got inside the mall through the south parking garage via a pedestrian bridge. After a recent accident, one of the safety barriers was missing from in front of the entrance, which allowed the woman to get through.

The woman’s car suffered minor damage when she knocked several items over.

Police said the barrier was already scheduled to be replaced, and mall management will now do so “as soon as possible.”

Mall employee Stacy Bartko was working when she saw the car come to a halt in front of her store.   

“I started to hear people screaming ‘Stop! Stop! Stop!'” Bartko said. “She just kind of looked bewildered. I would say she was confused. Elderly, confused.” 

“It was just like, what happened? How did she get in here?” added witness Sherly Lopez. 

Shoppers were huddled around recording the ordeal on their cellphones and police backed the car out of the mall. 

“At one point, I heard the security people say ‘There’s nothing to see here people,'” Bartko said. “Well, there is!” 

Witnesses said they were surprised to see the car, but glad no one was hurt. 

“We’re just thankful this wasn’t a weekend or a really busy day. It could’ve been so much worse,” said Bartko. 

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By Richard

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