It’s time. I’ve been sitting on this story for a while now but today is the day that I must start spinning my epic yarn. I’m sure I’m going to have to break it down into parts, otherwise I’ll be writing for days. Before I get started it must be told that I come from a family with a lot of legal knowledge. My dad is a lawyer. My mom was a paralegal. My sister worked at the Franklin County Courthouse. My dad’s new wife is a former Franklin County Judge and current attorney. And my part in this long line of impressive legal heroes? Jail Bird. Here goes PART 1:

October 18, 2011. A Tuesday. I had just returned to Colorado from a trip to Ohio for a wedding and visit with friends and family. And, yes, I saw my boyfriend while I was in town. Matt and I were less than two months away from our court date to finalize our divorce. Unfortunately, we still inhabited the same house despite the fact that he was supposed to vacate the premises due to an increase in his menacing behavior. When asked by his attorney why he hadn’t vacated, he simply said that he merely thought it was “a suggestion.” Regardless, we were separated and the divorce was pending. Things were stressful to say the least.

The Incident: Matt informed me that Madeline had stayed home from school the prior day because she had pink eye. He hadn’t made me aware of her condition prior to this statement so I asked, “Is she supposed to stay home today?” His response was, “Go ask her yourself.” So, I headed downstairs to wake her up and ask her myself. As I was walking down the stairs, Matt pushed by me and jumped ahead of me. He then ran into the room where Madeline was sleeping and jumped ON TOP OF HER and started screaming “JUST LEAVE US ALONE, SARAH!” and “YOU’RE A LIAR, SARAH!” Madeline woke up to mass confusion and Matt screaming at me while he was on top of her. He was positioned on his stomach. In order to get to her, I scooped my arms under his arm and leg to roll him off of her. It was not violent. Basically, all I did was move him so I could get to Madeline. He continued to scream at me. I placed my hands on his face trying to get his attention. Again, it was not violent. I was trying to get him to make eye contact with me to tell him to SHUT UP! His screaming was just making it worse for Madeline. At that point he said “I’m calling the cops.” I comforted a sobbing Madeline as he left the room. His concern was not for her. Her wide eyes wet with tears, she shakily asked why daddy was going to call the cops. I simply said I didn’t know. I took her upstairs to get her ready for school. On my way up the stairs, I took a moment to text my boyfriend to say “Matt just called the cops.”

The morning went on as usual. I got breakfast ready for Ben and Madeline. I made lunches. I got them dressed. Ben had cut his hair at school for some odd reason so I was trying to even that up when the cops arrived. Matt met them outside. I overheard him saying that I was finished “raging” and had calmed down considerably. So, I can only imagine what he said during his original 911 call. The cops talked to Matt while the kids were eating breakfast. Then the cops talked to me. I told them exactly what happened. Unfortunately, I know now that in Colorado, regardless of the circumstances of a domestic call, that one party will be going to jail. It doesn’t matter what the story is. Somebody goes. So when the cops spun me around and affixed my arms with plastic handcuffs, in front of my crying children and a smirking Matt, I was in complete shock. Madeline cried “But mommy didn’t do anything wrong.” I hadn’t. In fact, Matt’s exact words on the police report were “I was shocked and alarmed.” Not that he was hurt. Not that he felt threatened. Not that he was scared for his life. He was “shocked and alarmed.” Correct me if I’m wrong, but if society routinely arrested people for shocking and alarming others, well,  most of the world would be behind bars.

The cop went into total “bad-ass” mode. I didn’t have my shoes. All I had on were sweatpants and a t-shirt. No coat. No shoes. He asked if I wanted shoes. I said yes. In my confusion I started looking around for my shoes and he said “play your games somewhere else,” and pushed me out the door. I walked across the street to the cruiser with two policemen guiding me. It was October. It was 7:34 in the morning. It was cold. My feet and mind were completely numb as they ducked me into the car. And off we went.

The cop called ahead to the jail that they were bringing me in. I was sitting on the edge of the hard plastic seat because the cuffs made it impossible to sit all the way back. Plus, it was gross. I didn’t say a word. The cop told me that I should be ashamed of myself. I didn’t respond. Then, he said, much to my surprise, that my husband should be ashamed, too. That made it clear to me that they found his call to be a total over-reaction and completely unnecessary. But, the law is the law, and since he made the call, I was the one arrested. Funny how criminals find amazing loopholes to jump through but those who are not guilty have to face something they truly don’t deserve.

Riveting so far, right? I hate reliving this part because it’s STUPID. And I’d like to remind you that there are TWO SIDES to every story. This is MY side. Anyone who knows Matt got his side long ago. Unfortunately, it’s necessary to tell this piece because the average reader needs to know the “WHY” part of my being in jail. It was so unnecessary and a total play to ultimately hurt me, but the story gets better from here. I came away with an incredible experience that has only made me stronger. Plus, now I have street-cred. Anyway, tune in soon for Part II.


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  1. This is (sadly) riveting and voyeuristic. Yet it also makes me want to punch something and curse like a sailor in your defense.


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