Jillian and Eric Wuestenberg are facing felonious assault charges following an altercation in the Orion Township, Michigan, in which a gun was pulled on a Black woman and her daughters. The incident occurred on July 1 about 6 p.m.
According to Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard, the case was investigated by his office on July 2 and presented to the local prosecutor’s office. After prosecutors reviewed the investigation, both the driver and the passenger, the woman who was armed with the gun, have been arrested and charged with felony assault. The charge carries a potential sentence of up to 4 years in prison, Bouchard said. According to Bouchard, the man and woman, who are husband and wife, have not been arraigned, so he did not release their names. He said they were expected to be arraigned July 2, but were in custody pending that court appearance.
The suspects were later named by the prosecutor’s office as Jillian Wuestenberg, 32, and Eric Wuestenberg, 42, of Clarkston, Michigan. The Detroit News had earlier reported that Jill Wuestenberg had been taken into custody in the immediate aftermath of the incident.
Jillian Wuestenberg Has Been Referred to as ‘Another Karen’
In the video, Jill Wuestenberg can be heard telling Takelia Hill, and her daughter, Makayla Green, 15, “You can’t just walking around calling people racist.” A widely shared version of the video was shared by Green’s aunt, Makay Smith, who described the video on her Twitter page as showing “another Karen.” The version of that video was viewed more than 6 million times.
Makay Smith later wrote on her Twitter page saying that the woman in the video was taken into custody. Smith later said that the woman was “let go” but that the police took her guns away. Makay Smith went on, “They said they couldn’t arrest her because my niece mother hit there car (with her hand ) to stop them from hitting my niece!!! Justice needs to be served! This is white privilege.”
Takelia Hill said in a now-deleted Facebook post about the incident, “So this is America….I’ve never in my life had a gun pulled out on me let alone two and while I had my three daughters I’ve never felt so helpless in my life I’m so shaken up.”
Eric Wuestenberg, an Air Force Veteran, Has Been Fired From His Job at Oakland University
The Huffington Post’s Philip Lewis tweeted that Eric Wuestenberg had been fired from his job at Oakland University following the charges. Eric Wuestenberg’s profile has been deleted from the school’s website. A cached version of that page shows that he previously worked as the school’s coordinator of veteran support services. Oakland University is located in Rochester, Michigan.
Eric Wuestenberg’s name still appears on the roster of the Consortium of Michigan Veterans Educators. A statement from Oakland University, via The Detroit News, reads, “We have seen the video and we deem his behavior unacceptable. The employee has been notified that his employment has been terminated by the university.”
According to his LinkedIn profile, Eric Wuestenberg served in the U.S. Air Force from 1995 to 2009 as a munitions systems specialist. He is originally from Michigan and graduated from Warren Mott High School in Warren in 1995. He studied business management and business administration at the University of North Texas after his time in the Air Force, according to his LinkedIn.
The Couple Deleted Most of Their Social Media, but a Deleted Tweet Shows They Were Involved in an Incident With Employees at a Grocery Store in 2019
Facebook pages that appear to belong to Jillian and Eric Wuestenberg have both been deleted. A Pinterest page for Jillian Wuestenberg remains online. That page gives her location as Clarkston, Michigan. One of the posts on that page is a meme that reads, “Sometimes in life, your situation will keep repeating itself until you learn your lesson.”
Eric Wuestenberg also deleted his Twitter account. A search of conversations involving his handle see him make complaints to companies such as Sam’s Club, McDonald’s and Sprint. In July 2019, Eric Wuestenberg made a complaint against Meijer, a Michigan-based superstore. A woman who was present when Eric and Jillian Wuestenberg had a dispute told Heavy that the couple was unhappy with how long it was taking at the checkout. The woman told Heavy via email that Eric Wuestenberg “started screaming for them to open more lanes and to open the self-checkout.” The woman said that Jillian Wuestenberg “had her phone out and was filming the workers that were changing the drawers, yelling at them.”
The witness told Heavy that she said something to the couple that was in defense of the employees. The witness said that, “The woman was yelling back, completely irrational.” The witness
They both had their phones out along pictures and video. So one of the supervisors came over and offered to check them out at the customer service desk. The whole way to the service desk they continued to yell. In the end, they finished checking out the same time they would have, had they just waited in line. They were saying that they were calling corporate, people going to be fired, etc. So I figured they were going to go online and post their video. Of course, they did and tried to say the employees were rude or whatever, but it wasn’t true.
The witness added, “That’s crazy it’s the same people. I saw that video yesterday. I’m sure there’s a million stories of them being complete a******s to people. They were so extremely disrespectful to the Meijer employees.”
On LinkedIn, Eric Wuestenberg Says He Volunteers for former Republican Congressman Mike Bishop
According to Wuestenberg’s LinkedIn page, he volunteers for Michigan Republican Congressman Mike Bishop. Eric Wuestenberg says on his page that worked on Bishop’s Michigan Veterans Advisory Council. Bishop served Michigan’s 8th congressional district between 2015 and 2019.
On his LinkedIn profile, Eric Wuestenberg says that he began working at Oakland University in June 2017. In his bio, Eric Wuestenberg refers to himself as a “Experienced Veterans Support Services Coordinator with a demonstrated history of working in the higher education industry.”
He also has been a mentor with Veterati, an organization that helps to support members of the military community as they pursue careers outside of the armed services. He wrote on LinkedIn, “Veterati is an innovative mentorship platform that makes being a mentor and finding mentors effortless. Connecting job-seekers to mentors at scale is phase 1 of Veterati’s greater mission: to transform job search from a painful experience into an inspiring journey.”