Family Says They Were Roughed Up By Military Police - NBC4: Columbus, Ohio News, Weather, and Sports (WCMH-TV)

Family Says They Were Roughed Up By Military Police

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COLUMBUS, Ohio -

It was meant to be a quick spring break trip for a grandmother, her daughter-in-law, and her two grandchildren.

Their grandmother had taken the children and their mother to an Abe Lincoln home near Springfield, Illinois. On the way home, the family decided to stop by the United States Air Force Museum in Dayton.

Alice Hill said she and her family had a great day at the museum. As they were leaving, her 8-year-old grandson, Aaron, was fascinated by license plates in the parking lot from all over North America.

"He's looking at plates. There's Georgia, there's Ontario,” said Hill.

"Alaska, Mexico, Georgia," chimed in Aaron.

After walking through the parking lot, the family got into their van and headed for the exit. That’s when they were pulled over by police.

"We just assumed that we were there for a random traffic stop, you know we didn't know what we did, we didn't have any idea," said the children’s mother, Wendy Hill.

That is when, the family says, their great vacation became the worst day of their lives.

"She says they have their guns out and I turn around and look and I see the police standing there with guns drawn" said Wendy.

Three military police and one non-military police officer were behind them with an order: "Take the key turn the vehicle off take the key out of the ignition put it in my left hand put my right hand back on the roof drop the keys on the ground."

Alice says all she could see was a gun. She said she had no idea why she and her family had been stopped and why the officers pulled their weapons.

Wendy said her children, Aaron and his 5-year-old sister, Brooke, were screaming hysterically. “The kids saw the gun the kids saw the cuffs they saw everything."

"He says step out of the vehicle I step out of the vehicle he says turn away from me put your hands in the air and walk backwards to the sound of my voice" said Alice.

The officer ordered Alice onto her knees outside of the van. She said he placed his right hand on her shoulder, holding her down. They told Wendy to do the same, according to Alice.

"They cuffed me and then they took me back to the back of the police car and put me on my knees handcuffed, they brought Alice over and then one of the officers was behind us, at least one of the officers was behind us physically holding us down," said Wendy.

Alice said the officers then ordered Aaron to put his hands out the window. “I question if the kids had gotten out they would have run to us would they have shot them."

The whole ordeal lasted about an hour and a half before they were told they could go, according to Alice.

NBC4 is told the incident was a misunderstanding. There was a report of two people casing cars in the parking lot just before Alice and her family were stopped. That would have been Alice and her grandson looking at the license plates from all the states.

Wendy says the officers told her the van they were driving had been reported stolen. After she told officers she was the owner of the van, they blamed the FBI, saying the agency must have incorrectly typed the numbers into the system.

She says the officers also told her the vehicle identification number was close to one belonging to a stolen vehicle.

The family says the behavior was out of line.

NBC4 contacted the museum for comment, but we were told security procedures could not be discussed with the general public.

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