Denied free stuff, suspect trashes gas station
Detroit — A man walked into a west-side gas station demanding free merchandise, and when he didn’t get it he blew a gasket, police said.
The incident, captured on high-definition video, happened at 5:05 p.m. Tuesday in the BP gas station in the 18500 block of 7 Mile.
The station participates in the city’s Project Green Light initiative, in which businesses install lights and high-definition surveillance cameras that are hooked up to the Detroit Police Real-Time Crime Center, so there are images of the brief encounter.
“The man requested free items, and when the clerk told him he wasn’t going to get anything for free, he became irate and pulled down the snack rack,” Detroit Police Officer Nicole Kirkwood said.
The 23-second surveillance video released by police Friday shows two women in line watching as the man, clad in a black hoodie with the U.S. Army’s “Sapper” logo, and a red ball cap, points during an apparent argument with the clerk, who is off-camera. The man then pulls down the rack of confections.
After the snack rack toppled, the clerk activated the electric door lock in an attempt to keep the man inside the station to await police, Kirkwood said.
The video shows the man try to push open the door, but when it doesn’t budge, he takes 3 steps backward, pulls up his sagging pants and kicks it open with a single blow. The man appears to say one last thing to the clerk before walking away.
Police described the suspect as a black male between 25-30 years old, wearing a black hoodie, black pants, red ball cap and red sneakers.
Project Green Light was launched last year in an effort to quell violent crime at gas stations and other businesses. Since the effort began, dozens of gas stations, restaurants, stores and other businesses have signed up. Police say violent crime has been drastically reduced in and around the participating outlets.
Anyone with information about Tuesday’s incident is asked to call Detroit Police at (313) 596-5840; or Crime Stoppers of Michigan at (800) SPEAK UP (773-2587).