The elderly petrol pump attendant involved in the Caltex Tampines saga has asserted that the incident was a misunderstanding and has urged netizens to stop harassing the BMW driver.
The altercation between the attendant and the BMW driver occurred at the Caltex petrol station at Tampines Ave 8 over the weekend, when the driver allegedly asked the attendant to fill his vehicle with $10 worth of petrol but was shocked to find that the attendant had filled a full tank of petrol, amounting to $135.
The BMW refused to pay for something he had not asked and the elderly attendant agreed to cover the remaining cost, allegedly since he did not want to create an issue.
The case went viral after a witness, Facebook user Kelly Yeo, shared the story online, painting the driver in an unfavourable light. Netizens excoriated the driver and released his private details online even as support poured forth for the attendant. Caltex also chimed in and said that it did not make the attendant cover the $125.
This did not stave off the disdain that netizens showed for the BMW driver. Some even created a Facebook group, with a self-professed objective to “Hunt this scumbag down teach him a evil lesson with NO VIOLENT IS INVOLVED!”
The driver has since shared his side of the story to the Chinese daily. Expressing distress at the notoriety the case has earned him, the driver said he was disappointed that the witness did not bother to get his side of the story. He added that he has lodged a police report, worried that his son may face danger due to this issue.
Revealing his side of the story, the driver said that he had been planning to trade his car in at a dealership in Jurong. This was why he wanted to top up only $10 worth of petrol, so it could cover his trip from Tampines to Jurong.
The driver asked the driver in Mandarin to top up $10 worth of petrol but was shocked to find a hefty fee waiting for him at the cashier. When he clarified his order to the cashier, the cashier called up the attendant for an explanation. According to the driver, the attendant insisted that the driver asked for a full tank of petrol and adamantly raised his voice when the driver disputed this.
When asked about the driver’s allegations about his attitude, the pump attendant who is affectionately known as “Cowboy” to his coworkers simply smiled and shrugged his shoulders.
Speaking to the Chinese daily, the attendant revealed that he does not read the news or surf the internet too often and that he only realised how viral the issue had gotten on Monday. The attendant declined to comment on how the driver had asked him to fill up his tank, adding that he felt that it was not right for him to do so since the matter is being handled by his company.
On what happened that day, the attendant only said that the situation was quite chaotic that day. Instead, the driver has decided to speak out on the driver’s behalf, disturbed by the harassment that the driver was being subjected to.
Calling on netizens to be rational and to let the matter pass, he said: “The entire incident was a misunderstanding, and the company is now handling it. As for netizens harassing the driver, I feel that there is really no need for this, and they should stop immediately. Don’t disturb the BMW driver.”
Meanwhile, it appears that the garage which has been doing repairs on the BMW involved in the incident has also been facing harassment. Throughout the saga, the driver has maintained that he had been planning to trade his car in at a dealership in Jurong. This was why he wanted to top up only $10 worth of petrol, so it could cover his trip from Tampines to Jurong. This was later confirmed by the police.
Two days ago, online sleuths tracked a car that appeared to be the same one involved in the saga to sgCarMart.com where it was up for sale for $28,500.
Mr Huang Jun Ming, the manager at the automotive dealer where the driver traded in his car, told reporters that the vehicle was sent over to a garage as per company protocol. The 24-year-old added that maintenance works were being done on the car’s rear mirror and headlights at the Platinum Werkz garage.
A shareholder at the garage, 25-year-old Mr Hu Qinsheng, said that he only realised that the car was the same BMW that was embroiled in the viral dispute when more than 10 people arrived at the garage on Monday to take photos of the BMW. He added: “After that, we received various harassing calls. We can only try our best to explain the whole incident all over.”