Prosecuting a Florida woman who turned in her estranged husband’s guns a day after he was detained on a domestic battery charge sets a “scary precedent,” a state lawmaker charged.
Democratic State Rep. Anna Eskamani was responding in a letter Monday to the arrest of Courtney Irby, 32, after she showed up June 15 to the Lakeland Police Department with her husband’s guns, Fox News reported.
Her husband, Joseph Irby, allegedly tried to run her over.
Now, she faces charges of armed burglary and grand theft.
“Ms. Irby was seeking help from the Lakeland Police Department and taking action to protect herself and her children,” wrote Eskamani, in the letter to Polk County State Attorney Brian Haas. “We should be outraged by her arrest, and I am requesting that your office not prosecute her.”
The lawmaker said that prosecuting Ms. Irby “sets a scary precedent that if someone seeks help to escape abuse, they will be punished for it.”
Irby admitted she entered her husband’s apartment without permission and took the guns because she feared he “wasn’t going to turn them in” himself.
Fox News said that the officer who spoke to Irby responded: “So, are you telling me you committed an armed burglary?”
Police contacted Irby’s husband in jail, and he said he wanted to file charges, reported WKMG-TV in Orlando.
According to an arrest affidavit, the couple got into an argument after a divorce hearing June 14. Irby’s vehicle allegedly was rear-ended by the vehicle of her husband, who was attempting to run her off the road while she was on the phone with police.