Police reported two separate incidents at Port Jefferson Station gas stations in November, just at the height of the gas shortage following Superstorm Sandy. The mounting tension was evident as the queue for gas lasted hours just to fill up one tank, leading to frayed nerves and frustration.
A 31-year-old Port Jefferson Station resident was arrested on Nov. 2 and charged with second-degree harassment, a violation, when she got into a fight after someone knocked on her car window to tell her she had cut into the line of people waiting for gas on Route 347. The woman pulled the complainant’s hair and hit the person in the face. She was issued a desk appearance ticket, according to court records and is due back in court on Jan. 15.
The next day, an unknown woman assaulted a U.S. mail truck driver who had pulled up to a pump on a special line for postal workers at the Sunoco on Route 347 in Port Jefferson Station. Police say that the attacker was described as a 5-foot, 2-inch tall, 200-pound, white female. During the incident the attacker screaming at the driver and then tried to pull her pull her from the vehicle but she was seat belted in to her mail truck. The attacker then fled the scene, according to police.
Other areas experienced similar problems with altercations at local gas stations.
On the morning of Nov. 5 police arrested a Stony Brook teenager after he allegedly threatened to stab gas station employees. According to one employee, who only asked to be identified as Mike, the 17-year-old asked for premium gas, which the BP at 728 Route 25A had sold out of earlier that morning. From there, tensions escalated quickly, he said.
"He told us we better go find it," the employee said, adding that a little bit of foul language was thrown into the exchange. "So we told him 'You gotta go. We don't have it.' He said 'I got a knife on me. I'm going to stab you guys.'"