Jillian Wuestenberg, the woman who was charged with pulling a gun on a Black woman and her daughter during an intense exchange July 1 in Orion Township said she feared for her life during the incident that made headlines.
Wuestenberg sat next to her husband, Eric Wuestenberg, who also was seen in the viral video that carried accusations of racism, in an interview broadcast Thursday on WXYZ-TV (Channel 7). Jillian Wuestenberg shed tears as she described the confrontation with the Black family.
“This is not something we wanted at all,” said Wuestenberg in a 13-minute interview with WXYZ-TV reporter Jim Kiertzner.
“I didn’t understand how it escalated to where it escalated and I was afraid.”
The Detroit News was the first to report on the video and the confrontation on July 1.
Wuestenberg said in the interview that she didn’t think she was going home that day and that she thought she was “about to die.”
Wuestenberg, 32, and Eric, 34, who are white, were charged with one count of felonious assault, a four-year felony. The Clarkston couple each possessed a loaded firearm and CPL licenses. They were arraigned last week in 52-3 District Court in Rochester Hills. Both were given $50,000 personal bonds.
Takelia Hill, who is Black, said her 15-year-old daughter, Makayla Green, was bumped into by Jillian Wuestenberg before entering a Chipotle restaurant on Baldwin Road. The daughter said she asked the woman for an apology and said the woman began yelling at her.
“I have never seen myself as ignorant or racist. I … have a genuine love for every single person I meet,” said Wuestenberg. “There is so much hate in this world at this point in time and I don’t want a single person to feel what we’re feeling right now.”
An exchange with accusations of racism was caught on video outside an Oakland County Chipotle restaurant and shows an alleged confrontation between two parties The Detroit News
Wuestenberg said only about 40 seconds of the encounter was not captured on video. The rest of the encounter near Wuestenberg’s van was recorded by Makayla and shared on social media more than 12 million times.
As the two families argued about the alleged bump, the Wuestenbergs got back into their van. Hill said she thought the driver was going to hit them as the driver backed out of the parking space, so she hit the back window of the vehicle to stop it.
Wuestenberg jumped out and pulled a gun.
Oakland County Sheriff’s deputies arrived and placed Jillian Wuestenberg in handcuffs and confiscated the weapon.
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