Visitor Question

Punched by a Gas Station Employee…

Submitted By: David (Staten Island, NYC)

On November 2, 2011 after waiting an inordinate period of time for a gas station attendant to service my car at a rest area on the New Jersey Turnpike, I rolled down my window and yelled “Can I get some F**KING gas before I’m late for work?”

The sole attendant then served three more people who entered the queue well after I had showed up, by which I mean three separate cars showed up after I did, were served gas, payed and left and I had yet to be approached at all by the attendant.

At this point, I exited my vehicle and attempted to pump my own gas (which is apparently illegal to do yourself in New Jersey). The attendant took the nozzle out of my car and said “You can get gas down the highway.”

I said I was empty, I needed gas and told him to get his manager NOW. I used colorful language, but never insulted the gentleman in question, either indirectly or otherwise. He told me that I could feel free to go get the manager myself, and he then walked away, telling me what else I could do to myself under his breath, using what I believe to be a racial epithet.

I approached him, and standing quite close, I asked him “What did you just say? What did you call me?”

“You better get out of my face.” he said, to which I replied: “I’m in your face.”

The employee then struck me in MY face, knocking me down and then either dumped or kicked the bucket of windshield wiper fluid that the squeegee was in all over me.

A State Trooper was called and the Gas Station manager, who saw the whole thing, admitted to the 911 operator that he saw his employee strike me, and added that it did not seem to be done in self defense.

I readily admit I am an a-hole, but that does not give anyone the right to hit me unless I hit them first, does it?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear David,

If you are asking us to make a moral judgment you will probably not be satisfied with our response.

It sounds like you both were acting like 6th graders. Yelling at a gas attendant by saying “Can I get some F**in gas before I’m late for work?” is probably not something the gas attendant needed to hear while he was doing his best to serve those needing gas on what was probably a busy morning.

Admitting you are an “a-hole” is the first step in your road to recovery. Your facts don’t indicate whether the attendant was arrested for assault. From the tenor of your presentation of the facts, it is telling you failed to mention whether the attendant was arrested. Something tells us you would have mentioned that fact.

The absence of an arrest communicates to us the “assault” may not really have taken place, or if it did it didn’t amount to much more than a bump or a shove.

Maybe it’s best you plan to leave your home a little earlier each morning. That way you will have plenty of time to fill your tank and not need to stop at anymore turnpike gas stations.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: November 3, 2011

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