A family says Breckinridge County Kentucky Sheriff Todd Pate entered their home without a warrant or probable cause with other officers and took their 10 children.
Nicole Naugler was pulled over by a Breckinridge County deputy before officers took her two oldest boys with no documentation to support their actions, an audio recording of the incident shows.
Nicole, 5 months pregnant, was slammed into the hood of a cop car, and was taken into custody for disorderly conduct after pleading with the Sheriff to not take her boys, and resisting arrest.
When Nicole’s husband Joe arrived, Sheriff Pate, with his hand on his sidearm, ordered him back his the car and ordered him to turn over the remaining eight children by 10:00 am, a website dedicated to raising support for the family, states.
Joe was threatened with felony charges if he didn’t comply, the website says. It appears the incident unfolded as a result of an unfounded anonymous complaint filed with Child Protective Services.
Audio recorded from the event details a heartbreaking scene as a mother cries for her children and police refuse to offer explanations before physical brutalizing her.
The following is a blog post from an advocate website, launched on behalf of the family, SaveOurFamily.info:
Joe and Nicole Naugler live on a homestead in rural Kentucky. They live a very simple life. They garden and raise animals. They are industrious people trying to teach their children how to live right.
They have ten children who are homeschooled on the homestead. They contribute to the success of the family crops and livestock, all while learning about the amazing beauty of life.
On May 6th, 2015, Breckinridge Co. Sheriff’s officers came to their home, acting on an anonymous tip, and entered their property and home without a warrant and without probable cause. Nicole was at home with the two oldest children, while Joe was away with the others. When the officers left the home, they attempted to block the access road to the family property. Nicole and the two boys got in their car to leave the family property. The got only a short way down the road before the officers pulled Nicole over.
During this stop, sheriffs deputies took their two oldest boys from Nicole’s custody, providing her no justification or documentation to support their action. Nicole was able to contact Joe briefly by telephone, but only for a short period of time, because she needed to use her phone to record the events.
Joe was able to arrange transportation to meet his wife where the stop had taken place. At that point, Nicole had been taken into custody for disorderly conduct (for not passively allowing the Sheriff to take her boys) and resisting arrest. Joe attempted to get out of the car to speak with the officers and his wife, and to recover the vehicle Nicole had been driving. The Sheriff, with his hand on his sidearm, ordered Joe back into the car. Joe complied with that request. The sheriff informed Joe that he had every intention of making this as difficult as possible for them and that their car would be impounded, despite the fact that Joe was there onsite to recover it.
A friend, who had driven Joe to the location, got out of the car to speak with the Sheriff. She was able to convince the Sheriff to let Joe recover the vehicle. Joe also recovered Nicole’s cell phone, which had been recording audio the entire time.
The Sheriff ordered Joe to turn the remaining eight children over to Breckinridge County Sheriff’s deputies by 10:00 a.m., and threatened him with felony charges if he does not comply.
At this time (roughly 5:00 CDT), Nicole is being held in custody in Hardinsburg, KY by the Breckinridge Co. Sheriff. The whereabouts of their two oldest sons is unknown to the family. Nicole faces a magistrate at 8:00 a.m. to set bail and an arraignment will take place shortly thereafter.
All of this has happened because of an anonymous complaint filed with CPS. In the state of KY, an anonymous complaint cannot be considered probable cause to pursue this course of action. It cannot be confirmed that this is the complainant, but earlier this week an acquaintance of the Naugler family threatened to file a CPS complaint against them, all because Joe “unfriended” this acquaintance on Facebook.
We ask for your support for the Naugler family at this time. Through no fault of their own, they will now be faced with significant legal expenses. Any support is greatly accepted. Whether you can or cannot contribute to their legal defense fund, please consider them in your prayers, meditations, positive energies, and any other support you can provide. Share their story!
SaveOurFamily.info reports Nicole has been released from custody but the 10 children remain.
“I am a free range human. Not meant to be caged,” the woman said. “But I will stand up for my rights. Overwhelmed by love and support.”
Listen to unsettling audio of the incident: HERE
Contribute to the families legal defense: HERE