A local gas station owner arrested last month for a profanity laced tirade directed at one of his customers was granted accelerated rehabilitation on Thursday.
Shabbir Hasan, 37, of Northford, appeared before a judge at Middletown Superior Court following his arrest on Aug. 26 for second degree breach of peace — a misdemeanor — over an incident at Rockfall Garage nearly two weeks earlier.
According to a police report, on Aug. 17, Middlefield Resident Trooper Eric Kelly received a complaint that Hasan began "yelling, screaming and swearing" at a customer while the customer was inside the store at 208 Main Street to buy candy for his 2-year-old granddaughter a day earlier.
According to the complaint, the victim told police that he had frequented the store often and was "shocked" over Hasan's outburst. The yelling began, the victim said, after he'd complimented the store owner on his beard.
When Kelly approached Hasan — who owns the gas station and convenience store but not the building or adjacent car repair business — about the incident, the report says, the store owner initially stated that "nothing" had happened but video surveillance footage of the incident revealed that the encounter between the two men turned from laughter to anger in a matter of seconds.
"There is a verbal exchange between Hasan and [the alleged victim] and laughing can be heard at some point," the report says. "[Victim] then takes his left hand, while holding his wallet and reaches across the counter in an attempt to hit Hasan's right arm. Right away, Hasan makes an unknown comment to [victim] who then salutes Hasan. After [victim] salutes Hasan, Hasan raises his voice and starts swearing at [victim]."
According to the report, Hasan told the victim he was "never allowed in the store ever again" and when the victim asked Hasan not to swear in front of his granddaughter, "he swore louder."
The 2-year-old child, who could be seen dancing before the incident on the surveillance video, froze when Hasan began yelling, the report says. The yelling could be heard outside of the store and was witnessed by two customers, according to the report.
The entire incident lasted less than a minute, according to Kelly.
Police have made numerous visits to the gas station to investigate similar incidents but no charges have ever been filed against Hasan, the report says.
If Hasan completes the program the charge will be dismissed, according to the judge.