As padlock process moves forward, ‘Club Sunoco’ owner meets with community

The Prosecutor and Flint Police Chief are working towards padlocking the business.
Updated: Jun. 17, 2021 at 6:27 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - (6/17/2021) - The process to padlock the business dubbed ‘Club Sunoco’ is underway. Flint’s Police Chief confirmed he’s spoken with the Genesee County Prosecutor about next steps.

For months, ABC12 has aired videos filmed in the gas station’s parking lot and inside the store, showing knock-down, drag-out fights.

Thursday, a 6th Ward City Council Candidate hosted a meeting with the business’s owner. She invited block club leaders and the current City Councilman, Herb Winfrey.

“Now they know me, I know them; and this is how it’s supposed to start, this is where it’s supposed to start with the community,” owner Tony Alwajih said afterwards.

He welcomed the conversation

Alwajih owns the gas station on the corner of Flushing Road and Ballenger Highway, now dubbed ‘Club Sunoco’.

For months, the large gatherings that include fights, drinking and other chaotic activity have been a nuisance for the community members who live nearby.

One of those people is City Council Candidate Tonya Burns. Burns called for Thursday’s meeting, saying she’s worked with Alwajih on a ‘3-point plan’ to turn things around. It includes hiring a security guard to work overnight.

“We don’t give up on the City, we still look for solutions,” she said. “And that’s costing him money, you know and he didn’t balk at it. You know, he said I agree to do it.”

ABC12 called the Chief who said there has been more than enough time to fix the problems at the gas station and it’s time Alwajih to cooperate with them.

The Chief has previously said having the gas station open 24-hours is the root of the problem. The owner has said he’ll do whatever he’s asked. So, ABC12′s Ann Pierret asked why he refused the Chief’s request close at 11 p.m. Alwajih walked away from Ann.

When asked why that specific gas station has become so popular, Alwajih pointed to activity last summer in the Rite Aid parking lot next door.

But, ABC12 has also previously reported that the owner allowed rappers to shoot music videos at the gas station, even receiving tens of thousands of dollars from the artists. At Thursday’s meeting, he denied he knew any of them were coming. And, he said, he’s not tolerating that activity moving forward.

The current City Councilman for the 6th ward, Herb Winfrey, said he’ll be working with the police, mayor and the Sunoco gas station owner over the next few days. If possible, he wants to avoid a padlock and come up with a compromise.

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