Man arrested, released after battering woman


A Jennings County man was arrested Sunday after forcing his way into his ex-girlfriend’s Seymour home and striking her with a wooden plaque, police reported.

Bradley D. Bergen, 52, who faces Level 6 felony charges of domestic battery committed in the presence of a child less than 16 years old and residential entry, was booked into the Jackson County Jail in Brownstown at 7:26 p.m. Sunday.

He was released from jail on his own recognizance at 4:53 p.m. Monday after his initial hearing in Jackson Circuit Court. Judge Richard W. Poynter set his pretrial conference for 9 a.m. July 21. 

According to the probable cause affidavit signed by Seymour Officer John Armstrong, Bergen’s ex-girlfriend told a dispatcher she had been battered at her home on the city’s west side. She also said Bergen had left and was likely headed to his North Vernon home.

Armstrong said he spoke with the ex-girlfriend, who said the incident started after she saw Bergen driving his car in the area while she was walking her dog.

She turned around and began walking back toward her home as Bergen also headed in that direction, police reported.

The woman then told police Bergen came to her home to retrieve some of his property that had been left there, according to court records.

The woman said she asked that Bergen stay out of the home and told him she would go inside and retrieve the items, police reported.

The woman said when she went to close the door, Bergen grabbed it out of her hand, forced it open and entered the home. When entering, Bergen grabbed a wooden plaque.

According to the affidavit, Bergen ran through the home, making his way to the backyard, where he used the plaque to strike a lawn chair, which broke the plaque.

She told police Bergen then grabbed her by the upper arm, which restricted her from being able to leave, and struck her in the back of the head with a piece of the broken plaque.

The woman was taken to Schneck Medical Center in Seymour, where she was treated for her injuries

During an interview with police, Bergen denied the incident happened, according to court documents.

Bergen said he had been invited over to retrieve the items, a claim which police said they were unable to corroborate following a review of text conversations between Bergen and the woman. 

According to the affidavit, Bergen claimed he had not struck his ex-girlfriend with a plaque but instead said the two had gotten their legs tangled, fell and struck their heads on the ground. Bergen initially claimed he fell onto a concrete step, later saying he hit gravel.

Bergen also told police the woman had spit on him and pushed him during the incident, which she denied, police reported.

Police said Bergen was checked for injuries or marks caused by the incident, but all they found was swelling on the hand his ex-girlfriend said he used to swing the plaque and hit her.

Being released on his own recognizance means Bergen had to commit in writing to return to court for any hearings related to the charges and his trial.

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