Two motorists have been charged with assault after a fight in a line at a North Carolina gas station during panic-buying sparked by the Colonial Pipeline shutdown.
Knightdale police officers were called to a Marathon gas station on Tuesday afternoon following reports of a crash and a fight over spots in the line, according to a statement from the town.
Footage shows as the man and woman spit at one another before the altercation turns physical and they trade blows as frustrations boiled over in a long line for gas at the station.
Video posted on Instagram shows how the two cars in Knightdale bumped up against each other at the gas station.
A witness said a woman had tried to cut the line for gas, and then screamed obscenities and spat on a man who refused to let her in. The man jumped out of his vehicle, spit on the woman in return, and began grappling with her, video shows.
A phone was also damaged, police said. The man appears to have thrown the woman’s cell into the street during the altercation before his shirt was ripped, footage shows.
Alexus Orianna Harris, 25, was charged with simple assault and Matthew James-Stark Artero, 47, was charged with assault on a female and damage to personal property, WRAL reports. Both were cited and released with a pending court date.
Two people are charged with assault after a fight in a line at a North Carolina gas station as a fuel pipeline shutdown sparks panic-buying, authorities said
Footage shows as the man and woman spit at one another before the altercation turns physical and they trade blows as frustrations boiled over in a long line for gas at the station
A witness said a woman tried to cut the line for gas, and then screamed obscenities and spit on a man who refused to let her in. The man jumped out of his vehicle, spit on the woman in return, and began grappling with her, video shows
It was announced Wednesday fuel will start flowing through the Colonial Pipeline again – six days after America’s largest pipeline closed down due to a ransomware attack.
Swaths of Florida, North Carolina, Virginia and Georgia are struggling with fuel shortages, and more than 10,000 gas stations have run dry as of Wednesday.
Sections of the pipeline, which runs from Texas to New Jersey, were re-opened manually on Monday, but the main lines were closed until now, causing significant disruption.
The news will come as a huge relief to motorists and plane passengers, after American Airlines announced they were adding stops to some of their long-haul flights from Charlotte, North Carolina, as a result of the crisis. American will resume normal service on Thursday.
Colonial’s operators announced the restart in a statement posted on their website
It will also take the pressure off the Biden administration, which is facing mounting criticism of its handling of the drama – not least from Donald Trump.
The Biden administration has been frustrated by Colonial’s handling of the attack, CNN reported, and officials have privately reprimanded the company.
However, Colonial warned that the relief would not be instant, and that it would take time to get the 5,500-mile pipeline fully operational.
Colonial Pipeline said in a statement: ‘It will take several days for the product delivery supply chain to return to normal.
‘Some markets served by Colonial Pipeline may experience, or continue to experience, intermittent service interruptions during the start-up period.’
Trump has described the fuel shortages affecting parts of the East Coast the ‘Biden Gas Crisis,’ as other Biden critics demanded the White House do more to alleviate the growing problem.
‘I see that everybody is comparing Joe Biden to Jimmy Carter. It would seem to me that is very unfair to Jimmy Carter,’ Trump said in a statement, referring to the Democratic president who was in office during the 1979 oil crisis.
Video posted on Instagram shows two cars bumped up against each other at a gas station
Alexus Orianna Harris, 25, was charged with simple assault and Matthew James-Stark Artero, 47, was charged with assault on a female and damage to personal property, police said. Both were cited and released with a pending court date
‘Jimmy mishandled crisis after crisis, but Biden has CREATED crisis after crisis,’ he said.
‘Joe Biden has had the worst start of any president in United States history, and someday, they will compare future disasters to the Biden Administration—but no, Jimmy was better!’
North Carolina has been the state hardest-hit by fuel shortages, with 65 per cent of all gas stations dry in the state, but millions of motorists across the South were impacted, and the price of gas hit a seven-year high nationwide.
Fears were growing that the shutdown could have extended into the weekend, creating broader fuel disruptions and spike gas prices across the nation ahead of the travel-heavy Memorial Day holiday.
Meanwhile, price gougers in Virginia have been busted charging up to $6.99 per gallon, and police in Charlotte are warning residents to ‘limit non-essential travel’ as more than 70 per cent of gas stations in the city run dry.
In metro Atlanta, more than 60 per cent of gas stations had no fuel on Wednesday, and the rate exceeded 70 per cent in Raleigh, North Carolina and Pensacola, Florida.
Motorists wait in line at a Circle K gas station on Wednesday in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Most stations in the area along I-95 are without fuel following the Colonial Pipeline hack
An out of service bag covers a pump handle at a gas station in Fayetteville, North Carolina
The impact of the crisis is rippling across the country, with the national average price of gas exceeding $3 for the first time since 2014, after the Colonial Pipeline was disabled by a Russian ransomware attack on Friday.
Demand across the region was enough to push overall U.S. gasoline demand on Tuesday up more than 13 per cent from the previous week.
The Biden administration had urged motorists not to deepen the crisis with unnecessary panic buying, and U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said officials are considering moving supply by train or ship if necessary.
The governors of Florida, Virginia and Georgia joined North Carolina in declaring states of emergency Tuesday in a bid to protect fuel supplies, with some gas pumps already dry in Atlanta and other cities.
The Southeast is particularly vulnerable because it has fewer refineries and pipelines to deliver fuel, compared to the Northeast, which is less at risk. The Southeast is also less equipped to quickly import large quantities of gasoline from other countries, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Ron DeSantis, Republican governor of Florida; Ralph Northam, the Democrat governor of Virginia, and Brian Kemp, Georgia’s Republican governor, announced their state’s emergency measures on Tuesday.
The attack on Colonial Pipeline, which runs from Texas to New Jersey and transports 45 percent of the East Coast’s fuel supply, is the largest assault on US energy infrastructure in history and has sent shockwaves across the industry
Their moves came a day after the governor of North Carolina took the same step.
The ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline last week halted 2.5 million barrels per day of fuel shipments in the most disruptive cyberattack on U.S. energy infrastructure ever.
The FBI has confirmed that the DarkSide ransomware group is behind the attack, and the criminal gang is believed to be based in Eastern Europe or Russia and operate with the tacit approval of the Russian government.
Rather than pay off ransom demands of the criminal hacker gang DarkSide, Colonial plans to work with cybersecurity firm Mandiant to restore the data from backup systems where possible and rebuild systems where backups are unavailable, two people familiar with the matter told the Washington Post.
DarkSide ransom demands can range from $500,000 to more than $5 million, according to Mandiant.