DETROIT, MICHIGAN – A Detroit man says his business is being held hostage by a group of teenagers who continually loiter inside and out of his gas station.
“There’s a lot of good people around here,” said the station owner, who wished to remain anonymous. But now, those good people aren’t coming as often to the Marathon station along W. 7 Mile Road on the city’s west side.
“This is a Bad Crew gas station,” said one teen loitering out front on Tuesday. When asked what that meant, he said, “If you don’t know, I can’t even tell you.”
Surveillance video obtained by FOX 2 shows as many as a dozen teens hanging out inside the store, smoking cigarettes, sitting on countertops and even spitting into sinks.
The owner says as many as 40 teens can be hanging out in front of the station at any time. “Destroying my store. Destroying my business,” said the owner.
He says his clerks are too frightened to take action against the teens and he’s worried that the loitering could lead to violence.
Detroit police have been called numerous times to the store, but the owner says right after officers disperse the crowd and leave the scene, the teens returns to their normal posts.
Leslie Cunningham, who lives nearby the station, says members from Marvin Winans’ Perfecting Church have recently been to the station to talk to the young people. “It’s out of hand,” said Cunningham. “We try to raise young people around here that they would be concerned and care about their area and this is what we have to contend with.”
The owner, and father of four, says he would walk away from his business if he didn’t owe so much on it.
Meanwhile, he keeps working and keeps hoping that the teens decide to leave.
Detroit police tell FOX 2 they’ll continue to respond to calls from the station. The owner says he may hire an off-duty officer to help keep his business secure during peak hours.