Holden teen drives off with gas nozzle still in car

Posted Feb. 08, 2012, at 11:50 a.m.

HOLDEN, Maine — A local teenager put gas into his car early Wednesday morning at G&M Variety Market on U.S. Route 1A and then drove off without disconnecting the nozzle, thereby ripping the hose right off the pump, Police Chief Gene Worcester said.

The store distributes gas under the Dysart’s name.

“To his credit, he called Dysart’s to let them know,” Worcester said of the 19-year-old. “They didn’t believe it was leaking.”

The hose was leaking, though, and was discovered by Officer Chris Greeley about 1:45 a.m. Wednesday while he was doing a routine check, Worcester said.

“The hose had detached from the main unit and fuel was running out of the hose,” the police chief said.

Greeley described the fuel leak as a thin stream and said a small puddle had formed. The Holden Fire Department was called to clean up the spilled fuel. The Department of Environmental Protection also was notified but did not respond because the leak was so small, Worcester said.

Longtime store clerk Robin Stonetree said it is not uncommon for customers to drive off with the nozzle of the hose still in their vehicles. She said it occurs every four to six weeks, on average.

“It happens quite a bit,” she said. “They literally forget it’s there and drive away.”

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