The violent assault of two black women at an Exxon Mobil on Brighton Road on Pittsburgh's North Side Friday night led Pittsburgh Bureau of Police officers to file assault charges with the Allegheny County District Attorney’s office.
At 6:45 p.m. officers responded to a report of a fight between two male gas station owners and two female customers, according to a news release from the Department of Public Safety. They reviewed multiple videos of the incident, which was described as “particularly disturbing.”
The fight began as a verbal dispute over spilled gas. The women said the pump malfunctioned and demanded a refund which the owners denied; the exchange quickly became violent. A “lengthy physical confrontation” ensued in which the two owners and an employee hit one of the women repeatedly on the back of the head, and the other woman was dragged across pavement by her hair, according to the release.
News of the incident spread quickly through social media, and people gathered to protest at the Brighton Road station on Saturday morning. On Twitter, Democratic State Representative Summer Lee pointed to persistent inequality faced by black women in the Pittsburgh region, while others demanded a boycott and for the station to be shut down.
Last wk a report came out confirming what every single black person in Pittsburgh already knew- it's worse to be blk, ESP a black woman, in our city than almost any other in the country
Yesterday, 2 black women were jumped/brutalized by business owners at a gas station #blkinpgh
— Summer Lee (@SummerForPA) September 21, 2019
The men, two owners and one employee, face assault charges that may be increased to aggravated assault.
Police will continue to investigate, and anyone with information is asked to call the detectives in Zone 1 at (412)-323-7201.