Click here to help Missourians impacted by tornadoes, severe storms
Stay Weather Aware Friday

Ex-girlfriend calls one suspect charged in Independence robbery, officer shooting ‘the devil’

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- "He's an evil character, like he's the devil. Horrible father and a bad influence and he's just someone you don't want to be around, " Ashley Bergen said as she describes her former boyfriend, Joseph Wyatt.

Wyatt is one of the suspects now charged in connection with several crimes Jackson County prosecutors say led up to the shooting of an Independence police officer Wednesday morning.

"Joseph Wyatt is very scary and intimidating, " the 30-year-old Bergen says about the man she says is also the father of her 5-year-old son.

During an exclusive interview with FOX 4's Robert Townsend on Thursday, Ashley said months after she and Wyatt started dating in 2011, their relationship turned violent.

"Constantly verbally fighting, physical fights. Two or three times he beat me up between all the black-eyes and choking," Bergen recalls.

Ashley says the abuse continued even after she had the couple's son.

"He punched me in my stomach when I was pregnant. One time he picked me up and threw me against the wall. I can't even walk through my hallway today and not think about that's where I could've died," said Bergen.

What's more, Ashley says one time during a nasty fight, Wyatt threatened to kill her.

"He was angry because I wouldn't be intimate with him and he said he and a friend should put me in the trunk of my own car and take me to the Missouri River where I belong," added Bergen.

Fearing for her life, Ashley says she got a restraining order against Wyatt and finally got out of the relationship.

Now, six years later, Ashley says she got a text message from a friend and learned Wyatt is now in jail and charged in connection with several charges prosecutors say led up to the shooting of Independence Police Officer Tom Wagstaff.

"He's had a history of drug-use including smoking marijuana and heroine; plus, his violent past with me, it didn't surprise me at all. I think he should sit in prison and rot in hell. My prayers right now are for that officer and his family," said Bergen.

Fox 4' s Robert Townsend recently spoke by telephone with suspect Joseph Wyatt's mother, Mary Alvarez.

When asked what's her reaction to her son's arrest and the serious felony crimes he's now facing, Alvarez said she was upset about it right now and not ready to go on camera and share her thoughts.  However, Alvarez added "my son is not perfect and I know drugs had a lot to do with it.  Drugs took over his life and decisions. I hope my son gets the help he needs. He never really had a father figure in his life. I was Mom and Dad, " said Alvarez.

As for the injured Independence police officer shot and still fighting for his life?

"I am praying for the police officer and his family. I just can't believe this happened. I am heartbroken, " Alvarez added.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.