Town Residents Hit by Tornado Chase Away Westboro Protestors

Barbara Boland
By Barbara Boland | April 8, 2014 | 10:51 AM EDT

The members of Westboro Baptist Church made their fourth visit to Moore, Okla. to hold a protest in the tornado-ravaged town - but, this time, local residents were ready for them.

Westboro Baptist Church believes that God sent a tornado to Moore as punishment for America's tolerance of homosexuality. They received a permit to picket for half an hour outside the school which housed last year's student-victims of a deadly tornado.

KFOR News reported:

Amanda Eccles said, "It's just sickening. You know, it's just innocent kids that lost lives and it's sickening for them to even think that way."

Kristy Hensley said, "They're judging us because they think that, you know, we deserve what we got you know. But you know, their judgement day will come."

Westboro's permit to picket was for half an hour.

Only eight minutes after the church members arrived with their signs, Moore residents crossed the picket line.

"I was afraid of a riot really. I didn't know how long Westboro would stay, which they were smart to leave," Dan Eccles told KFOR.

While police held back Moore residents, the Westboro church members grabbed their signs and rushed back to their cars.

Dan Eccles said, "They shagged tail, got in them cars and was leaving in a hurry. Oh yeah, they was gone!"

"I thought it was hilarious. I mean I really did. We sat there and laughed the whole time," said Tina Johnson. "They were running, yeah."

"I think it's just impressive how Moore comes together as a family and stands for their town," Amanda Eccles said.

This isn't the first time citizens have banded together to rebuff Westboro protestors. Motorcyclists have blocked Westboro Baptist Church protestors in Newtown and at military funerals.