Charges against a White couple stemming from a 2020 incident in which one of them drew a weapon on a Black woman and her teenage daughter outside a Michigan restaurant were dropped, authorities said.
A trial had been set for Monday for Eric Wuestenberg, 44, and 34-year-old Jillian Wuestenberg. Oakland County Judge Mary Ellen Brennan dismissed the charges after the alleged victims didn’t show up to provide witness testimony.
Both were charged with felonious assault. The July 2020 incident occurred in the parking lot of a Chipotle restaurant in Orion Township, Fox Detroit reported.
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The heated exchange stemmed from when Jillian Wuestenberg allegedly bumped into the then 15-year-old teenage girl as they were entering the restaurant. Takelia Hill, who is Black, told the Detroit Free Press that her daughter asked Wuestenberg to apologize.
The dispute escalated from there and a firearm was drawn.
“So this is America,” Hill wrote on Facebook afterward. “I’ve never in my life had a gun pulled out on me. … I’ve never felt so helpless in my life I’m so shaken up.”
A video of the exchange shows an armed woman pointing a handgun at the mother while yelling “back the f–k up!” Jillian Wuestenberg said she feared for her safety.
“They were blocking the entrance to the car, I had a railing behind me,” she said, according to the news report. “I was trapped, I couldn’t go anywhere. I was being yelled at, berated, called a racist and ignorant and I was trapped.”
Eric Wuestenberg said he got out of his car to help his wife get inside. They tried to back up and leave but the car’s automatic braking system suddenly stopped and at least one of the women was banging on the car,” he said.
“At that point I realized we’re not going home tonight, we’re not going to see another day, and the only thing I can do is protect myself and I draw my firearm,” Jillian Wuestenberg said.
The pair both lost their jobs as a result of the incident and received numerous death threats after video of the encounter went viral.