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Michigan Couple Should Not Have Been Charged in Chipotle Parking Lot Incident, Attorney Says

A white woman and her husband are facing criminal charges after she was captured on video pulling a handgun on a black woman and her daughters during a heated confrontation outside of a Chipotle in Lake Orion, Michigan, last week. A viral video shows the pregnant woman brandishing the weapon after Takelia Hill and her teenage daughters verbally abused her for several minutes, tried to block her from getting into her car, and after Hill banged on the vehicle as the couple tried to leave.

Jillian Wuestenberg, 32, and Eric Wuestenberg, 42, were arrested after the July 1 incident and charged with felonious assault.

Mr. Wuestenberg was also reportedly armed during the altercation, but his gun is not seen in the video footage. The Wuestenbergs are both current Concealed Pistol License holders, according to the Oakland County Sheriff’s office.

The couple were released on a $50,000 personal bond after turning over all of their firearms and promising not to engage in any additional “assaultive behavior.”  Additionally, Mr. Wuestenberg lost his job as the coordinator of Oakland University’s veterans support services.

The couple’s attorney, Dean Greenblatt, told American Greatness that his clients have also been subjected to threats since the altercation in the Chipotle parking lot.

Takelia Hill and her daughters were not charged.

Full video of the confrontation shows Mrs. Wuestenberg being loudly and angrily assailed by Hill, her 15-year-old daughter, Makayla Green, and Mckiyah Dezeray Green. Wuestenberg claims the group blocked her from getting into her car, which was in a handicapped parking spot due to her husband’s disability.

At the beginning of the video, Hill can be heard fuming that Wuestenberg bumped into her daughter and that she “needs to apologize.” Mrs. Wuestenberg has no recollection of bumping into Green, according to her attorney.

“This ignorant woman bumped into a 15-year-old!” one of the teens hollers. The teen repeatedly calls Wuestenberg “ignorant” throughout the video.

Besieged and blocked by the angry women, Mrs. Wuestenberg calmly says, “call the police.”

“You’re blocking me from getting into my car,” she adds.

“No we aren’t! You’re ignorant!” the teen with the phone cries in reply. After Mrs. Hill accuses Wuestenberg of “violating a 15-year-old,” the teen again cries “she’s ignorant!”

The video shows Hill continuing to hound the couple near the passenger door of the vehicle as Mr. Wuestenberg opens the door for his wife. After Mrs. Wuestenberg says something about calling the police, Hill hollers “do it bitch! I want you to call the police!”

“She’s very ignorant!” the teen with the phone hollers yet again.

“Dumb-ass bitch!” cries the mother.

Turning to Mr. Wuestenberg, Hill says, “yeah I said it and if you say anything about it I’ll beat your white ass too!”

Hill’s daughters joined their mother in verbally abusing the man.

Having had enough, Mr. Wuestenberg turned to them and said, “who the f—k do you think you guys are?!” prompting even louder shrieks from the Hill clan.

“Who do you and your wife think they are?!” one of the teens screams.

“You’re calling her names—she did nothing to you!” the frustrated man exclaims.

“You’re very racist and ignorant!” the teen behind the camera phone cries.

At this point, Mrs. Wuestenberg rolls down the window and tells the Hills that they “can’t just walk around calling white people racists.”

“This is not that type of world,” she says. “White people aren’t racists!”

“Why did you bump her? Why did you bump her? Why did you bump her? Mrs. Hill demands repeatedly.

While Hill continues to perseverate, Mrs. Wuestenberg says “No one’s racist! I care about you! I’m sorry if you’ve had an incident that has made you feel like that.”

“Why didn’t you say you were sorry?!” Hill demands.

“I’m sorry if you’ve had something like that happen,” Wuestenberg says, rolling up the window.

“Ignorant!” the girl with the phone seethes as Mrs. Hill makes her way toward the back of the car.

Hill got behind the vehicle as Mr. Wuestenberg was trying to pull out, and then started banging angrily on the couple’s car.

“I’ll beat your f–king ass!” she shrieks.

At this point, Mrs. Wuestenberg departs the vehicle brandishing a handgun.

“Get the f—k away from me!” she cries. “Get the f—k away!”

The teen continues to record as Mrs. Wuestenberg points the gun at the group and tells them to “get the f—k away.”

“Call the cops!” one of the teens cries.

