The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is a yearly tradition for the Cody family.
"For the most part, we always try and go," John Cody, a Houston firefighter and Army veteran, told Houston Chronicle.
But that tradition turned into what the Codys called a "hellish nightmare" on March 17. The family posted about it on Facebook, and the story went viral.
While at the rodeo, Maricruz Cody and her teen daughter were shopping for jewelry. Maricruz had bought a necklace for $75, and was looking for earrings to wear with it.
"And I picked up a pair and I turned them over to look at the price, and I put them back," Maricruz told KHOU (video below).
An unidentified witness told the jewelry vendor that Maricruz and her 15-year-old daughter had stolen the earrings. Maricruz was confronted by the vendor, pointed to the earrings that she had put back, but the vendor claimed those were not the ones she had tried on.
Maricruz and her daughter went to meet John and two other daughters at some bathrooms.
"A female deputy comes up to me and she just kind of grabs me by my arm and says, 'You're coming with me,'" Maricruz recalled.
The deputy walked Maricruz to security, and threatened to use a stun gun on her. Another officer went into the bathroom to take the 15-year-old into custody with handcuffs. John was also handcuffed because he was upset.
The Cody's two younger daughters, 8 and 11, were taken to an area of the rodeo for missing children.
The family was questioned, but no stolen jewelry was ever found. The family plans to file a complaint with the Harris County Sheriff's office.
"I'm still confused," Maricruz added. "I still can't believe that this happened to us. But I've got to wonder if it had to do with our appearance."
Several officers apologized for the incident, although the female deputy did not, and the told the Codys they could come back, but added that they were banned from the NRG Center, which is where the vendors are, noted Houston Chronicle.
The rodeo released a statement that said in part:
"We want to extend our apologies to the Cody family for the problems they encountered as Show guests, and are reaching out to them to help us resolve this situation. They will be offered a day of hospitality here at the Show, including rodeo and carnival tickets."
The Cody family says it won't be back.