How not to get free gas

Sept. 16, 2008

By Jacob Quinn Sanders
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Yop Ryan thought something wasn’t quite right with the man who walked into the food mart of her Shell gas station in Little Rock on Sunday afternoon demanding free gasoline and holding a 9mm handgun to his own head.

She said she told the man sure, free gas. No problem. You want $5, $10, $20?

No, she said he told her — $10,000 in free gas. Now.

The man police later identified as Kijuan Comic, 23, wore a teal-colored T-shirt and a dark blue bandanna, black sunglasses tipped back onto his head. According to a police report, he and a few others had gotten out of a blue 1985 Oldsmobile 88 parked at one of the pumps.

Ryan, 53, said she didn’t see any way he could haul away the almost 2,526 gallons of unleaded regular gas that $10,000 could have bought him at Sunday’s price. He wasn’t a big man, she said, under 6-feet and skinny. That volume of gas would weigh more than 15,000 pounds.

“Where you going to put that gas?” she said she was thinking. “Really, where?”

She said he then leaned in closer and bellowed, “I want free gas!”

Ryan and her daughter, JoAnn Yerkman, a clerk at the family’s gas station at 700 E. Roosevelt Road, watched the security-camera video Monday afternoon along with an Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reporter and another Shell employee. Ryan and Yerkman had not turned the video over to Little Rock police and were contemplating its other uses. Little Rock police said Monday night that they had not yet requested the video.

“YouTube, we thought of that,” Yerkman said. “Or some ‘dumbest criminals’ show or something. That would be good.”

On the silent video, the man walks into the food mart four times over a seven-minute period, as friends and family members tried to calm him down. His response several times was to wind up his left arm and slap them with an open hand.

People continued shopping in the food mart, walking up to buy chips or a drink as several customers and the owners locked themselves behind bullet-resistant glass inside.

“This is my third time watching this and it’s just hard to believe,” Yerkman said.

She wasn’t there when it happened.

The man with the gun walked outside three times, at least once firing a shot near the pumps, Ryan and Yerkman said. The video shows him trying once to get inside the bullet-resistant enclosure.

“No way I was letting him in,” Ryan said. “He wants to shoot himself, fine, but he needs to leave other people alone.”

Sometimes his bandanna was over his face and his sunglasses were on, other times his face was fully exposed. Sometimes he held the gun to his head, sometimes it was at his side.

The man “appeared to be under the influence of some type of narcotic,” according to the police report. A man in the parking lot told police the man with the gun had been using PCP.

After the man came in the first time, the video shows Yerkman’s father on the phone, calling 911. Police records show that officers responded to a “disturbance with a weapon” call at 1:35 p.m.

The man and a friend were back inside the food mart seven minutes later when police arrived. On the video, the man with the gun has ambled along with a friend in front of a woman at the cash register, which is encased in the glass area. He and his friend turn slowly to their left and raise their hands above their heads. They get on the floor, face down.

Just behind them, for no reason the video betrays, so does the female shopper.

At least three officers move in with guns drawn, handcuffing the friend first, then the man with the bandanna. They found a black 9mm Skyy CPX-1 handgun in the man’s pocket, which they later determined was stolen from a Little Rock house June 20.

Police charged Comic of Little Rock with aggravated assault, theft by receiving, carrying a prohibited weapon and a violation of the Little Rock ordinance against discharging a firearm inside the city limits.

On Monday, Comic remained in the Pulaski County jail in lieu of a $250,000 bond.

  1. […] almost a year and a half now. It has stories tucked away all over about bad people, good people, weird people, […]

    • Kijuan Comic says:

      the biggest mistake n my life was to smoke pcp n pop pills i have every body n my ear complaining about the high prices of gas and trying to make a dumb asz statement by putting my life n harms way for others thank u lord no one was hurt n i made to see another day and $10,000 worth the gas wasnt for me it was for the people thats just what i get for caring for others n putting others at risk i learn alot from that small mistake i love mr n mrs ryan muwah n god bless happy easter

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