Tempers flare up at gas giveaway

July 28, 2008 11:00:16 PM PDT
Tempers flared for a time Monday at a Union City gas station, as 250 people began lining up before sunrise to get free gas. It was part of a promotional giveaway at the Valero station on Alvarado Boulevard.

It took two and a half hours for the Golden State Warriors and NBA sponsor Kia Motors to give away $10,000 worth of gas. However, the 5:00 a.m. early birds waited twice that long, and one woman actually lost her place in line.

"They said 'park here,' so we park here. They said 'park there,' so we parked there. Then, they said 'get out of line, go away, too bad,' so I said, 'I'm going to find somebody and I'm going to complain,'" says Union City resident Angie Stigert.

"They're irritated and they've gotta wait and they didn't pay enough attention to the rules and regulations so we expect that," says Officer Chris Guckert of the Union City Police.

The gas began pumping at 10:00 a.m. at $40 worth per car. With gas at $4.35 a gallon, it came out to a little over nine free gallons. Even people with luxury cars came, too. But for most, the savings will pay for other necessities.

We asked those people what it took for someone to wait for two hours in a car just for gas.

"I get a little pocket break, can pay some bills off," says Oakland resident Alexandria Jones.

This was also the first public assignment for the newest Warrior Girls.

"We're at almost five dollars a gallon now so we try to go into an area where people will be grateful and thankful to get $40 worth of gas. It's almost a full tank for most of us," says Warrior Girl Missy Bunch.

Other companies have sponsored free gas promotions, usually as a sales incentive. Buy a new car, get free gas. Try one of our golf clubs, get free gas. The Warriors say this giveaway is just their way of saying thank you to Bay Area fans.

"Gas affects everybody. Everybody has a car, everybody has to go to school, to work, to pick up their kids," says Warrior announcer Bob Fitzgerald.