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South's Gas Shortage Spawns a Brawl

Motorist records brawl after woman apparently tries to cut long line in NC, which didn't go over well
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 12, 2021 6:24 AM CDT
Updated May 12, 2021 6:42 AM CDT

(Newser) – Tensions over a gas shortage boiled over into a brawl this week at a North Carolina gas station. After a cyberattack on Friday against the Colonial Pipeline, which delivers about 45% of the fuel sent to the East Coast, industry analysts warned gas prices could rise if the pipeline wasn't back up and running within a few days. Worries over a potential lack of fuel soon turned into a "self-fulfilling prophecy" in the Southeast, with hundreds of gas stations running out of fuel as consumers queued up to fill up in advance. But on Tuesday, those worries turned to frustration and violence at a gas station in Knightdale, NC, with a man who was waiting for his turn at the pump recording an incident that went viral online.

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The bystander, identified only as Rashaad, tells WRAL he was waiting on line around 2pm at the Marathon gas station when a woman in a white Honda Accord attempted to cut into the long line, which didn't make other motorists happy. No one would let her in, which is when Rashaad started recording. "Who do y'all think is wrong," he writes in his caption for the video on Instagram, which shows the woman getting out of her car—after Rashaad says she hit a gray Honda CR-V—and spitting at a man driving the other Honda. The man can then be seen emerging from his car, walking over to her, and spitting on her, at which point the two start scuffling. At one point, the man appears to hurl the woman's cellphone into the street, and the Daily Beast reports the man's shirt ended up getting torn in the "scrappy fight," which went on until the police arrived. It's not clear if any arrests were made. (Read more gas stations stories.)

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