Two children were forced to watch as military police put guns to the heads of their mother and grandmother and then handcuffed the women at a US Air Force Base in Ohio – all because police thought the vehicle was stolen. It wasn’t.
“I felt like I was in Mexico or some place third world,” the grandmother, Alice Hill of Columbus, Ohio, told The Dayton Daily News about the actions of US Air Force Police.
The incident Hill is describing took place outside the National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. Hill and her daughter-in-law, Wendy Hill, took Wendy’s two children there to see important artifacts of American history.
The Hills were pulling out of the museum parking lot in a Honda Odyssey minivan on April 4, when three police cars forced them off the road. Once the van was pulled over, police pointed guns at Wendy and Alice and made them get to their knees. The women claim that Wendy’s son Aaron, 8, and daughter Brooke, 5, were screaming the entire time as their mom and grandmother were handcuffed.
“First I thought they were going to shoot me,” Wendy Hill said. “Honestly I think my heart stopped. I didn’t know what was going to happen.”
‘Worst Day Of My Life’
“My eight-year-old grandson and his eyes are full of tears, and he said this is the worst day of my life,” Alice Hill told a Cincinnati TV station. The family stopped at the museum because Aaron wanted to see one of the Wright Brothers planes which is kept there.
“My five-year-daughter asked, ‘Is grandma is going to get shot?’” Wendy said.
Said Command Chief Master Sergeant Cassie Barlow, the officer in charge of security at the base, “All we can offer at this point is our apologies. And we’ve invited them to come out to the base and meet the security forces.”
Alice Hill said the police went overboard and that the police’s actions reminded her of scenes in movies in which bad guys shoot people in the head.
“I don’t feel that drawn gun was necessary,” she said.
Kids Were Looking At License Plates
The Air Police took the action against the Hill family because they received a tip that the family was looking in cars in the museum parking lot, a Cincinnati TV station, Channel 12, reported. As it turned out, the women and children were looking at different cars because they were fascinated by all the out-of-state license plates.
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“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 her grandson saying.
Their innocent and educational game ended up getting them stopped.
Said Barlow, “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.”
The base released a statement:
We sincerely regret the fact that their enjoyable day at the museum ended with this high-risk traffic stop. Had the vehicle not originally come back as stolen, this situation would have been resolved with a quick courtesy stop of the vehicle to clarify the initial report.
Wendy, though, said her children won’t forget the incident anytime soon.
“My son doesn’t trust police officers now; he views them as the bad guy,” she said.