Fayetteville man arrested for kidnapping, attempted rape

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A Fayetteville man was arrested April 19 for kidnapping a woman he agreed to take home from a party and attempting to rape her, according to a report from police.

Cody Gardner mug
Cody Gardner, 26
Courtesy: Washington County Sheriff’s Office

According to a preliminary report, Cody Gardner, 26, is facing charges of kidnapping, attempted rape, and aggravated assault.

The release says a woman told Fayetteville police that she met Gardner at a party on April 13 in Springdale that was eventually broken up by Springdale police.

When police arrived, everyone at the party scattered and the woman was separated from her friend, according to the report.

Gardner told the victim he would go look for her friend but later returned saying he could not find them.

The report says Gardner offered to give the woman a ride home, and she agreed.

According to the report, the woman noticed another man in the car with Gardner and that they were not headed to her home.

The report says the woman asked Gardner where they were going and he told her they were going to his house because he “doesn’t give rides for free.”

The woman began to panic and beg to be let out of the car, but the two refused, according to the report.

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They arrived at Park Lane Apartments on Zion Road, and the woman refused to get out of the car. The report says Gardner pulled her out by her arm and the two men walked her inside the complex.

Inside the apartment, Gardner stood blocking the door and asked for sexual acts from the woman, repeating that he “didn’t give rides for free.”

The woman refused and asked to be let go. The report says Gardner then reached behind a picture on a fireplace mantle and pulled out a handgun. The woman told police the gun was black with a tan handle. She said Gardner never pointed the gun at her but kept it in his hand requesting sexual acts and that she feared what he might do with the gun.

According to the report, the other man told Gardner he was “taking things too far,” and Gardner put the gun away. The two men stepped away from the door and began whispering to each other. The woman then ran out the front door. Gardner reached out and grabbed her, but she was able to pull away.

The woman went downstairs to knock on doors and ask for help. The other man chased after the woman and offered his phone to call a friend. The two waited outside until the friend arrived.

Police interviewed the woman’s friend and said in the report their account of the events was consistent with what the woman told police. The report says police also obtained doorbell security video of the woman running down the stairs visibly upset and crying.

Police spoke with Gardner on April 19. The report says he gave a vague account of the events, but admitted he took the woman back to the apartment.

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The report said he told police the woman was crying and upset, but his account was not consistent with other witnesses. Police asked Gardner if he had a gun and to describe it. He told police he owns a Taurus pistol and that it was black with white grips on it.

Gardner claimed he did not have the gun with him the night of the incident and that it was not at the apartment. Police told him that the woman described the gun just as he described it. Cody then said his gun was at the apartment the night of the incident and that it was on the fireplace.

The report says the woman accurately described the gun.

Police then arrested Gardner. He was transported to the Washington County Detention Center.

According to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Gardner is being held on a $100,000 bond. He has a court hearing on May 20.

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