FISHERS, Ind. - A gas station manager is glad to have his good name back with him after charges he had faced were dropped. Ahmad Al-Rafie faced charges of intimidation with a firearm, which officially were dropped this week by Hamilton County prosecutors.
Al-Rafie was relieved to know he would not face further consequences.
“I’ve never been arrested before, I’ve never gotten in trouble with the law," Al-Rafie said. "I’ve always been a good citizen.”
Back on June 20, Al-Rafie was working at the BP Gas Station along East 131st Street, near S.R. 37. Police have charged Steven Robinson, 23, for theft.
Al-Rafie said he saw Robinson take a cigar and had the gas station owner to quickly check the security footage for proof. When the owner confirmed what Al-Rafie saw, the owner went outside to tell Robinson they had seen what he had done and if he stole it intentionally.
“If somebody stole something, and we actually see it, if we have evidence that something was stolen, we would approach them," Al-Rafie said. "That’s our right to confront them.”
Al-Rafie and his attorney, Mario Massillamany released video of the June incident Friday. The video shows Al-Rafie going outside after his boss unsuccessfully asked Robinson to come back inside and pay for the cigar or return it to them. The manager believes the intimidation charge stemmed from Robinson being told Al-Rafie pulled out a gun and pointed it at Robinson. Video showed otherwise.
"He was reaching in the car in a scary way," Al-Rafie said as he recalled that June afternoon. "It was like he was trying to grab a piece. All I wanted was the safety of myself and the safety of others. I just warned him, I said stop, don’t try anything funny.”
The video shows Al-Rafie showing Robinson, who was still in his vehicle, he was armed but the video showed he never picked it up.
Before working at the gas station, Al-Rafie said he was an interpreter for the military. He worked for the Department of Defense and assisted Delta Forces during foreign invasions.
“I know how you draw your gun and I know how you do all these things," said Al-Rafie, who is almost always armed. "And I know you don’t do that unless you’re 100 percent sure, which this was not the case. If he stole something, that’s not worth it.”
The day of the robbery, Al-Rafie said police saw the video footage, but must not have been sold that was all that happened. Al-Rafie was arrested and spent a night in the Hamilton County Jail.
“The next day, I’m supposed to meet the judge for the bond and the next thing you know, they call my name, they release me very quickly out of the jail and just give me a piece of paper saying you’re released, we don’t have any charges pressed against you right now," he said.
Al-Rafie still works at the gas station. He said his first job is to protect himself, customers and his coworkers. He added he's always had a good relationship with police who come to the gas station and wanted vindicated of this incident to keep that relationship with officers.
“I just want my name cleared," Al-Rafie said. "I have a good name in the community and I don’t want an instant which I had no fault in to smudge my name.”