NJ man pours gasoline in barbershop after argument about service, cops say
NORTH BERGEN — It could have been a fatal disaster had the gasoline that was poured on the floor of a barbershop been ignited, according to North Bergen police.
Video posted by HudPost shows a man, later identified as Humberto Vanegas, 30, entering The Zone barbershop Monday around 12:20 p.m. Vanegas is seen partially dumping the gas from a 5-gallon container and then leaving.
One of the shop's workers slips in the puddle as they head out the door.
The video cuts to a shot of the workers holding down Vanegas on the sidewalk.
"I don't have matches," the township resident shouts as he struggles.
North Bergen police Capt. David Dowd told New Jersey 101.5 the man did not have matches or a lighter and was likely only trying to scare the shop's workers.
"There was probably ten persons inside the building including a 4-year-old. The scary thing is that should that have gone off there would have been no way for them to exit," Dowd said.
An argument goes extreme
Dowd said Vanegas' father got into an argument with one of the staff about the tools being dirty and unsanitary.
"When he was going to pay for his haircut, it was a little more expensive than he was normally being charged for," Dowd said. "According to the son, one of the staff may have threatened him with the scissors."
Dowd said the staff denied threatening Vanegas' father and there was no evidence of a threat with scissors on the video.
In the video, Vanegas only pours the contents of the container using only one arm, leading police to believe that it wasn't completely full.
"We also don't think it was pure gas. It's difficult to tell on video. The liquid was clear, consistent with gasoline, but gas also has a tint to it," Dowd said.
Dowd said the shop was closed for the rest of the day as the power was turned off and the fire department cleaned up the gas.
Vanegas was charged with second-degree causing or risking widespread injury or damage and fourth-degree criminal mischief. He was arraigned on Tuesday and released held after being held at the Hudson County Jail.