Sisters assaulted at gas station say they feared for their lives
As three men pushed, hit and dragged two sisters along the pavement outside a gas station, one of the sisters thought their lives were in danger.
Jamila Regan, 25, of Pittsburgh’s Central North Side neighborhood, and her sister Ashia Regan, 27, who lives in East Allegheny, spoke to the media Friday for the first time since the Sept. 20 assault by employees of the now-closed Exxon gas station on Brighton Road in the city’s Marshall-Shadeland neighborhood.
“I was fearful for my life and that of my sister,” Jamila Regan said inside the Downtown office of their attorney, Todd Hollis.
“We are hard-working, taxpaying Americans. We are not thugs. We are not animals. We are human beings,” Ashia Regan said.
Hollis said there may be civil actions taken in court once the criminal cases against the men in the case are resolved.
Jamila Regan felt a combination of hurt, anger and fear while it happened, she said.
“I felt this compounded feeling that me and my sister were alone and no one cared about us,” Jamila Regan said.
The women wanted a refund of $17 for gas that spilled when a pump malfunctioned, according to the criminal complaints filed against the men charged in the fray.
Clerks refused the refund, and the Regans and three of the station’s employees fought. It escalated from words to worse. It was caught on video that Hollis described as a horrific and atrocious incident.
They had bought gas and shopped at the station before without incident, both women said.
Attorney David A. Shrager represents Sukhjinder “Simon” Sadhra, 35, of Ross and Balkar “Bill” Singh, 40, of Harmar. Sadhra is facing two counts of misdemeanor simple assault and Singh faces a single simple assault charge.
Another gas station employee — Scott Hill, 50, of Pittsburgh’s Perry South neighborhood — also is charged with two counts of simple assault. Hill has not responded to requests for comment, and he doesn’t have an attorney listed in court records.
District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. has resisted calls from activists and political leaders to pursue stronger charges.
Black Political Empowerment Project CEO Tim Stevens also has written letters to Mayor Bill Peduto, Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich, police Chief Scott Schubert, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Allegheny County Council members.
The operator of the gas station hasn’t been identified by any of the parties involved in the case. ExxonMobil doesn’t operate stations itself, the company said.
LGP Realty Holdings LP (LGPRH) is the owner of the land and assets of the station, but it isn’t the operator of the station.
LGP said in a statement emailed Thursday that it has terminated the lease of the operator and is working to find a new entity to operate the station.
Tom Davidson is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tom at 724-226-4715, [email protected] or via Twitter .