Family suing Air Force base after being held at gunpoint during visit to museum


An Ohio family is suing Wright-Patterson Air Force Base security officers, after a 2014 incident in which they were cuffed and held at gunpoint, while visiting the National Air Force Museum.

The federal lawsuit claims the officers violated the family’s due process and their civil rights, when they conducted an “unreasonable search and seizure.”

The suit seeks $75,000 in damages and a jury trial- the Dayton Daily News reports.

“Four police officers, including three in military fatigues, drew guns on the Hills’ van as the Columbus family was leaving the museum parking lot in April 2014,” according to cleveland.com.

In 2014, Wendy Hill and her mother-in-law spoke to WHIO about the frightening ordeal.

Alice Hill told reporters that the drawn guns were not necessary at all. “The cuffs and being forced to the knees felt like I was in Mexico or  someplace third world…where they shoot you in the back of the head,” she said.

Wendy says the officers started treating the van as “hostile.” Her children — aged 8 and 5 — were inside at the time.

“This came out of the blue.. we didn’t do anything and they came out guns blazing .. I couldn’t hear their instructions,” she said.

Even on her knees with handcuffs on, Wendy says she was being restrained as the officers held her down. “Then they started calling to the  kids like that …I think my heart stopped,” she said.

The Air Force said it misidentified the Hills’ Honda Odyssey, as stolen after a 911 caller had reported a family possibly “casing visitor vehicles.”

Officials with the base are not commenting about the case as litigation is pending.

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  • Michele graduated with a B.S. in Telecommunication from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications. She has spent numerous years working in the news industry in south Florida, including many positions ranging from being a news writer at WSVN, the Fox affiliate in Miami to being an associate news producer at WPLG-TV, the ABC affiliate in Miami. Michele has also worked in Public Relations and Marketing.

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