Members of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) mounted a human blockade against a former member as she tried to retrieve her four children from their community, prompting a standoff that required police intervention, ABC News reported.
Footage of the encounter shows about 50 church members swarming around the vehicle Sabrina Tetzner took to Colorado City, Arizona, where the children had been living with her aunt. Tetzner left her then-husband and the children behind when she escaped the polygamist Mormon group eight years ago, and was granted sole custody of the children late last week.
“They were kicking her vehicle, trying to put chickens into the vehicle,” said Flora Jessop, another former member who said she was on the phone with Tetzner during the encounter.
According to the Associated Press, officials from the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office were called to the scene to assist Tetzner, but still had to wait seven hours before securing a search warrant.
Authorities were then able to help her go inside the home and retrieve the children. Tetzner has since remarried and is now living in Utah.
“It’s always a challenge to get these kids,” said Tetzner’s attorney, Roger Hoole. “But I’ve never seen a situation where the FLDS people just surrounded the house.”
Colorado City and nearby Hildale, Utah are both inhabited primarily by FLDS members. Local officials were ordered to pay $5.3 million to a couple who is not in the group last March after being found guilty of discriminating against them and refusing to provide them with basic services.
Watch ABC News’ report, as posted online, below.
[h/t Addicting Info]