After the incident in Bugolusa, Louisiana, in which a Muslim-owned Texaco gas station denied service to a National Guardsman, here’s another case — this time in the city of Modesto, California.
Ben Deci reports for Fox40 News, July 24, 2012, that serviceman Kelly Kjelstrom claims he was denied service at a Chevron gas station in Modesto:
“I’m proud to be a military member- defending our Constitution, in service so that individuals like him have the right to say what he said,” said Kelly Kjelstrom.
Kjelstrom says he was just trying to buy a soda from the corner gas station. To be specific, he says he was at the Chevron gas station at the corner of Palendale Road and Sisk Road in Modesto.
But Kjelstrom says when he pulled out his wallet to pay, the cashier noticed his military identification.
“The person told me that they don’t like my kind, and I didn’t belong in their country,” Kjelstrom said.
The story made it’s way into social media and sparked a marathon, angry protest in front of the gas station.
“If they don’t feel like they have our support, then they’re not going to do the job to the best of their ability,” said Trudy Turnbull, an Army Mom who was one the pprotesters waving an American flag in front of the gas station for much of the day Tuesday.
The Chevron is a privately owned station. It’s a franchise of the corporation that now says it’s called for a review of security tapes to see if there’s any truth to Kjelstrom’s story.
Meanwhile, company spokesman Sean Comey told me he’d been trying to get a hold of Kjelstrom all day.
“If you’ve spoken to somebody directly, if they would be willing to talk to us, we would like to talk to them directly,” Comey told me in a phone conversation.
Comey said the company is investigating, but at this point all they have is an unsubstantiated allegation. Comey said that they take claims of discrimination and improper conduct seriously.
I also spoke with the manager at the Chevron. He denied that any discrimination happened. And he said, in the three years he’s been at that location, they haven’t refused service to anyone.
As for Kjelstrom, he says he still isn’t certain what country the cashier wanted the U.S. Military out of, but he says he sure got out of the store in a hurry.
Did he end up buying that soda?
“No,” he said. “No, no, no. I’ll never buy anything there again.”
Go to link for Fox40′s news video.