LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - During a recent visit, an incident involving a local gas station's clerk left 18-year-old Rodney Berry Jr. bruised. Police say the incident happened at the Valero Step-In #5 on Highway 14. According to Berry, he was simply going inside to shop for a necklace he'd seen the day before.
"I was about to buy a soda, watch and a necklace," said Berry. "I was looking through a bundle of them to find the one I'd see, and the clerk was like 'Hurry up. If you're not going to buy anything don't touch it.' And I said 'You know what, I'm not going to buy anything.' and I just walked out."
Police say the clerk reportedly made comments to Berry while Berry was in the store. After an exchange of words, police say the clerk grabbed a bottle and threw it at Berry, striking him on the left side of his back.
"I just don't understand why he would pick up a soda bottle and throw it at my back," said Berry.
Berry's mother, Erica Williams, says the clerk tried apologizing to the two and offered money to keep quiet.
"He was saying 'I apologize, I apologize,'" said Williams. "I'm so sorry. I know I was mad. I'll give you a $100. I said, 'No, I don't want $100. I'm going to call the police, because that means I'm accepting him physically harming my child.'"
Williams says she hopes raising awareness to this incident and reporting it to authorities will help keep other young men like Berry safe.
"You just can't harm a child, because they made you mad," said Williams. "It doesn't work like that."
Police say they're still investigating the case and are in the process of collecting statements and evidence, and because of that, they will not disclose the identity of the clerk, who we wanted to contact for comment.
Police say when the investigation is complete; it will be submitted to the Calcasieu Parish District Attorney's office for review.
At this time, the clerk has not been charged.