Man intervenes when angry customer attacks gas station worker

Shell gas station at 3406 East Third Street in Dayton (WDTN Photo/Ken Jarosik)

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — A Dayton gas station employee was sent to the hospital after he was attacked by a customer who became combative after his cards were declined.

Chad Hopkins was at the Shell station in the 3400 block of East Third Street Saturday afternoon and saw it happen.

“I’m standing right there, and then the cashier got into the guys face and told him ‘you have to leave, you have to leave.’ And the guy said ‘I don’t have to go nowhere. This is America. I don’t have to do anything you say,’ started calling him a bunch more names,” recounted Hopkins.

Hopkins lives a few blocks away. He is a regular at the store and says he personally knows the worker who was assaulted.

Saturday, he and his four children went to the Shell station to get gas. He says he went inside to get a bag of chips when a customer in line to buy cigarettes started arguing with the employee. Police said the customer became angry when his credit card and gift card were declined. The worker told officers the man yelled racial slurs at him, called him a “terrorist,” and punched him in the face.

“You know it’s not worth it over a pack of cigarettes just because, you know, your card is declined. So it just sets a bad example to everybody,” said Hopkins.

Hopkins says after the worker was hit, he pushed the man off of the victim. He says he was afraid the suspect would start kicking the worker who had been knocked to the ground.

“Nobody deserves anything like that,” said Hopkins.

Police say the suspect drove off in a green truck. (Photo Courtesy: Chad Hopkins)
Police say the suspect drove off in a green truck. (Photo Courtesy: Chad Hopkins)
Police say the suspect drove off in a green truck, and Hopkins was able to snap a picture of it.

Police said the victim was bleeding heavily from his nose and face.

The victim was transported to the hospital for treatment but is expected to recover. If you have any information, call Crime Stoppers at 937-222-7867. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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