Woman Charged With Squatting In Home; Children Removed
(Memphis) Self-proclaimed sovereign citizen, Tabitha Gentry was arrested just after mid-night by Shelby County Sheriff’s deputies.
Gentry, also known as Aka Abka Re Bey, was squatting at a $3 million dollar home at 600 South Shady Grove after filing paperwork with the Shelby County Registrar’s office claiming rights to the home as a Sovereign Moorish National Republic Citizen.
“She left the residence and that is when we were able to catch her not too far from here, I believe down the street that way,” said Shelby County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Chip Washington.
“You always exercise caution in situations like this. She raised a bit of a ruckus as you can probably imagine,” added Washington.
Deputies were waiting outside the east Memphis home preparing to enter when Gentry who is also known as Abka Re Bey left the home with her 15-year-old daughter.
She was pulled over down the street and arrested without incident.
“The grandmother of the children or the mother of Tabitha contacted the court this afternoon with concern about one of the children in particular. She thought there might have been a child endangerment issue of no food and situation like that. I think some papers were signed that gave us that legal authority to be able to go in,” added Washington.
About an hour after Gentry was arrested a judge signed a warrant allowing the SCSO SWAT team to enter the house.
“When we entered the residence we looked around pretty good and did not find anyone else in the residence,” added Washington. He added later by email that the house was in good condition with some clothes and cabinets inside.
Gentry told News Channel 3 Thursday afternoon that she would “deal with them” when asked what she would do when police came to arrest her.
Gentry was arrested last year for attempting to run over two Memphis Police officers.
As a sovereign citizen and with children seen inside the home, there was concern about how to end the situation peacefully.
“Always safety first because you don’t know what you are dealing with. Like you just said we’ve seen some evidence of some sovereign citizen’s activities in and around the country that have no fared well. So they are always looking at safety first,” added Washington.
Gentry is behind bars on a $ 2 million bond. She is charged with aggravated burglary, criminal trespass and theft of property over $60,000. Gentry is due in court Monday morning.
The 15-year-old was released into a family members custody.
A second juvenile is in DCS custody.
Neighbors were relieved to see the situation end peacefully.
“It’s so frightening that there is so many strange groups that feel like they have the right to impeded other people’s liberty and some cases other people’s lives,” said Iris Harkavy.