Police report tells more violent story in Bundgaard’s highway incident
Published: March 2, 2011 at 7:23 pm
A police report released March 2 concerning the roadside scuffle between Arizona Senate Majority Leader Scott Bundgaard and his then-girlfriend says the woman accused Bundgaard of hitting her twice in the chest, throwing her cell phone out the driver’s side window and threatening to abandon her on the freeway.
Immediately after the Feb. 25 incident in the median near Cactus Road and State Route 51, Aubry Ballard, who was booked on suspicion of domestic violence assault, told Phoenix police a different story from Bundgaard’s.
Bundgaard was spared arrest because legislators are immune from arrest during a legislative session, according to the police report. The report does not mention that Bundgaard directly invoked the immunity, but he did mention his position to officers on scene.
Bundgaard told colleagues Feb. 28 that the immunity law is antiquated and should be repealed.
Bundgaard, a Peoria Republican, has been making the media-interview rounds and shed tears on the Senate floor over the incident, saying Ballard attacked him while he was driving home from a charity event and threw his clothes out the car window.
Bundgaard has said that after he stopped to retrieve his clothes, he pulled Ballard from his car to stop her from driving away and abandoning him.
Bundgaard on Wednesday declined to be interviewed, saying hadn’t yet seen the police report.
When offered the report after the Senate adjourned for the day March 2, Bundgaard said it was too lengthy to read at the moment.
“I’ve said everything I’ve had to say about it,” Bundgaard said.
According to Ballard’s version in the report, the couple was arguing as Bundgaard drove north on the freeway just before Cactus Boulevard.
“During the argument, Senator Bundgaard used his right arm in a swinging motion and hit Ms. Ballard over her chest,” the report states.
Ballard told police he struck her twice. Then, she told police, she struck back at his face with an open hand, and when she tried to call her parents for help, Bundgaard grabbed her phone and tossed it out the driver’s side window.
Bundgaard stopped the car in the inside shoulder of the carpool lane and both of them got out to look for the phone.
Ballard told police Bundgaard threatened to leave her on the side of the road, and she attempted to open the driver’s side door, which was locked. When Bundgaard opened the door, he pushed Ballard down, skinning her knees, according to the report.
Bundgaard’s version in the report is that Ballard was threatening to jump out of the car as they headed north on State Route 51 and was trying to grab the steering wheel to crash his gold Mercedes Benz into the concrete median.
According to the police report, Bundgaard said he tried to physically put Ballard back into the car after he stopped to retrieve the items that were strewn on the freeway.
In a statement released Feb. 27, Bundgaard said he was trying to prevent Ballard from leaving in his car when he yanked her out of the driver’s seat onto the ground.
A witness, Rich Maiocco, told police that as he was entering the freeway at Shea Boulevard he saw “a man pushing or pulling a female next to the passenger side.”
“Rich (Maiocco) also stated that the female fell to the ground near the passenger door while the male had his hands on her,” the report states.