National News

Bozeman woman wanted to be arrested to escape from ex

Posted July 11

— It's not common for a person to commit a crime, with the intention of being caught and going to jail.

But around 3:30 a.m. Wednesday, that's exactly why one woman says she burglarized Kagy Korner.

Sunday Gardner-Ard allegedly told responding officers she wanted to go to jail, where an ex-partner couldn't find her.

She reportedly kicked in the windows, then drank a stolen beer and smoked a cigarette while waiting for law enforcement.

Kagy Korner says their surveillance video corroborates this explanation. A manager said it looked like the woman was just sitting around looking to be caught.

In Justice Court on Wednesday morning, the state recommended a $25,000 bail, and Gardner-Ard declined to have any arguments made on her behalf. She said that she does want to remain in jail. The judge issued a $25,000 bond.

"It speaks to how desperate people can get in finding a safe place to be," said Erica Coyle, executive director of HAVEN. "Sometimes abusers restrict their access to the internet, to the phone, to any way that they could seek support to an organization like HAVEN."

HAVEN is a nonprofit that works with survivors of crime and offers support to victims of domestic violence, including legal and mental health services and shelter.

Gardner-Ard did not go into any detail regarding why she is trying to escape her ex, but MTN spoke to HAVEN regarding the extreme measures victims may go to escape a dangerous situation.

"We see about a thousand survivors each year," Coyle said.

Coyle said that domestic violence is a very prevalent issue in Gallatin County, with approximately one-percent of the population seeking their services. That number does not include other residents who are not ready or do not know how to contact HAVEN.

HAVEN's services are available to anyone, even if they have a criminal background or any kind of substance abuse issues.

"So that should never be a deterrent to know what opportunities are out there, what Haven can help with, what some of our community partners can help with," Coyle said.

HAVEN also can arrange for emergency shelter, at any time of day or night and can provide transportation.

"We really try and reduce all of the barriers that somebody might have to seeking a safe place to stay," Coyle said.

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