A domestic abuse survivor who handed her estranged husband’s guns in to the police has been arrested on an armed burglary charge.
Courtney Irby, from Florida, removed Joseph Irby’s guns from his residence the day after he had attempted to run her over.
Mrs Irby then took the weapons to Lakeland Police Department for safekeeping.
According to a report obtained by Click Orlando, Mrs Irby made the following comments while handing the guns in to the police:
Well, he was arrested yesterday for trying to run me over with his car and he is now in jail. So I went to his apartment, since he is in jail, and I searched his apartment for the guns I knew he had and I took them.
After Mr Irby had rammed her car into Mrs Irby’s vehicle, he was granted pretrial release on the condition he not own, possess or carry firearms. Knowing of the guns at his apartment, Mrs Irby decided to bring them to the station herself, as she didn’t believe her husband would hand them in.
While she was handing them in, an officer asked Mrs Irby if she had taken her husband’s guns without his permission. When she confirmed this was the case, she was told she was confessing to a crime.
Police officers then arrested Mrs Irby, who was then charged with armed burglary of a dwelling as well as the grand theft of a firearm.
As reported by the Huffington Post, Mrs Irby had taken out numerous protective orders against Mr Irby in the past.
After he had rammed her vehicle the day prior to her own arrest, Mrs Irby reportedly called officers, ‘uncontrollably crying and advised that she was in fear for her life’. He was then arrested and charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.
In a press release, state representative Anna Eskamani said:
The case of Courtney Taylor Irby demonstrates once more the dangerous linkage between intimate partner violence and access to firearms. Court records show that Irby applied for a temporary injunction against her husband and the two were in the process of a divorce.
She was actively protecting herself and her family from an estranged husband who had not turned over his firearms to law enforcement, and was arrested for it. We should be outraged by her arrest, and Irby should not be prosecuted by the local State Attorney’s office.
Why would any decent person with a choice spend their hard earned money in a town where the cops value a violent man's gun stash over a woman's safety? Tell @LakelandPD to drop the charges against #CourtneyIrby.
— Randy Childs (@RandyMathHippie) June 21, 2019
Both Courtney Irby and Joseph Irby have since bonded out of the Polk County Jail.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues, and want to speak to someone in confidence contact the 24-hour National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247. Do not suffer in silence.
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.