A dance student from Tulsa, Okla., on a trip to Houston was taken into custody on Saturday after she was discovered in her instructor's car.
Landry Thompson, 13, was visiting Houston with her dance instructor, Emmanuel Hurd, to take a series of dance classes from top industry professionals.
On the way back to their hotel with Thompson and another dancer, Hurd, who also goes by the name Emmanuel Cross, stopped at a gas station to get his bearings.
"We were on the GPS trying to figure out where the hotel was and we sat there and we dozed off," Hurd said, according to NewsOn6.com.
Then, the police showed up and surrounded Hurd's car.
"They just pulled us out of the car. Put our hands behind our backs like we were criminals," Hurd said. "He asked me who's the girl. 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."
Thompson and Hurd kept trying to tell their story, but said the officers weren't listening. Nor did they pay attention to the note. Instead, they put cuffs on Thompson and took her to Child Protective Services, and contacted her mother, Destiny Thompson, back in Tulsa.
“I was horrified,” Destiny Thompson told KHOU-TV. “She was with the people I wanted her to be with. She was with people I trusted. And now she was taken away from those people and in a shelter with people I didn’t know.”
At first, Thompson was told she'd have to come to Houston to get her daughter. After 11 hours, and repeated conversations with Houston officials, the teenager was finally freed into Hurd's custody.
Both Destiny and Landry would like an apology, but the Houston Police Department has yet to comment on the incident.