The city of Dallas has filed a lawsuit against a Texaco station in northeast Dallas, blaming it for tolerating drug deals and other criminal activity.
According to a release, the lawsuit was filed on July 22 against the owner of the Texaco at 11770 Ferguson Rd., blaming the gas station for its role as a hub for crimes such as drug dealing and robbery.
The station is located at the crime-ridden intersection at Ferguson and 635 that's right on the border of Dallas and Garland — making it a kind of no man's land in terms of law enforcement. Many homeless and panhandlers can be found camped there daily, harassing motorists getting on and off 635.
The entire neighborhood has had issues for years, with numerous shootings at the strip center next door. But the lawsuit seems to have been prompted by videos that were posted on Facebook in July showing a group of young men loitering at the gas station, selling drugs, and getting into fights.
The city cites 36 crimes that took place at the Texaco between July 2017 to July 2018, including robbery, aggravated assault, drug deals, and a shooting in February, when a security guard was killed and another person was critically injured.
But the company that owns the Texaco — Bajrangbali786 LLC in Houston, registered to Avish Patel and Sandeep Shah — bought the property in 2018.
The owners of an apartment building next door are among business owners who say the area is not being properly policed.
Geoff Henley, who recently bought the Meadows apartment building with his brother Hudson, wrote an editorial for the Dallas Morning News on July 2, listing the problems they'd encountered with drug dealers in the neighborhood and calling for a greater police presence and more arrests.
"While we have cleared out dealers on the property, the problem is much greater," Henley writes. "In front of the only driveway to the complex, dealers run an open-air drug emporium at the gas station next door. Right off the freeway and on the Dallas-Garland border, the site is a crime magnet."
Henley says that a police car drives through every half hour or so but the police are outnumbered.
The Texaco manager, Alex Mahomood, tells NBC 5 that he has called 911 nearly 100 times in the past three months, but police rarely respond; and that he has turned over dozens of surveillance videos to police that were recorded on the store's camera, with no action taken.
Henley's security staff has also called 911 without response.
This is not the first time the city has sued a property owner, alleging they are a party to criminal activity. In 2017, the city sued the Bent Creek Shopping Center at Forest Lane and Audelia Road, describing it also as a hub for criminal activity, and calling it a crime "enabler."
More recently, they managed to shut down Jim's Car Wash, a longtime business on Martin Luther King Boulevard, after 15 years of blaming them for crime in the area.
The release from the city says that the Dallas Police Department will maintain escalated patrols in the area and will be conducting additional operations in the coming days.