After her husband was spotted burning a cross and wearing Ku Klux Klan garb on Halloween night, an Oklahoma mayor said the spectacle was simply a “prank gone bad.”
Cary Kent Sharp, 47, was among a group of men found dressed in white robes and hoods around a bonfire when a Lahoma, Okla. resident called police to report the incident at about 10:20 p.m. Saturday, the Enid News reported.
Lahoma mayor Theresa Sharp later apologized for her husband’s actions, telling the paper “it was a prank gone bad.” The mayor said she was out trick-or-treating with her son when the incident occurred, and does not condone the actions.
“I just don’t condone it regardless of who it is – whether that’s my husband or Joe Smith around the corner,” Theresa Sharp said. “It’s not anything that I think needs to be represented for our community at all.”
Police told the men “the activity was in poor taste” and asked them to stop, Garfield County Sheriff Jerry Niles wrote in a statement on Facebook. Because the fire was legal and the men were drinking on private property, the men weren’t breaking the law, and no arrests were made, Niles said.
“It was done in very, very poor taste,” Niles told the paper. “It brings up bad images of things that 99.9 percent of Americans, especially Oklahomans, are adamantly against. We’re all Americans, born and raised here, and we have a responsibility to honor the Constitution and the rights of others and feelings of others.”
Gardfield County Deputy Aaron Moore, who responded to the call, wrote in a police report that he told the group that “although I know it was a joke that they save them and myself anymore headaches to not burn anymore crosses.”
The sheriff also said the cross was not actually burned, despite photos circulated on social media that appear to show a large wooden cross and flames.
Cary Sharp, the mayor’s husband, said he was drinking with friends when they decided it would be funny to cut holes in sheets and impersonate members of the hate group.
“This is ridiculous, really,” Sharp told the News. “It was a Halloween night.”