Tulsa Teen, Dance Instructor Taken Into Police Custody In Houston

Monday, December 2nd 2013, 11:32 pm
By: News On 6

A Green Country family is wondering why their daughter spent the weekend in child protective custody while on a dance trip to Houston.

The 13-year-old's dance instructor and a fellow student were detained, the girl hauled off by police. Her mother, Destiny Thompson, says it's all a mistake.

She said she took a phone call from her daughter's cell phone Saturday. The Houston police were on the other end of the line, wondering why her daughter was with two men in a car in the middle of the night, hundreds of miles from Tulsa.

Landry Thompson was in Houston, where she was to meet with a nationally-known urban dance teacher. The visit took bad turn when she left the dance studio Saturday with a fellow student and their dance instructor, Emmanuel Hurd.

The group was tired, so they stopped off at a gas station.

"We were on the GPS, trying to figure out where the hotel was. And we sat there and we dozed off," Hurd.

They say the police showed up and surrounded their car.

"They just pulled us out of the car," Hurd said. "Put our hands behind our backs like we were criminals."

"And so I was kind of freaked out and surprised by it," Landry said.

"He asked me 'Who's the girl?'" Hurd said. "'She's my student.' I said I had a notarized letter from her parents stating that we have full guardianship over her while we're here."

Back at home, Thompson's mother was puzzled why the group got stopped and the Houston Police Department was on the phone.

"They still put handcuffs on me and it really scared me. And they put me in the back of a cop car and I was terrified," Landry said.

Landry was taken to Child Protective Services. Her mom said she couldn't believe it when she found out.

"I was never worried about her safety as long as she was with him," Destiny said.

She said she was told she'd have to fly to Houston to get her daughter out, but 11 hours later, following repeated phone calls to officials, Landry was released back into the custody of her instructors.

"I can't help but think that she was with two black men and it looked suspicious, and I'm okay with that, I'm okay with questioning that, I just think you can't take children away from people because they're black," Destiny said.

Landry is expected to be back with her family Monday night.