Pittsburgh, PA – Protesters have shut down a gas station where owners and employees brawled with two female customers on Friday as bystanders stood by and watched (video below).
Police said they responded to a call from the Exxon gas station located at the corner of Marshal Avenue and Brighton Road just after 6:45 p.m. on Sept. 20 for a report of a fight between the gas station owners and patrons, WPXI reported.
The fight, which was captured on video by witnesses who filmed the altercation but did not try to stop it, started over an argument about spilled gas.
Police said the female customers said their pump malfunctioned and spilled gas, so they went inside the station seeking a refund, WPXI reported.
The owner refused to give the women their money back and the disagreement quickly escalated into an all-out brawl that spilled outside and involved the two female customers and several men who were owners and employees at the gas station.
The video began as several men tried to shove a woman out the door.
Her friend was also pulling on her trying to get her to leave, but she was fighting the men and trying to stay inside, the video showed.
Finally, her friend pulled her outside and they appeared to be walking away when one of the men ran up behind them and started beating on one of the women.
Three more men joined him and two of them beat on the first woman while another took the other woman to the ground, the video showed.
The fight was not at all one-sided. The women fought back and landed a number of blows.
But they were significantly outnumbered and outsized by the men who were pummeling them.
When they were able to get back on their feet, one of the women ran back inside the store to continue the confrontation, the video showed.
Some of the men kept her friend from following her inside, but when the woman inside started tearing apart the store, all of the men ran inside to stop her, and the friend followed.
Then three men were fighting with the two women again, trying to evict them from the store.
One woman with a can of pepper spray tried to intervene but the video showed she didn’t get close enough to the melee to have any effect.
The person filming the video yelled encouragement to the women, assuring the fighting women that she had the whole incident on camera and the men were “going down.”
The video showed that as the women tried to get out of the store, one of the men reached out and punched her in the head.
Police reviewed multiple videos as part of the investigation, according to a press release by the city of Pittsburgh.
The city said that after investigators finished reviewing all of the available footage and talking to witnesses, they recommended the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office charge the gas station owners and employee with assault.
Surveillance video filmed by cameras inside the gas station showed that one of the women started the argument, WPXI reported.
“One video taken by a bystander showed a lengthy physical confrontation in which the male store owners struck one of the females in the back of the head multiple times, and an employee grabbed one of the females by her hair and dragged her across pavement,” the city said. “Police also reviewed the gas station’s security camera which showed the female customer initiating the confrontation inside the store before it moved outside.”
Protesters shut down the gas station not long after the fight occurred, WPXI reported.
Community activists held a press conference on Monday and called on Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala to file felony charges against all of the men at the gas station who were involved in the incident, WPXI reported.
Protesters have threatened to set up camp in front of Zappala’s office if he hasn’t charged the men by 8 a.m. on Tuesday.
Watch the fight unfold at the gas station in the video below: