Monday night, people who live near the Variety Pic-Up store on New Bern Avenue met with the owner. The meeting was heated, but in control, until one of the resident's frustrations boiled over and pushed the convenience store owner.
Those who live near the Variety Pic-Up said they have had all kinds of trouble with the store since 1996 and they are tired of waiting for the store owner to clean up its image.
Residents are upset about crowds of people hanging out at the store in the early morning hours and the sale of alcohol and drug paraphernalia.
"There can be as many as 100 or more people out here. You can also tell these people are not here to buy gas, because they're not pulling up to the gas tanks. If anyone did want to buy gas they couldn't because you'd be petrified in getting out of your vehicle," resident Venita Peyton said.
Police have been called to the store nearly 500 times in last two and half years.
Residents want city leaders to close the store on a nuisance charge, and the Alcohol Beverage Commision to pull the store's alcohol permit.
The ABC has only one pending alcohol violation against the storefor selling alcohol after house, which it said is not enough to pull the permit.
There has also been some controversy over who owns the store; Mike Sider claims to, although his brother runs it.
Sider said he did not know about any problems.
"For them to be brothers, you mean to tell me one didn't tell the other one 'We need to tighten up.' The apple don't fall too far from the tree," resident Octavia Rainey said.
Sider told those at the meeting that said he wants to take over and run the store the right way.
"If you give me your support, I will give you my support. I promise you, whatever you want me to do, I will try to help everybody," he said.
Sider and his attorney said they are willing to make any changes the residents suggest and will start doing so this week to show good faith.
"I think we'll probably start off limiting the hours, limiting when we're going to sell alcohol, trying to have some police officers there on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights," said Bart White, Sider's attorney.
Residents said they are still skeptical.
"We're not going to settle for something like just cutting back store hours," Peyton said. "If they thought that would help they would have done it a long time ago. We're not going to tell these people how to run a legitimate business."
Kevin Reed, the man who had the run-in with Sider, was cited by police for simple assault. Sider is considering filing charges as well.
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