'3 years of sheer hell': Attorney talks client's relief after woman who drew gun in dispute has case dropped

It was July of 2020 that the video went viral of Jillian Wuestenberg and her husband Eric seen together as she pointed a weapon during an altercation with a woman and her then-15-year-old daughter in the parking lot of an Orion Township restaurant.

The couple had been charged with felonious assault. But on Monday, nearly three years later, the judge dismissed the case without prejudice.

"The charges were dismissed because the complaining witness chose not to appear in court," said Cyril Hall, the attorney for the mother and teen who had the gun pulled on them. 

The heated scene was a result of Wuestenberg allegedly bumping into the teen as they were entering a restaurant.  Oakland County Sheriff MIchael Bouchard said someone felt they needed an apology and "it escalated from there." He said it was unclear who the aggressors were.

The Wuestenbergs said they felt threatened as the altercation escalated.

The mother who does not want to be identified explained why she chose not to testify.

"I feared for me and my children's life," she said. "We received a lot of backlash and hate mail behind this incident so as a mother, I was trying to protect me and my children."

Jillian Wuestenberg's attorney Terry Johnson spoke about the relief his client experienced.

"One point they are very relieved, they literally just broke down crying once the charges were dismissed against them," said Terry Johnson  "This has been almost three years of sheer hell for them."

Johnson makes it clear his client will likely continue to pay a hefty price for the incident because now she and her husband have been called racists which they deny.

After the incident, Eric Wuestenberg, a disabled veteran, lost his job at Oakland University as coordinator for Veteran Support Services, while Jillian said she had lost her job at Hallmark.

"Allegedly her daughter was bumped," Johnson said. "(The Black woman) was the one who made the ethnic intimidation threats and she said, and I quote, 'I will beat your white a**.'"

But was the incident enough to lead someone to pull out and point a gun in self-defense and were the charges by former prosecutor Jessica Cooper too lenient, is something Hall brought up.

"In my mind I believe if the African-American would have pulled out the gun they would have been charged with the maximum pursuit to the law which would have been the possession of a firearm and commission of a felony as well as felonious assault," said Hall.

Both Wuestenbergs were holding loaded guns and both had legal Concealed Pistol Licenses (CPLs) when police arrived.

But Johnson says this case is not about Black and white - and in fact, the alleged victim is bringing forth a civil lawsuit against his client for monetary damages.

"We have another group of people that really acted- I’ll just say it - acted like thugs," Johnson said. "They wanted money and that’s what they did.

"The only color this is about is green, not black and white."