A Sheboygan mother — allegedly abused, stalked and threatened by a man living with her— waited until he was out of the house to take her child away and escape, according to police.
Court documents allege Cody Kroll, 24, left a 2-year-old child unattended so he could wait outside the mother’s workplace Dec. 11.
When he came back later in the night, the child was gone and Kroll contacted police.
When authorities arrived, the home was unheated, disheveled with mold growth, and some areas appeared “under construction,” according to police.
But the child wasn’t actually missing — police said his mother had snuck out the back door of her workplace with a coworker while Kroll waited for her in the parking lot. She collected belongings from the house and took her child with her, according to police.
The search was called off once authorities understood the situation.
Earlier that night, Kroll allegedly abused the woman during an argument while he drove her to work.
“The argument was over her phone as Kroll believed (the alleged victim) may have been talking to other men and wanted to see her phone,” court records show. “Kroll admitted that he took (her) phone away from her and said he ‘snapped on her.’”
During the argument, police said Kroll struck the woman in her face and legs. He afterward displayed stalking behavior by waiting outside her workplace and driving around the parking lot, police allege.
The woman’s coworkers told police “Kroll would often sit outside of the store for long periods of time and aggressively drive laps around the store while waiting for (the alleged victim) to come out,” according to court documents.
According to police, Kroll wanted the woman to call in sick for work because of a red hand mark across her face. She refused, and he dropped her off for work 30 minutes late, court records say.
“When she explained to her boss what happened, they became very concerned for her safety,” the criminal complaint states.
The woman said she’d been living with Kroll because she’d been kicked out of family members’ houses. She didn’t want to see Kroll anymore, but he threatened to kill her, her son and himself if she left him, police said.
“She said he made this threat a month ago and that it ‘still haunts her,’” court documents show. “(The woman) reported she believed that Kroll was capable of killing her and is fearful he will kill her, himself, or anyone else.”
Police said she detailed Kroll’s behavior, saying she’d been beaten for attempting to leave him in the past.
According to authorities, the woman wasn’t allowed contact family or friends. Kroll made her “wait on him by getting him all his food. (She) reported she was only allowed to go to certain places and anytime they get into an argument, Kroll would take her phone so she would be unable to call anybody,” police said.
Kroll acknowledged wrongdoing to police, court records indicate. Police said Kroll told authorities that she “had a right to be scared of him.”
Kroll is charged with neglecting a child, stalking, battery and eight counts of bail jumping.
If found guilty on all charges, Kroll faces up to 13 years, nine months imprisonment and $110,000 fines. Those penalties may be increased because the stalking and battery charges carry domestic abuse modifiers.
He remains in custody on a $50,000 bond and is next due in court Dec. 26 for a preliminary hearing.
Women and men living in abusive, dangerous households have local help. Contact Safe Harbor in Sheboygan, (920) 452-8611, to learn about the nonprofit’s available resources.
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