Family rodeo outing turns to "hellish nightmare"


[...] their outing turned into a "hellish nightmare" when Maricruz and one of her daughters were accused of shoplifting and handcuffed. Maricruz, 32, who works as a kindergarten teacher for La Porte ISD, said she pointed to the pair she'd glanced at: sterling silver teardrops with turquoise colored stones. Cody said his wife walked away, upset, and found him - he had taken his two youngest daughters to another part of NRG Center - and told him she had been accused of shoplifting. While the kids were inside the bathroom, a sheriff's deputy approached the couple and yanked on Maricruz's arm and told her to "come with me," and led her to a security area where she was handcuffed to a bench. A Houston police officer put him in handcuffs, and also started to lead him away, before he told the officer his three girls were still in the bathroom. Cody watched another adult take his 8-year-old and 11-year-old daughters to the show's area for missing children. Several law enforcement officers eventually apologized for how the incident was handled and told them they were free to go to the carnival or come back another day, but they told the family they had been banned from NRG Center, Cody said. "The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo wants all of its guests to have the best experience possible while visiting our event," Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo officials said in an email on Wednesday.

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