AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — Police are investigating what they are calling a bias-motivated crime after a man was sprayed with gasoline at a convenience store.
When a man walked into the Rocket convenience store a the Phillips 66 gas station on July 23, a clerk behind the counter said she knew there were going to be problems.
“He comes in and he was angry,” Kyla Huber said.
The man went into the store and bought a beer, Huber said. Then he reportedly began yelling at two Hispanic men speaking Spanish and waiting in line.
The clerk told us he yelled at them that they “weren’t welcome here – your kind is not wanted here – get out of here.”
“It threw me off a little bit because the gentleman, he was, ‘Yes ma’am, no ma’am,’ to me. He was respectful looking me straight in my eye. But as soon as he stepped outside he was aggressive and angry,” Huber said.
There was a confrontation outside and police said he sprayed the two men with gasoline.
On surveillance video, you can see the suspect grab the nozzle and spray one of the men.
Police say the suspect was looking for a lighter to start a blaze and then the victim was seen glancing at his soaked shirt.
“He was wearing an orange shirt and you could tell from the stains all over his stomach there was gasoline all over his shirt,” clerk Chris Martinez said.
The suspect can be seen throwing a rock through the back window of the victim’s car.
The two victims allegedly have no idea why this started.
“They told me that they were confused because they just pulled up to the store. When they pulled up, the guy was already telling them something,” Martinez said.
Now, there are lots of questions as to why anyone would spray someone with gasoline and want to set them on fire.
The suspect is described either as either a Hispanic or Asian man that is 20-25 years old. He’s 5 feet, 6 inches tall to 5 feet, 9 inches tall.
Aurora police said the suspect stole the victim’s keys, as well.
If you know anything about the incident, you are asked to call Aurora Police or contact StopHate@auroragov.org.