Man seen pepper spraying Asian gas station owner in Oakland arrested, police say

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- A man seen in surveillance footage in a confrontation with a gas station owner in Oakland has been arrested, police announced on Friday.

In a tweet, the Oakland Police Department said the man was arrested on assault charges.



The gas station owner, Cwell (who did not reveal his last name and is of Asian descent), spoke to ABC7 News Anchor Dion Lim exclusively regarding the incident.

Cwell said he refused to accept the man's unwrapped quarters, which escalated the incident between the two.

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Surveillance video shows the customer in a gray hooded jacket place dozens of quarters in front of a cashier.

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"My staff, she's like, 'Well, wait, hold on there. You kind of have to take this to the bank because I can't fit this all in the till,'" said Cwell.

You can see in the video, the customer disagrees with the cashier and Cwell comes into frame.

"He just started mouthing off... 'You should go back to China,' like that. We were just bursting out laughing because it was so unbelievable."

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Cwell said the situation shifted when the man threatened to come back again. Cwell followed him outside to capture the man's license plate number. That's when things took a nasty turn and Cwell started recording.

In the video you can hear the man say behind his mask as he's looking directly into Cwell's camera "...go to China! F--- you man! You have a small d---!"

Cwell can be heard laughing and the man continues on.

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While this portion can't be seen on camera, Cwell said what happened next was terrifying.

"He ends up reversing his car at me. I took it as an assault."

Cwell said after he noticed the man reach into his pocket, he grabbed nearby cleaning spray to protect himself, but not before the man sprayed a substance into Cwell's face.

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"The guy had pulled out his pepper spray and he had shot my face, arms. I ended up going to the ER to get taken care of," says Cwell.

Station surveillance video show Cwell's staff rush to his aid as they call Oakland police. A police cruiser and officer are seen at the scene shortly after.

Cwell plans to press charges, and shares this message with the Bay Area:

"I totally appreciate that you let me share my story because this has got to stop. I hope this brings awareness that everybody goes through the same stuff. We just have to understand that and understand that we all have to work together."

Lior Zeevi, owner of Insulation Gurus, informed ABC7 News the man in the video is seen wearing one of his sweatshirts but he is in no way affiliated with his company. Zeevi called the incident "disgusting" and completely inappropriate. He says he'd like to offer Cwell assistance if he needs it.
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