Sheriff: Couple arrested, charged in Orion Township parking lot altercation caught on video

2 charged with felonious assault

A woman was caught brandishing a weapon in a video that has since gone viral. The video captures an altercation that took place in Orion Township on July 1, 2020. Photo is a screenshot of a public Twitter post containing a video of the incident. (Twitter user "@makaysmith10")

ORION TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Two people are charged in connection to an altercation Wednesday at a Chipotle parking lot in Orion Township.

A video first shared on Twitter and another video uploaded to YouTube show what appears to be three women in a verbal altercation with another woman and her husband. At one point a woman pulls out a handgun and points it at the other women -- a mother and her two daughters.

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard held a news conference Thursday afternoon to address the case. He shared the videos and six different 911 calls. Bouchard said two people -- the driver and passenger of the minivan shown in the videos -- were arrested and are facing felonious assault charges, a four-year felony. They remained in custody Thursday and were expected to be arraigned in the afternoon.

They were both armed with handguns and both of them had concealed pistol licenses (CPL), the Sheriff said.

Bouchard explained the mother and her two daughters are the ones shown on the videos outside of the vehicle. They were not armed. The woman and man inside the vehicle are married, the Sheriff said.

“There was a bump as they entered and exited (the restaurant),” Bouchard said.

The Sheriff said that prompted the altercation, with the woman denying there was any bump or any contact. Bouchard said responding deputies got very different stories about what happened from the two parties.

“Everything that we learned we presented to the prosecutor,” said the Sheriff.

Bouchard explained the use of a weapon is what can lead to a felonious assault charge.

“If there was no weapon, if it was all finger-pointing, then there wouldn’t be a felonious assault charge,” he said.

You can watch the video from YouTube below -- warning: There is explicit language.

It appears that the argument ensued after a woman allegedly bumped into a 15-year-old girl while entering a business.

The video, apparently recorded by the 15-year-old girl, shows the girl’s mother demanding an apology from the woman who allegedly bumped into her daughter.

The verbal altercation ensued as the mother called the woman in question a racist, and the woman can be heard defending herself. The woman repeatedly told the mother and daughter that they could call the police, which they responded that they would.

The woman then entered her vehicle and her husband briefly continued the verbal altercation with the mother and daughter outside of the vehicle. When both the man and woman were inside the vehicle, the argument escalated into a shouting match.

The husband and wife rolled up their windows and began to pull away in their vehicle, but the mother was walking behind the vehicle in the parking lot at the same moment. The mother can be heard yelling, “Are you going to f---ing hit me?” The mother can then be seen hitting the back end of the couple’s vehicle.

The couple then exits the vehicle and the woman can be seen drawing a gun and pointing it at the others. The man and woman repeatedly yelled at the others to “Get the f--- away.”

According to the video, it appears that the woman pointed the weapon at the group for about one minute. During that time, the mother captured on video the woman pointing a gun at her.

The verbal altercation continued while the woman pointed the weapon at the group. The mother can be seen arguing and questioning the woman, while the daughter recording the first video can be heard saying “call the police” to an unknown person present during the incident.

About 20 seconds before the woman lowers the weapon and retreats to her vehicle, the verbal altercation again escalates and the woman with the gun continues to scream at the others to “back up.” Crying can be heard from behind the camera and the daughter recording the first video can be heard yelling at the mother to “stop moving”.

The woman’s husband can be heard telling her to get back in the vehicle. The woman then lowered her weapon and got into the vehicle and the pair drove away.

At this point it appears that a number of bystanders were also present at the scene. The girl recording the first video can be heard explaining the situation to others, saying the couple “pulled a gun on my mama,” and “these White people, they’re so racist.”

Oakland County Executive David Coulter issued a statement Thursday regarding Wednesday’s incident.

“I am deeply disturbed by an incident last night where a woman pointed a cocked gun at another woman during an argument. This behavior is unacceptable,” Coulter said. “I wholly expect the prosecutor to bring charges that reflect the severity of the incident.”

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About the Authors:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.