Sioux Falls woman who reported abuse to police speaks out

Sioux Falls, S.D. - A Sioux Falls man is out on bond Monday night after being arrested for an assault over the weekend.

Caleb Andree is being charged with aggravated assault and simple assault.

Domestic violence is a hard topic to discuss for many victims.

Monday night KSFY News sat down with Lacey Wardell, the woman Caleb is accused of assaulting.

She said she has to be strong for herself and her four children.

“If it would have been a few more seconds or even a minute longer that he would have strangled me,” Lacey Wardell said. “I wouldn’t be sitting here right now and four kids would be without a mom.”

For eight months, Lacey Wardell said she’s been working at her marriage to Caleb Andree.

Sunday afternoon though, when Lacey told Caleb she was going to her parent’s house to do laundry, their problems took a turn for the worse.

“She was going to take the kids and leave,” Sioux Falls Police Department Public Information Officers Sam Clemens said. “He was upset and didn’t want her to leave. At some point he ended up pulling out a BB gun.”

“He had turned around and ended up pointing it in my face and said that he was going to shoot me,” Wardell said.

Lacey said things only got worse.

She said Caleb took the BB gun and rammed it into her back, side, and legs, trying to shove her down their hallway.

“He got me to where I was laying on my back and he put his thumbs into my neck and was strangling me,” Wardell said. “He ended up taking his hands, his full hands, and pushing his weight down onto my neck.”

“Often times abusers, when they have that power and control, and they are at that point where they think they are losing that power or control, that’s when they put that victim at the most risk,” Children’s Inn Operations Director Amy Carter said.

Lacey said, looking back, the signs were there.

But, she didn’t want to give up on their marriage or their family.

“I never thought it would get to the point where he would want to try to take my life,” Wardell said. “I mean this is somebody that loves you and cares about you. It’s somebody who made a vow that for better for worse, that they love you. Then they can turn around and do something so heinous and it hurts. It really hurts.”

Often times the hardest part about being in an abusive relationship is choosing to leave.

“It really isn’t their fault and that they have gone through something that they don’t deserve to and that there are people who want to help them,” Carter said.

“It’s the emotional scars that are so much worse than the physical ones that are happening,” Wardell said. “There is no other choice now. I have to get away from him or he will kill me.”

Lacey said while the attack was happening, her and Caleb’s four month old daughter was in the house.

If you or someone you know is suffering from domestic abuse call 1-800-799-7233.