TOPEKA, Kan. – A Kansas woman who took her children to perform for occupiers during the armed takeover of an Oregon wildlife refuge earlier this year says authorities have removed seven of her children from her home and arrested her for assaulting an officer.
Odalis Sharp, 46, of Auburn was booked into the Shawnee County jail Friday evening for battery of an officer and interfering with a law enforcement officer, jail officials told The Kansas City Star. No charges had been filed as of Tuesday morning. The Shawnee County prosecutor’s office could not be reached for comment.
Sharp was released Saturday on $3,000 bond.
Sharp traveled with seven of her 10 children, who have a family gospel band, from Kansas to Oregon to sing for and support the 41-day occupation by armed militants of at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. One daughter, 18-year-old Victoria Sharp, was riding with Nevada rancher LaVoy Finicum and three of the other militants when Finicum ran a roadblock and was shot and killed by Oregon state police.
Sharp said the arrest occurred after she went to court earlier Friday trying to file paperwork accusing her landlord of breach of contract. Her landlord had earlier sought to have her removed from the home. She said when she returned home, law enforcement and employees with the Kansas Department of Children and Families were waiting.
“They wanted me to go with them,” Sharp told the newspaper. “They wouldn’t let me go to the house. One grabbed my arm and legs and dragged me out of the car. I kicked the woman officer.”
Sharp said the sheriff’s officers arrested her and took one of her children who was with her at the time. Six of her other children had been taken by child welfare workers while she was away, Sharp said. Three older children live elsewhere.
A DCF spokeswoman didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment Tuesday.
“They’re all in DCF custody now, as far as I know,” she said. “They’re evil. They steal kids. This is the devil against my family.”
She said DCF workers visited her at least twice since returning from Oregon and that someone had apparently called the child abuse and neglect hotline recently.
“They’re making false charges,” she said.
In 2011, the Kansas Department for Children and Families removed Sharp’s oldest child who was then 15 and placed him in foster care. Sharp appealed, but the appellate court sided with the lower courts in October.