State rep says woman ‘treated like criminal’ after taking husband’s guns

Polk County

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – State Rep. Anna Eskamani represents people in Orange County. But, she’s taken on a new mission and it involves a woman from Polk County.

On Friday, she came to the 8 On Your Side studios with a bold message to police and prosecutors.

“I think that Ms. Irby was absolutely treated like a criminal in the sense that she was incarcerated,” Eskamani said.

Courtney Taylor Irby went to jail a week ago, after Lakeland Police Department officers said she broke into her husband’s apartment and took his guns.

At the time, Joseph Irby was in jail for aggravated assault against his wife, records show.

But, a Lakeland officer told Irby she committed a crime and would also head to jail.

“I think that law enforcement has to use discretion, and of course, based on how the law is crafted,” Eskamani said.

Had the officer known all the pieces to the case, like a plea Irby made to a judge, Eskamani doesn’t think the outcome would’ve been the same.

“Yesterday he was on the phone screaming and cursing at me. And my children are in the car with him, and they’re screaming and crying. He is mentally unstable. He is armed, and I am fearful. I am so fearful,” Irby said in the court recording.

Eskamani sent a two-page letter to Polk County State Attorney Brian Haas requesting that he avoid prosecution. It’s her hope that he makes the right decision.

“To ensure that we don’t create a culture of where domestic violence survivors are feared to ask for help,” Eskamani said.


Latest stories:

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Top Videos

Children's book author pens new book about Gasparilla

Thumbnail for the video titled "Children's book author pens new book about Gasparilla"

Gasparilla Safety

Thumbnail for the video titled "Gasparilla Safety"

Web Extra

Thumbnail for the video titled "Web Extra"

Gasparilla pirates invade local hospitals

Thumbnail for the video titled "Gasparilla pirates invade local hospitals"

Pirate ship themed cruise set to make maiden voyage on Gasparilla

Thumbnail for the video titled "Pirate ship themed cruise set to make maiden voyage on Gasparilla"

Storm team 8 Forecast: Cooler and drier today with a lot of sunshine

Thumbnail for the video titled "Storm team 8 Forecast: Cooler and drier today with a lot of sunshine"

Gasparilla 2020: What to know before you go

Thumbnail for the video titled "Gasparilla 2020: What to know before you go"

Law enforcement runs tight ship to keep 2020 Gasparilla safe

Thumbnail for the video titled "Law enforcement runs tight ship to keep 2020 Gasparilla safe"

Mortgage mess fixed

Thumbnail for the video titled "Mortgage mess fixed"

Veteran relieved after dangerous oak tree removed from near his home

Thumbnail for the video titled "Veteran relieved after dangerous oak tree removed from near his home"

New medical marijuana dispensary opens in Lutz 'There was a tremendous need'

Thumbnail for the video titled "New medical marijuana dispensary opens in Lutz 'There was a tremendous need'"
More Local News

Trending Stories

get the app

News App

Weather App

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss