Friday, July 10, 2020 1:39 PM EST
By The Associated Press, AP
A white woman who was charged after she was captured on video pulling a handgun on an unarmed Black woman and her daughters outside of a Michigan restaurant says she feared for her life.
Jillian Wuestenberg, 32, and her husband, Eric Wuestenberg, 42, have been charged with felonious assault stemming from the July 1 confrontation.
Cellphone video captured the confrontation outside of a Chipotle restaurant in Orion Township, about 40 miles (64 kilometers) northwest of Detroit. Jillian Wuestenberg can be seen outside her vehicle shouting, “Get the (expletive) away! Get away!” while pointing a handgun. She eventually gets back into her vehicle, which her husband drives away.
Takelia Hill, who is Black, has said the confrontation started when Jillian Wuestenberg bumped into Hill’s teenage daughter as they were entering the restaurant.
Jillian Wuestenberg told Detroit television station WXYZ on Thursday that she was fearful when the Hill family members blocked her from getting into her vehicle and then banged on the back of it.
“Within moments, a second or two, I had multiple people within two feet of me and I just remember thinking I’m not going home tonight," Wuestenberg said.
She was asked what she meant to do when the video shows her loading a round into the chamber of her handgun and pointing it at the Hill family.
“That meant I’m about to die and I don’t want to die,” Wuestenberg said.
Christopher Quinn, an attorney for Takelia Hill, declined to allow her to be interviewed Friday by The Associated Press because the court proceedings are pending.
Quinn said the cellphone video taken by Hill does not show that the Wuestenbergs' lives were threatened by Hill and her daughters, who were unarmed.
“There was no threat of using a weapon or physical force against (the Wuestenbergs),” Quinn said. “They were in a position to leave the situation. They knew they had their firearms. They came out like Bonnie and Clyde and showed Ms. Hill and her daughters who were in charge.”
Dean Greenblatt, an attorney for the Wuestenbergs, told WXYZ that he believed the Hills should also face charges for escalating the confrontation.
“They were trapped in their vehicle and there was more than just one person banging on that vehicle," Greenblatt said.