A white woman has been charged with felonious assault after pointing a gun at a black woman and her teenage daughter in Michigan in a disturbing viral video. Jillian Wuestenberg, 32 was charged alongside her husband, Eric Wuestenberg, 42.
The incident started when Mrs. Wuestenberg reportedly bumped into the 15-year-old black girl outside a Chipotle restaurant in Orion Township, Mich., on Wednesday.
The confrontation quickly escalated when the teenager, Makayla Green demanded an apology with Mrs. Wuestenberg becoming belligerent and began cursing out, the teen’s mother, Takelia Hill told The Detroit News.
“Before I could walk into Chipotle, this woman was coming out, and I had moved out the way so she can walk out,” Green told the paper. “She bumped me, and I said, ‘Excuse you.’ And then she started cussing me out and saying things like I was invading her personal space.”
Hills said she walked up to Mrs. Wuestenberg who was at that time shouting at her daughter. Amid the heated exchanges Mrs. Wuestenberg pointed a handgun at Hills and her daughter and told them to “get away”.
“You’re going to shoot me?” Hill asked.
Sheriff Michael Bouchard of Oakland County, Mich., announced at a news conference Thursday that Mrs. Wuestenberg and her husband would be facing felonious assault charges, which comes with a maximum penalty of four years in prison.
Bouchard said all necessary resources had been deployed to help gather all the information that could help them “investigate the totality of circumstances with all the facts.”
“There’s a lot of tension in our society,” Bouchard said. “People somehow are picking sides… We don’t see sides. We see facts. We are asking and expect our police, and rightfully so, to de-escalate every situation they possibly can,” he said.
“But I would also say that needs to happen with us individually, in our own lives, in situations that we interact with each other and de-escalate those moments. Remember, each one of us is a human being that deserves respect. Let’s treat each other like that,” he added.
Oakland County Executive David Coulter said: “This behavior is unacceptable. I wholly expect the prosecutor to bring charges that reflect the severity of the incident.”
State Sen. Rosemary Bayer, D-Beverly Hills also added that there was nothing acceptable about what happened in Orion Township last night at Chipotle. “It is abhorrent to think that some in this country have such a sense of self-righteousness and entitlement that the idea of pulling a gun out on an unarmed child and her mother is OK,” Bayer said in a statement.
Also, Oakland University in Michigan on Thursday fired Mr. Wuestenberg. He had been listed on the university’s website as a coordinator of veterans support services, The New York Times reported.
“We have seen the video and we deem his behavior unacceptable,” a university spokesman said in a statement. “The employee has been notified that his employment has been terminated by the university.”