Incident at Lake Charles gas station may have been misunderstand - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Incident at Lake Charles gas station may have been big misunderstanding

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A bit of bad luck, bad timing and a language barrier may have caused the standoff at the Valero gas station on Belden Street Tuesday afternoon. (Lee Peck / KPLC) A bit of bad luck, bad timing and a language barrier may have caused the standoff at the Valero gas station on Belden Street Tuesday afternoon. (Lee Peck / KPLC)
A bit of bad luck, bad timing and a language barrier may have caused the standoff at the Valero gas station on Belden Street Tuesday afternoon. (Lee Peck / KPLC) A bit of bad luck, bad timing and a language barrier may have caused the standoff at the Valero gas station on Belden Street Tuesday afternoon. (Lee Peck / KPLC)
A bit of bad luck, bad timing and a language barrier may have caused the standoff at the Valero gas station on Belden Street Tuesday afternoon. (Lee Peck / KPLC) A bit of bad luck, bad timing and a language barrier may have caused the standoff at the Valero gas station on Belden Street Tuesday afternoon. (Lee Peck / KPLC)
A bit of bad luck, bad timing and a language barrier may have caused the standoff at the Valero gas station on Belden Street Tuesday afternoon. (Lee Peck / KPLC) A bit of bad luck, bad timing and a language barrier may have caused the standoff at the Valero gas station on Belden Street Tuesday afternoon. (Lee Peck / KPLC)
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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

A bit of bad luck, bad timing and a language barrier may have caused the standoff at the Valero gas station on Belden Street Tuesday afternoon.

A man prepaid for gas and was pumping it when there was a power outage in the area.

The man was not able to get all of the gas he paid for so he went inside the store and asked for a refund. A language barrier between him and the store clerk may have made the situation last longer.

At the same time, around 2:30 p.m., city police received a call about a robbery in progress at the store.

An officer who was in the area made it to the store within a minute and looked through a window. He said he saw the gas station clerk and the man.

Deputy Chief Mark Kraus said the clerk made an unusual gesture to the officer, which caused an escalation of the incident. More city police officers and SWAT were called to the gas station and portions of the interstate were closed.

"We don't know what we have yet," Kraus said at the time. "We do know we have a phone call from an independent person that an armed robbery took place. And when we arrived the store clerk was conducting himself in a suspicious manner attempting to alert police of what we though was taking place in the store and that's why the precaution was brought about."

The store clerk said he was simply trying to tell the officer that they were closed due to the power outage.

About 30 minutes after it started the man left the store and was taken into custody for questioning. Authorities brought in an interpreter to try to find out what happened from the clerk.

We still have no word on who made the robbery call.

Regardless, Kraus said they take all calls seriously, "I commend the police officers who turned on their lights and sirens to race up here to stand between what they thought was a man with a gun and the public," said Kraus.

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