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Prosecutor ready to pursue padlock for ‘Club Sunoco’ in Flint

It’s been almost 8 weeks since our first report on the violence outside the Sunoco Gas Station in Flint.
Updated: Jun. 14, 2021 at 6:32 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - (6/14/2021) - More chaos erupted overnight at what’s been dubbed ‘Club Sunoco’ in Flint. That’s a gas station on the corner of Ballenger Highway and Flushing Road in the City.

ABC12 has been reporting on the unruly behavior at that location for months. Our first story at the end of April showed fights in the gas station parking lot. Less than a week later, we were back on scene for the same activity.

Police and people who live nearby are fed up.

Now, the community wants to know when will enough be enough.

Someone posted a video to social media Monday morning of more loitering outside the business.

The video starts as it looks like a fight is about to break out in the Sunoco Gas Station parking lot. You can hear the person recording egging on the women involved. Multiple men present appear to be trying to stop them.

“Let her fight,” the woman recording yelled.

The video shows people smoking, drinking from liquor bottles and openly carrying AR-15 weapons. Flint Police say that’s legal, but it’s not clear if the people with them legally obtained the guns.

The video lasts almost 8 minutes.

Throughout it, we also see the crowd spill into the parking lot of the business next door, someone spray mace at one of the women trying to fight, one of the employees appearing to hold the door closed to prevent the group from coming inside and then a Flint Police car pulled in with lights flashing.

“We’re working on it with enforcement, with the manpower that’s available,” Flint’s Deputy Police Chief Jeff Antcliff said. “Adjusting patrol hours, special investigation unit hours to stomp it out.”

The Deputy Chief explained they’re paying attention. The plan right now is changing officers’ hours to have personnel available to respond when something happens.

We also know the Chief is pushing the owner to close at 11 p.m. The owner told us that’s not happening because he’d have to hire security to watch his store, worried someone might break in.

So ABC12 asked the Genesee County Prosecutor if a padlock is possible? We’ve seen him shut down businesses in the past that he’s considered a public nuisance.

“I’m ready to step in should whatever Chief Green want, not work out,” David Leyton said. “And if this mischief continues, then I think we certainly have the option of going to the Circuit Court and asking for a declaration of a public nuisance.”

Five different calls came into 9-1-1 last night all just after 2 a.m. Monday morning, in response to the chaotic crowd.

Flint Police are asking the community to continue to call when they see or hear something; because, they can’t always be watching the location.

The prosecutor said the next step towards padlocking the business would be gathering a list of all of those 9-1-1 calls over the last several months. That’s part of the evidence in court.

If the padlock is approved, it would last for one year. The owner would also have the ability to argue his side during the court hearings.

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