This is the first-person account from the wife of an incarcerated registered citizen. Names are changed and locations other than Nebraska are concealed to protect the identity of this family. The story appears here as it was related to NebraskaFACTS, with minimal editing or other changes. We relate this story during a week in which we give thanks for, among other things, the freedoms we are supposed to enjoy in this nation. When you give thanks this week for being with your loved ones, stop for just a brief moment and say a prayer for David, his wife and his 2-year-old daughter. Ponder what their country has done to them.
Some readers will be moved to pass judgment on David for his decisions. If you are among them, think about this: Here is a guy suffering from chemical addiction, which is as much a disease as cancer. What if, instead of imposing a lifetime of bashing for a terrible mistake when he was 18, we had somehow been able to help David get treatment for his addiction? Ask any recovering addict: Treatment and recovery will free you from fear and vastly improve your decision-making ability.
PART IV: A Daughter is Born
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We called his PO (he had a surveillance officer and a probation officer at the time) to tell her we had to move into another seedy motel, one that was preapproved by parole and probation. She came by to chew him out the next day for not giving her enough notice that we were moving, failing to realize (or care probably) that we were homeless otherwise. In that hotel, we lived with more prostitutes, next to a crack dealer.
Also, in this neighborhood, I was propositioned multiple times while walking down the street, fully clothed, in broad daylight, because men assumed I was a hooker just for being a female walking there. One of the men was disabled, so he didn’t even say anything, but pointed to me and then pointed to his crotch.
I later saw that guy leaving a room in our hotel and I was frightened that he would see which room I was walking into. We stayed in that motel for about a month, and then I got arrested on April 22, 2011 for a DUI-drugs. Not my greatest decision, but David was in the car when we got pulled over and his ID didn’t have his correct address on it because we had to move so often.
David wasn’t able to come with me to my court date, because he was afraid he would be arrested. I did have someone come up to me and ask if I had seen someone else, and kept saying are you sure. I don’t know if he mixed up his cases or was just trying to read me. I did wander around for a while just in case I was being followed, and then back to our next seedy motel, where we heard a helicopter hovering looking for another wanted man, but both of our hearts stopped to hear that, thinking they were coming for David.
There was another instance where cops busted out the window in the room two doors down from ours. We moved to a neighboring state just so David could get some relief from the constant fear. David has always said there was an opposite dynamic with the two of us. When he was on the run, he felt free, but I felt constantly worried, thinking we were always going to have to look over our shoulders. When he was abiding by the law, I felt safe, and he felt worried that probation was going to come take him away at any time, for anything.
We spent one Christmas in a motel, and I remember just being happy to be able to spend Christmas together, even though my mom was angry at me for not going to dinner at her sister’s house. (David wasn’t invited).
David’s unending fear drove him to bounce around to several states before he ended up in a sleeping room in Omaha. I soon joined him and, in 2011, we got pregnant. I did not want to raise a child in the kinds of places we were staying, and we were able to find a house. David was very sweet and supportive, but he could not shake all of the horror stories about ridiculous laws that his PO told him when we got married.
She told him that he would be prohibited from changing diapers when we had kids, that he was not allowed to go to Disney movies, and that they would be able to come in our house like flipping Nazis whenever they felt like. After our daughter was born, she also told David that it was selfish of him to have a kid because he had a lifetime responsibility to probation!
Her callous attitude planted fear in David’s heart. And mine.
Our daughter was born in March 2012, but David was so terrified of being arrested that he did not come to the hospital. He had come with me to doctor appointments before she was born, but both of us constantly feared for him.
Less than a month after our daughter was born, David and I – new parents with frayed nerves — got into a fight on the front steps of the house. The neighbors called the police, saying it was domestic violence. No domestic violence charge was ever pursued, because it wasn’t violence – it was an argument.
But when the cops showed up, David flipped out. He jumped out of a second-floor window, broke his ankle, was arrested and booked into the Douglas County Jail.
TOMORROW: Part V — A Home Invasion by Law Enforcement