Update: Video Shows Business Owner Shoving Gas Station Worker

A Huntington business owner confronted a gas station worker Sunday night and ended up shoving him twice, according to a video posted to social media. Tom Stein, owner of Tommy’s Tacos,  said Wednesday that the tape had been edited and didn’t show the full story of the confrontation.

But the tape does show him shoving the worker, Juan Felipe Betancourt Gomez, in a dispute over a gas cap that was lost from Stein’s car after he fueled up at Gas Sale on Main Street in Huntington. At one point, Stein, who said the worker was rude and cursed him, pushed him out of the booth, and shortly after, as they stood near the pumps.

Stein said he returned to the station and wanted to know the station owner’s name so he could be repaid for the lost cap, and that’s when the discussion with Betancourt Gomez turned ugly.

He said the worker “got into my face and dug his head into me, he’s cursing me…he put his hand on my shoulder,” Stein said.

Betancourt Gomez,  who just graduated from Half Hollow Hills East High School and is headed for Marine Corps bootcamp in October, said he  pointed out that Stein had been gone for a couple of hours, and could have lost it anywhere, so the station wasn’t responsible for its loss.

“He gets real close to me,  saying, ‘you have to pay for this,’ but I was respectful and said, ‘you lost it off property.’  When I turned around he’s inside the booth, writing down my name and boss’s phone number. He turns around and flips my cap off and then he rushes to me, gets right in my face and pushes me out of the booth “
Then, the video is interrupted but resumes and shows Stein approaching him again, before they exchange words, and Stein pushes him again before leaving the property.

Stein, however, said he wanted Betancourt Gomez to give him the owner’s phone number, expecting the gas station to pay for the lost cap after the worker acknowledged he had struggled to put it back onto the car. He said that, at one point, the worker cursed him and played a video game on his phone rather than provide the information.

Both men say they have reported the incident to police, with Betancourt Gomez charging harassment.

Betancourt Gomez said that the gas station owner, Jesse Cioffi, had given Stein his phone number and that the two had spoken. But he said he is not interested in talking with Stein again.

“I was scared about posting it,” he said. “But people really cared. People have to stand up for themselves.”

Meantime, Yelp users have been downrating Stein’s restaurant in the last two days, churning out several one-star reviews that criticize him.

 

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