Employees at Shell station deny turning off pumps, refusing to serve Customs and Border Protection

Posted at 8:24 AM, Jan 13, 2018

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A Southern California Shell station is reviewing surveillance footage after one of its attendants allegedly turned off the pumps last weekend when U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers were trying to fill up. 

According to a Blue Lives Matter website, five officers stopped at a Shell station in south San Diego County to fill up Saturday afternoon, when an attendant cut off the gas. Additionally, the attendant told the officers in the station’s convenience store that “we don’t typically serve CBP here,” the website reported.

The attendant, a 19-year-old woman named Alexis, says she made a comment about not serving the CBP to one officer who was in the convenience store. She said she was expressing frustration over her negative interactions with CBP officers in the past, but did serve them.

“He asked me if I got anybody’s name down and I said no, because sometimes they don’t really show their names, or I don’t really look,” she said. "He asked me for next time if I could just write down the names of the officers … I told him thank you for being so nice about it and he said thank you for serving him and he left."

She said she didn't kill the pump.

Alla Alagha, the station’s assistant manager, says that all customers are welcome.

"There’s definitely no policy against law enforcement,” he said. “We are a very friendly gas station. We have no problems with anyone. Business is business.”

Alagha said the station’s owner is reviewing the footage and would be handling it internally with the employee, who was part-time and had only been working a few weeks. 

Jackie Wasiluk, a spokeswoman for Customs and Border Protection, said the agency is aware of the allegations and investigating. 

Shell Corporate also sent a statement saying it would be contacting the station’s owner and that it takes the issue seriously.

"Shell does not condone the type of behavior alleged to have occurred, and we expect that third parties selling Shell-branded motor fuels treat every customer in a fair and inclusive manner.  We respect and support law enforcement personnel and first responders across the country and are proud to have them choose Shell,” the statement said.

Tommy Cuen, who owns a feed shop across the street from the station, said he’d never heard of any issues between CBP officers and the station. He noted he saw one of the CBP vehicles filling up there Thursday.

“If it’s true that they’re turning off the pumps,” he said, "very strange."