COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. - A Collier County man is behind bars Sunday night after an argument at a Naples gas station turned violent. Deputies say 49-year old Brian Kelly verbally attacked three women, dousing one with gasoline and threatening to light her on fire! Investigators say in the report the incident appears to be hate-crime related.
Patrice Worcester often fills up her tank at the Shell station on Tavilla Circle, right off the Immokalee Road exit.
"It's a really safe neighborhood. I come here all the time. I shop at Publix here. It's very quiet," she said.
That silence was broken Friday. According to a Collier County Sheriff's Report, 49-year old Brian Kelly, who is white, asked three black women to move their car because he was blocked in. The report says, Kelly and one of the women exchanged racial slurs and the argument escalated.
"It's scary to me. To be at like a gas station I come to all the time, knowing that something like that happened. It's crazy," said customer Haley Delmonte.
According to the report, another woman got out of the car with an umbrella. It goes on to say Kelly got a blow torch out of his car and grabbed a gas pump, later telling deputies, he felt threatened. One of the women said Kelly sprayed diesel fuel on her leg and threatened to burn her, saying, "I'll do the same thing to you just as they did to Travon Martin."
"When people start to become, prejudice, it's becomes very difficult," said resident Cheryl Bernardi.
Wink Newsspoke with the on-duty attendant who heard the screams and saw the commotion. She could not appear on-camera due to company policy but says the incident frightened her. She's relieved the alleged attacker is now in jail.
According to the report, all of the victims say they were in fear for their lives. Kelly was arrested for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He remains in jail on a $350,000 bond.