DUBOIS – An irate customer risked igniting an inferno at Sheetz over a smoking infraction.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, filed with District Judge Patrick Ford’s office Aug. 17, Andrea Joyce Snedden, 50, 214 Dixon Ave., DuBois, is charged by the DuBois City police with arson and related offenses, causing or risking a catastrophe, recklessly endangering another person, disorderly conduct, following an incident at Sheetz on North Brady Street.
According to the affidavit, on Aug. 17, police were called to the store for a woman who was spraying gasoline on the ground and attempting to light it on fire near the gas pumps.
As police made their way to the store, they were told by the 911 center that the woman had left the area.
The officers spoke to staff at the store who allegedly told police that a woman had sprayed gasoline all over the parking lot and tried to light it on fire with a cigarette.
An employee pointed out the woman who was laying on a stone wall behind the store. Police also noticed a lot of gasoline on the ground with kitty litter on top and a cigarette in the middle of the kitty litter.
The officers spoke to the woman, later identified as Snedden. When asked what she was doing, Snedden allegedly replied that she was “disturbing the peace.”
Police could smell alcohol coming from Snedden and noticed she was smoking a cigarette that appeared to be the same kind as the cigarette, which had been used in an attempt to light the gasoline.
Snedden was handcuffed and detained.
Police continued to interview employees at the store who said Snedden came into the store smoking a cigarette and was told she was not allowed to smoke inside the store and had to leave. Snedden had paid for $5 in gas and then walked out of the store.
An employee saw a vehicle parked at pump three and turned it on. A few minutes later, the employee saw the vehicle leaving pump three, but saw Snedden standing at the gas pump island with a lit cigarette.
The employee went out and asked Snedden if she got her gas. Snedden allegedly told the employee she needed to get her gas from pump six. The employee went back into the store and turned on pump six, thinking Snedden needed to fill a gas can.
The employee then allegedly told police that when they turned back around they saw Snedden walking around the pump with the lit cigarette and walked back out to see if Snedden needed any help. The employee said they allegedly saw Snedden using the nozzle to spray gasoline all over the ground near pump six, while still smoking the cigarette.
The employee told police they ran back into the store to tell the other employees.
Another employee ran outside and saw gasoline pouring down the parking lot and a lit cigarette laying in the middle of the gasoline. The employee began to get fluid stoppers and kitty litter to prevent the gas from going any further and saw Snedden light another cigarette while standing next to the gas pumps.
The employee was able to get Snedden away from the pumps and allegedly asked Snedden what she was doing. The employee said Snedden allegedly said “see, it isn’t real gas or it would have lit up.”
Police noticed that the employees were all shaken and nervous, thinking that Snedden would blow up the store.
Police obtained security video, which confirmed what the employees had told police.
The officers then asked Snedden what happen. Snedden allegedly told police that she poured about $5 in gasoline into the parking lot and put her cigarette out in the gas to prove a point that it wouldn’t light on fire.
Police searched Snedden and found a pack of cigarettes, which were the same as the cigarette that was used to attempt to light the gas.