PITTSBURGH - Three men are being charged after a violent fight at a Pittsburgh gas station went viral and led to days of protests.
And days after the incident, investigators released more details of how exactly police believe it happened.
According to the criminal complaint, the incident started with an argument over spilled gas at the Exxon on the corner of Brighton Road and Marshall Avenue in the North Side around 6:45 p.m. Friday.
It ended with a violent fight that went viral and sparked protests that have lasted the past three days.
The gas station employees and customers both told police different sides of the story, but the owners and one employee are the only ones facing charges.
The two victims told police they were trying to pump gas into their car when the pump began to malfunction, spilling onto the ground. According to police, they then tried to get a refund for what they claimed was $17 worth of spilled gas.
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However, staff denied them that refund. Officers said they observed a "very small amount of gasoline spilled onto the ground" when they arrived on scene.
According to the criminal complaint, the victims then began speaking with the owners – Balkar Singh and Sukhjinder Sadhra – about the situation. The victims told investigators that Singh and Sadhra began to accuse them of lying and that $17 worth of gas did not spill onto the ground.
A verbal argument ensued, and the victims said one of the employees pushed them first. So, one of the women pushed back, and the fight began.
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During the fight, which was recorded on cellphone video, one of the victims told police that a third employee – identified as Scott Hill – pushed her head into a gas pump and dragged the other victim by her hair.
One video recorded by a witness showed the men who own the gas station repeatedly hitting one of the women in the back of the head while another man grabbed the other woman by her hair and dragged her across the pavement, police said.
The gas station's security cameras inside the store show the women initiating the argument.
Both owners told investigators that there are no cameras that view the outside of the gas station, including the pumping area.
Hill, Singh, and Sadhra all face charges now in connection with the fight. All three men face charges of simple assault, according to the district attorney's office.
Protesters want the Exxon gas stations on McKnight and Brighton roads to shut down because of the incident.
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