The wife of the founder of Oath Keepers, a right wing anti-government militia group, alleged that he was abusive and violent in a petition for a temporary restraining order filed last month.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, which flagged Tosha Vonn Adams Rhodes’s petition Thursday, noted that her request was denied and no hearing was scheduled.
In the hand-written petition, Vonn Adams Rhodes alleged her husband Stewart Rhodes has in the past waved his gun around, and pointed it at his own head and through the car door at their neighbors’ home when he drove by it, “despite the fact that some of our children are often in and out of their house.”
She recently filed for a divorce, she said, and was “terrified of his response.”
She described one incident in which Rhodes waved his gun around in 2016, “each time increasing the threat level to me, by waving the gun around a little more each time before claiming he was suicidal.”
“Whenever the respondent is unhappy with my behavior (say I want to leave the house — he doesn’t like me to leave) he will draw his handgun (which he always wears), rack the slide, wave it around, and then point it at his own head, telling me my behavior has caused this,” Vonn Adams Rhodes wrote.
At one point in the summer of 2016, she wrote, Rhodes “grabbed my teenage daughter by the throat until stopped by my son.”
Vonn Adams Rhodes noted that while her husband’s rifles are “stored with a friend,” he likely has handguns and “several knives” on his person.
The Oath Keepers most recently made headlines when Rhodes called on members to serve as armed security guards at schools following the Valentines’ Day mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
“What I tell our people is don’t ask for permission,” he told TPM in an interview on the proposal. “Let ‘em know what you’re doing and be as friendly as you can. But this is the reality we’re in right now.”
Rhodes previously called on Oath Keepers to patrol polling locations on Election Day in 2016. The group was an armed presence during the 2014 standoff between the Bureau of Land Management and rancher Cliven Bundy, and during the protests in Ferguson, Missouri following the police killing of Mike Brown.
They have law enforcement officers among their members, as well: In 2o16, a police officer in Maryland was suspended over a photograph of an Oath Keepers hat prominently displayed in his cruiser.
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