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A rude awakening

Why it's necessary to lock your doors, even in Missoula

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Courtney Hodek never really worried about locking her doors. In fact, she and her husband, Mark, got used to sharing just one key to their one-story house on South Fourth Street. The thought crossed her mind that the arrangement could prove problematic, but like a lot of Missoula residents she felt safe enough.

"I remember thinking to myself, 'This is going to bite me in the ass someday,'" she says.

Hodek didn't always live in Missoula. Originally from Chicago, she moved in 1997 to study recreation management at the University of Montana. After graduating, she worked for the Forest Service in California before moving back to Missoula, where she has lived for the past four years. During that time, she and Mark had a daughter, Kira.

On the morning of Nov. 19, 2012, Hodek woke around 8 with Kira in the bed next to her. Although she would rather have her 2-year-old sleep in her own bed, Kira still managed to snuggle her way in with her parents most nights.

On this particular Monday, Mark had left about an hour earlier to go trapping. Thinking nothing of it, he didn't lock the door behind him when he left.

"We lock our doors at night, but we are definitely not the best at locking them during the day," Hodek says. "If we were up at 7 and he left, I wouldn't have locked the door."

Kira, ready to get up, got out of bed and went into the living room. A minute later, she came running back into the bedroom, a scared look on her face and arms reaching up toward her mother. Hodek, thinking her daughter was just pretending to be scared—a "phase" she had been going through lately—didn't take her reaction too seriously.

"Oh, are you scared?" she remembers asking playfully. Kira nodded, stretching her arms higher. "Oh, you know I'll always hold you if you're scared."

A few minutes later, Hodek stepped outside the bedroom herself and realized her daughter was not pretending. A man who Hodek didn't know lay sprawled across her couch, face up and passed out. Having pulled his pants down around his ankles before falling asleep, he still held his genitals in his right hand and a bottle of vitamin E oil in the other.

The man was Shane Roy Davis, a 37-year-old schizophrenic whom police had picked up around town before.

"Ohmygod, ohmygod, ohmygod," Hodek remembers saying. She glanced at her cellphone lying on the coffee table next to Davis, but not wanting to wake him up, did not try to grab it.

Courtney Hodek and her 2-year-old daughter woke up in November to a stranger asleep on the living room couch. - PHOTO BY CATHRINE L. WALTERS
  • photo by Cathrine L. Walters
  • Courtney Hodek and her 2-year-old daughter woke up in November to a stranger asleep on the living room couch.

"I wanted no confrontation with him. I had no reason to ask him what he was doing there. I had no reason to go get a gun. It was just: I need to get out of here," she says. "I need to grab a hold onto [my daughter], not make any noise, or scream, and not start crying because I didn't want to scare her anymore. And just get out."

Hodek signaled for her black lab, Bull, to follow her but quickly gave up and fled through the front door with Kira. She flagged down a neighbor she didn't know well leaving her house across the street. "I need your phone, I need your phone!" Hodek remembers saying. "Call 911!" Her neighbor had to leave but allowed Hodek to call police from her house. Two cop cars showed up about five minutes later.

Officer Craig Serba stopped briefly to talk to Hodek, who was still in her nightclothes and holding her daughter. Then he and officer Brian Vreeland went inside. Vreeland woke Davis. The man got up from the couch and fought Vreeland and Serba's efforts to handcuff him. In the scuffle, Davis tripped over his pants and fell against the wall of the living room. The three emerged a few minutes later, Davis yelling and struggling before being shoved into the police car. Hodek, trying to keep her daughter from seeing what was going on, had walked a little way down the street. Davis said he did not know Hodek or where he was, but that he had permission to sleep there.

The officers were able to identify Davis from his Social Security card and because of the familiar guitar and small amplifier he left behind in Hodek's living room. Davis was charged with felony burglary, punishable by 20 years in prison or a $50,000 fine, and misdemeanor resisting arrest and a first offense of indecent exposure. Also on his record are charges for carrying a concealed weapon, criminal mischief and disorderly conduct.

Davis' case is currently making its way through the Missoula County District Court. He and his attorney requested a second evaluation of Davis' mental health during a May 1 hearing. Davis had previously been admitted to the Montana State Hospital in Warm Springs.

After the incident, Hodek says about 10 people she talked to mentioned stories of people coming into their homes, but most times it was just a drunk college student. Since waking up to find Davis in her living room, Hodek says she's made changes to ensure her family's safety. She and her husband are better about locking their doors, even during the day. They replaced their locks and made sure they had more than one house key. And Hodek has also considered different escape routes from their house in case of another emergency.

Hodek says her daughter, however, did not seem to be affected by the event.

"Thankfully, I remained really, really calm," Hodek says. "She was actually a perfect age. If she was any bit older, she probably would have been asking questions, but she didn't ask any questions, so I never brought it up."

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