An incident between the owner and members of security personnel with film crew resulted in the cancellation
Following a special called meeting last week of the Social Circle City Council, council members voted unanimously to terminate the city’s contract with the Pump and Go gas station on Cherokee Road to provide fuel for the city’s needs. According to Social Circle Mayor David Keener, Councilman Nathan Boyd made a motion to terminate the existing letter agreement with the Pump and Go and authorize the City Manager to bid out for fuel needs for the city. The motion was seconded by Social Circle Councilman Tyson Jackson and the full council voted in agreement.
According to the police report obtained under the Open Records Act, the event took place on Aug. 18 during filming of a movie in the city. The incident was between “Mr. Wade,” the current owner of the Pump and Go (known as Leon Gas Station for filming of the movie) and three members of Reel Security Corporation, the company providing security during the filming of Jerry and Marge Go Large. The three security members alleged that while they were at the gas station providing shift, they were approached by Mr. Wade (Stephens) who said, “got dam he was tired of us black people being on his property.” They also claimed that as he walked away they heard him refer to them using a racial slur.
Following an investigation, the City of Social Circle decided to go ahead and suspend and subsequently cancel the City’s contract.
“We had an event at the pump and go.The city does not tolerate discrimination of any kind. As a result, the City has severed our relationship with Pump and Go,” Keener said.
Stephens, however, denies that completely and said he was not given an opportunity to have his statement included in the police report. He is requesting it be included.
“Nobody has actually included anything that was said by me,” Stephens said. He denies ever using any racial slurs and alleges that he only asked one of the ladies to remove her car, at which time he was called a name by her. He denies calling her any racial name in response. “I do not use that derogatory term to anybody.”
We have requested a copy of a statement made by Stephens in order to follow up. In the hand-written statement by Stephens provided under a follow up open records request, he states that he arrived at work at 6 a.m. that morning to find two of the three security guard cars parked in the fueling lanes that had been left open in accordance with his contract with the company filming Jerry and Marge Go Large. He said that the security guard who made what he alleges is a false accusation was parked in front of the fuel island. “I arrived around 6 a.m. and told her there is no parking where her car was. I said ‘move your car into the corner out of the way of the way of my customers. I have told you guys several days in a row, which she said you haven’t told me anything. I said I told her several days in a row and she knows. She said I know you a ‘a..hole.’ I said typical black woman with an attitude.”
Stephens said he wants to make it clear to his customers that his business is not closed down just because the city has chosen not to use his gas station.
“I am open for business for the rest of my customers,” he said.