A sheriff in Michigan announced Thursday that felonious assault charges will be filed against a couple one day after a video showed the wife pointing her gun at a black woman during a confrontation in a Chipotle parking lot.
The video shows a black mother and daughter getting into an argument with the white woman, identified as Jillian Wuestenberg, 32, outside of a Chipotle on Wednesday in Orion Township, a town in exurban Detroit. The argument quickly escalated and expletives were exchanged as Jillian Wuestenberg held a gun to the mother and told her to “get away.”
The charges against Jillian Wuestenberg and her husband, Eric Wuestenberg, 42, were announced by Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard during a news conference Thursday, The New York Times reported. Felonious assault carries a maximum sentence of four years, according to Bouchard.
“Any weapon that could cause serious and potentially deadly injury can be charged as a felonious assault,” Bouchard said.
The incident began when one woman held the door open for Jillian Wuestenberg, but insisted on an apology after she bumped into her, Bouchard said, according to the New York Times.
“One person said they didn’t realize they had bumped the other person with the food bag, and the other person felt they needed to get an apology. Then it escalated from there.”
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The incident comes as nationwide protests sparked by the death of George Floyd have continued for nearly six weeks. Bouchard urged members of the public to try and diffuse situations like these at a time when many Americans are on edge due to the protests and the worsening coronavirus pandemic, The New York Times reported. (RELATED: Arizona ‘Karen’ Shoves Woman, Says Go Back To Mexico, Gets Slapped)
“My plea is, please let us all try to be that voice of calm in the storm, and remember each one of us is a human being that deserves respect,” Bouchard said during the conference.
The Daily Caller News Foundation did not receive an immediate response from Jillian or Eric Wuestenberg.
Oakland University fired Eric Wuestenberg from his staff position Thursday, a spokesman said in a statement to ABC News affiliate WXYZ. He is no longer listed as an employee on the university’s staff directory.
The altercation was first reported by The Detroit News, which posted two videos of the incident.
The video shows the mother, identified as Takelia Hill, accusing Jillian Wuestenberg of being racist and ignorant.
After a tense back-and-forth, Jillian Wuestenberg returned to her car with her husband, the video shows. The video continues but does not show the car as it attempts to back out of the space. The video then refocuses on Hill, who accused the couple of trying to hit her and her daughter.
Jillian Wuestenberg exited the car, cocked her handgun and pointed it at Hill, ordering her to “get away,” according to the video.
Once officers arrived at the scene they ordered Jillian Wuestenberg out of her van, arrested her and confiscated her gun, Bouchard said, according to The New York Times.
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