A panhandler allegedly accosted and violently threatened a woman at a Dallas gas station while she was attempting to fuel up her car.
Sarah Zubiate Bennett was at the Chevron at the intersection of North Fitzhugh Avenue and Highway 75 when a man blocked her from getting gas and demanded money.
She had opened her car door and begun to step out when the person approached and stood directly in front of her car’s gas cap, blocking her way, she told The Dallas Express.
“I need change,” the man demanded.
According to Bennett, she was alone and in the middle of a phone call, but she explained that she had no cash on her. The man continued to stand there, preventing her from getting to the gas tank.
After waiting for him to either say something or to go to someone else for help, she asked, “Sir, could you please move away from the car?”
At that point, the panhandler allegedly became even more aggressive and threatened Bennett with violence, yelling “b**ch, I’m gonna f**king slap you!”
Before the man could get any closer, Bennett jumped in the car, slammed the car door closed, and started driving away. As she went, however, there was a loud bang on the side of the car as the man reportedly began hitting the vehicle.
She went to a nearby gas station and upon exiting her vehicle, a different panhandler began approaching her. Frustrated, she jumped back into her car and drove off again, giving up on gas for the moment.
“It was just terrifying,” she shared, expressing frustration that the city is becoming more dangerous while to her, the city council and the district attorney seemingly do not care.
Bennett explained, “I didn’t call the cops because at that point I just thought, you know, the cops, what are they gonna do? Take an hour to respond to this?”
Bennett grew up in Juarez and El Paso and at 5’2″ and Hispanic, she had to learn to fend for herself. She never thought those rough conditions would follow her to Dallas.
Said Bennett, “The gas station is in council member Ridley’s district, why doesn’t he do something? Does he not care that women are being terrorized on the streets by these panhandlers and vagrants? I hear stories constantly from other women and how they’re scared to go out. Where’s District Attorney John Cruezot on all this?”
A recent poll commissioned by The Dallas Express showed that Dallas residents believe that the top two issues driving people out of Dallas are crime (29.9%) and homelessness/vagrancy (27.1%).
The solutions offered by the city government to reduce homelessness and vagrancy have seemingly had a negligible effect as the problems persist. Additionally, critics suggest that the policies of Dallas District Attorney John Creuzot have led to an increase in crime as his office refuses to prosecute certain offenses.
The Dallas Express reached out to City Councilman Paul Ridley as the incident occurred in District 14, but he refused to respond. This is not the first time people have been threatened by the homeless or vagrants in Ridley’s district, however. A similar instance occurred in July, as reported by The Dallas Express.
Disclosure: Sarah Bennett is a board member of The Dallas Express and the wife of board member and publisher Monty Bennett.