According to Greenblatt, there were more people involved in the altercation than can be seen in the video.

“A number of people were approaching (the Wuestenberg vehicle) behind the mother and daughter with the camera phone,” he told WWJ News.

The attorney estimated that between five and eight people were part of the Hill group.

“All those people, combined with the mother that threatened (the Wuestenbergs), created a sense of fear,” he said. “Mrs. Wuestenberg feared for herself. She also feared for her husband.”

Hill accused Mr. Wuestenberg of trying to run her over, but Greenblatt says the evidence shows otherwise since the unhinged woman banged on the car repeatedly.

“Not once, to alert someone she was back there, but repeatedly,” Greenblatt said. “There are five separate handprints on the car.”

Greenblatt told WWJ News that Mrs. Wuestenberg took the action she did to defend her husband.

“She feared for his safety. She feared her own safety, which is quite clear from the video. If you watch the video, you can see Mrs. Wuestenberg is scared to death,” Greenblatt said. “After she drew her weapon, she was backing up and she was informing – in no uncertain terms – the people that had the camera phones to stop and back up … but they continued to approach her, even as Mrs. Wuestenberg was backing up.”

Moreover, Greenblatt told American Greatness Tuesday evening that he found out from the prosecution through discovery that both Hill and her daughter Mckiyah at one point “struck the window of the Wuestenberg’s minivan.”

The Oakland County Sheriff’s office put out a statement saying that “preliminary findings have shown this began over one of the parties bumping into the other while entering and exiting Chipotle.”

Greenblatt told American Greatness that Jillian Wuestenberg has no recollection of bumping into anyone.

“Jillian was carrying two large carryout bags in her left hand when exiting through a single operating door at the restaurant,” he explained in an email. “The teenager was to Jillian’s left. Jillian has no idea if one of the bags could have contacted the teen. Certainly, Jillian did not contact the teen.”

According to Greenblatt, Mrs. Wuestenberg  had picked up a “to-go” order at the Chipotle restaurant and was exiting while the teen was entering.

“There were two doors to the restaurant, but only one was operating at the time,” he explained. “The second door was locked, forcing all patrons to enter and exit through the single door.”

Greenblatt noted that the whole dust-up would have been avoided had Takelia Hill and her daughters followed basic rules of civility.

“Common courtesy requires those wishing to enter a building to yield to those exiting,” he said. “But common courtesy was the last thing on the minds of Makayla Green or Takelia Hill.”

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said in a statement that both sides said they felt “threatened” but the video shows only one side engaging in threatening behavior until Mrs. Wuestenberg finally snapped and exited the vehicle with the gun.

American Greatness contacted Bouchard to ask why Takelia Hill was not charged for banging on the Wuestenbergs’ car.

“After conducting the investigation, it was turned over to the Prosecutor’s Office who makes the decision on who gets charged,” the sheriff replied. Bouchard stressed that it was up to the prosecutor to decide on charges, not the Sheriff.

“Our investigation presented the interviews and evidence from both parties,” he told American Greatness in an email.

“At the time of the incident, there were many conflicting reports as to who the aggressor was, which is why no one was arrested at the scene, because we needed to gather more evidence, conduct interviews, etc.,” Bouchard said. “Once we completed the report and had as much evidence as had been given by bystanders and members of the public, it was turned over for review of both parties actions by the Prosecutor. At the time, they made the decision to issue charges only against the one party. Once a Prosecutor issues a warrant for any party, we are Constitutionally obligated to enforce the active warrant,” he explained, stressing again, “charging decisions are not made by the Sheriff.”

Greenblatt was not optimistic when asked if he thinks Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper would drop the charges against the couple.

“I do not expect this prosecutor to drop any charges now,” he replied. “I do not believe that the charges should have been brought in the first place.”

He added: “However, co-counsel Terry Johnson and I will provide both Eric and Jillian the best possible defense against the unwarranted charges that we are capable of providing.”

In addition to losing his job at Oakland University, Mr. Wuestenberg was kicked off of several veterans advisory boards, Greenblatt said in a statement regarding financial contributions in support of the couple.

Eric is a combat-wounded veteran that has given much of his physical health in service to our Country. The Wuestenbergs do not have much in the way of economic resources and now Eric has lost his sole source of income.

A legal defense fund that was established for the Wuestenbergs had raised almost $12,000 as of Monday evening.