Crime

Cop Lane Gardner Accused of Brutally Punching Fellow-Officer Fiancee


Last year, at least seven Denver police officers got into trouble.

Now, Denver Police Department Officer Lane Gardner has joined their number by way of an arrest for assault.

The victim: Jennifer Jaidinger, a fellow DPD officer — and Gardner's fiancee.

Days after the attack, Jaidinger appeared on camera in reports on at least two different TV stations — and despite the passage of so much time, her face remained visibly swollen and the area around one eye was severely bruised.

The reason for the attack was reportedly Gardner's suspicion that Jaidinger was having an affair. And despite his twelve years in the DPD, his own criminal record isn't clean.

According to an arrest affidavit cited by both Fox31 and 7News, Gardner and Jaidinger were engaged and moved in to a house on the 7000 block of West 110th Avenue in Westminster this past February.


Then, at about 3 a.m. on Friday, August 7, the police report says, Gardner returned to the house.

He appeared to be drunk.

Jaidinger was wearing a firefighter shirt at the time, and the garb prompted an argument.

Lane “got upset that she was wearing a firefighter shirt as he suspects her of cheating on him with a firefighter," the affidavit states.

Shortly thereafter, the verbal exchange turned violent. The report maintains that “Lane pushed her off the bed causing her to fall to the ground. While falling to the ground, Jennifer stated she sustained an abrasion on the right side of her rib area.”

At that point,  Jaidinger passed out, she told investigators.

When she returned to consciousness, she saw Lane standing over her — and she felt agonizing pain shooting through her face in the area of her right eye.


“Lane must have punched me when I was passed out," she told investigators.

During a subsequent 911 call, Jaidinger told the dispatcher that “there are several guns in the residence and Lane is very unstable.” The report also makes references to alleged statements by Lane about “shooting it out with officers.”

These factors convinced authorities in Westminster to call out the SWAT team — but while members of the squad hit the neighborhood in force, there was no confrontation with Lane. The team ultimately split without even gaining entrance to the house.

Fortunately, this decision didn't lead to tragedy. Gardner turned himself in to Westminster cops on Monday. He was arrested on suspicion of battery/domestic assault, a misdemeanor.

In addition, he's named in a restraining order that calls for him to stay away from Jaidinger and the house they shared.

By the way, Fox31 points out that Gardner has two prior marks on his record, both for obstructing police — one from 1985 in Wheat Ridge, the other circa 1993 in Denver.

Because Lane has yet to be formally charged, he's still on the job with the Denver Police Department. However, he's currently manning a desk.

Look below to see Gardner's booking photo, followed by reports from Fox31 and 7News.


Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts