LOCAL 12 - Search Results
Family Held at Gunpoint after Visit to WPAFB Museum
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio (Derek Drake) -- What should have been a fun day at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force turned into a nightmare for a Columbus, Ohio family who was pulled over and held at gunpoint while leaving the public-accessible portion of the base.
The incident happened on Friday, April 4, 2014 and continues to haunt the family's thoughts as they try to process exactly what happened.
They say that being held at gunpoint and put in handcuffs was excessive behavior, but the base says they were following their procedures.
"I'm looking at my 8-year-old grandson," said Alice Hill, who was driving the car at the time they were pulled over. "His eyes are full of tears and he says 'this is the worst day of my life.'"
Hill explained the family visited the museum while the kids were on spring break. Hill's grandson was studying the Wright Brothers in school and he wanted to see the plane that is on display at the museum.
Hill said she and her grandson, Aaron, were playing a common road trip game while walking in the museum parking lot. The game was to find all of the out-of-state license plates.
"He's very excited, 'Look at where all of these people have come from. They're from Alaska, from New Mexico, they're from Georgia,'" Alice recalled Aaron saying while they were playing in the parking lot.
But on their way out of the museum, the family van was pulled over.
"I'm looking in my side view mirror and I see him step out of his vehicle," Hill described. "(He's) behind his door with his gun drawn pointing it at me."
She and her daughter-in-law, front passenger Wendy Hill, were taken from of the car at gunpoint, put in handcuffs, and placed into the back of the police cruiser.
"My grandchildren are screaming," Alice recalled. "I mean they are hysterical, they saw the gun."
"My 5-year-old daughter is asking, 'Is grandma going to get shot?'" Wendy said.
Hours later, the Hill family was told someone called 911 and reported that they had witnessed the family burglarizing cars in the museum parking lot.
Alice said the officer told them, while they were detained, that the plates on their vehicle were stolen, which baffled the grandmother.
"Our security force, based on limited information, made a high-risk traffic stop and believed that this vehicle was stolen based on the information they received," said CC Cassie Barlow, 88th Airbase Wing Commander at Wright-Patterson AFB.
"All we can do at this point is offer our apology to the Hills," she added. "And we've invited them to come out to the base and meet the security forces."
But the Hill family still feels vulnerable, and questions why this happened to them, or at all.
"My son doesn't trust police officers now," Wendy Hill said. "He views them as the bad guy."
Information from WKRC sister station WKEF-TV, Dayton, Ohio.
Follow us on Twitter @Local12 and LIKE us on Facebook for more updates.