DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Armed men shut down an east Oak Cliff gas station for at least half an hour last week, but Dallas police have yet to file charges.
Video of the incident at Exxon Rayyan, located at the corner of Bonnie View and Illinois, shows at least five men with rifles and shotguns marching up to the store, opening the door, and ushering customers and employees out.
“Come on out. Come on out,” one of the men tells them.
The manager, Ayaz Arien, was inside.
“Where’s the manager? Where’s the manager?” the men ask repeatedly.
“Very, very scary,” said Arien. “When I saw the gun, I said, ‘No I’m not the manager’. I went inside the office. I called the police.”
In an online post, one of the men involved claims a clerk at the store had pulled a gun on him and his wife the night before. When police didn’t immediately arrest the employee, he and his friends decided to protest.
“Y’all allow y’all’s employees to pull guns on customers, you’ll aren’t gonna have no customers,” one of the armed men yelled to someone inside the store.
Arien says, he was unaware of the previous night’s dispute and would have listened to the man’s complaint, but not while he was holding a gun.
“Your intention is not to talk, but to hurt someone,” he told us he assumed of anyone approaching with a gun in hand.
Attorney Pete Schulte, though, says as frightening as the scene might seem, the men aren’t necessarily breaking the law.
“They’re allowed to have long guns in their hands as long as they’re not holding them in a threatening manner. I’m not seeing that right now,” said Schulte, as he watched the video.
In portions of the video posted online by the men, they hold their guns in both hands, but leave them either pointed toward the ground or the sky, never in anyone’s direction.
“I didn’t hear any threats that were made to the management or the staff. Their conduct was lawful until they’re told to leave,” said Schulte.
Because the manager didn’t want to risk confronting the men, it’s not clear if they were told to leave, at least not until Dallas police arrived.
After listening to the men’s complaints and speaking with the owner, officers made the crowd move off property.
Police made no arrests and have not filed charges, but a department spokesperson said they are still investigating. Meanwhile, management said that the clerk who upset the protestors has been let go for her behavior, but did not confirm if she had pulled out a gun on any customers.
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