Incident at SuperAmerica that sparked online furor now called a 'misunderstanding'


An incident with a military member purportedly being denied service at a Minnesota gas station ignited a social media furor this week – but both sides now say it was a "misunderstanding."

The controversy centered on a SuperAmerica location in Bloomington.

It started with a Facebook post from Dave Boucha on Sunday that claimed a woman "was in her Air Force uniform" and denied service by the employees when she went in to prepay for gas.

"SHE WAS ASKED to leave and REFUSED service because they said it WAS OFFENSIVE to the Foreign CAB DRIVERS to be in the presence of an AMERICAN soldier," he wrote.

That post has since been deleted, but social media users, as well as the site snopes.com, have screenshots.

It quickly picked up steam on social media, with one Facebook post regarding the incident (which asks if anyone "wants to go and pay them a visit") shared nearly 6,300 times.

Boucha later posted a public update saying Woodbury-based SuperAmerica apologized and was looking into it.

A 'misunderstanding'

But both he and SuperAmerica now say what happened isn't what's been circulated and shared.

In a joint statement posted by Boucha and SuperAmerica late Tuesday, calling it a "misunderstanding on both parts." SuperAmerica said this came after a "thorough investigation and extensive interviews."

"Service was not denied to any military personnel in full uniform," the statement reads.

Boucha, in a quote, said the woman was not in uniform at the time as he originally said, but had her Air National Guard "drill attire" on.

"I want to apologize to SuperAmerica for any misunderstanding of information that I posted to my Facebook page stating she was in full military uniform," he said, before thanking them for investigating.

Despite the joint statement saying it was a misunderstanding, SuperAmerica's Facebook page is piling up complaints and boycott threats from upset customers.

SuperAmerica President Jack Helmick apologized if the female customer at the center of the incident was offended, and said the company is an active supporter of military members.

"We are committed to addressing our customer service procedures at the Post Road store which includes serving all customers including military and women customers," he wrote.

The statement also thanks military members, as well as those who showed support for them while the ordeal was investigated.

Snopes.com notes a similar incident happened in Michigan in 2014, when someone made a "virtually identical" claim and got social media riled up. In that incident, it turned out to actually be a misunderstanding over grades of gas.

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