‘Maligned’ military member was not at airport SuperAmerica

(Post is updated at bottom of page to include full SA statement)

What little credibility a claim of anti-American bias against a soldier at a SuperAmerica station still had, appears to have evaporated today when the company released the results of its investigation into the allegation, a day after the soldier’s father recanted his original Facebook post.

The brouhaha started when Dave Boucha of Minneapolis posted that the SuperAmerica station denied service to his daughter, Caitlin, because nearby immigrant cab drivers hated America and were offended by a member of the military. That sparked online outrage and calls to boycott the convenience store company.

On Tuesday, SuperAmerica and Boucha said it was a “misunderstanding.”

By Wednesday afternoon, Boucha backtracked on his story, acknowledging that there was no factual evidence the incident occurred.

boucha

Boucha has since deleted all references to the allegation from his Facebook page.

WCCO reports today that the woman was not at the store where the incident allegedly occurred.

On Thursday, SuperAmerica released an update on their investigation into the incident, saying that they worked with the Minneapolis Airport Police Department as well as military personnel.

They said that security video showed that the serviceperson was not at that location and didn’t use her credit card there. After initially refusing to meet with law enforcement, she was not able to identify the store employee from a lineup, SuperAmerica said.

SuperAmerica’s corporate parent has not yet responded to a request for more information.

Mr. Boucha has also not returned any messages.

Update 4:03 p.m. – Here is the full statement from SuperAmerica (Northern Tier Energy)

SuperAmerica Statement

The investigation into the alleged incident at the Post Road SuperAmerica location has been completed. The Minneapolis Airport Police, military personnel, and SuperAmerica senior management were involved in the investigation. The investigation included interviews with the store employees, the customer and members of her family, a review of both internal and external store video, and a review of credit card and debit card transactions. A summary of the findings as outlined in the Minneapolis Airport Police Report is provided below:

• Security video shows that the customer was not at the SuperAmerica location at 5201 Post Road
• SuperAmerica credit card transaction history shows the customer did not use her credit card at 5201 Post Road
• The customer initially refused to meet with law enforcement
• The customer was unsure how the store employee’s comments were discriminatory
• The customer’s story is not consistent with her credit card/debit card statements
• The customer could not identify the store employee from an employee lineup
• SuperAmerica was fully cooperative with any requests
• SuperAmerica answered and/or returned all phone calls immediately
• SuperAmerica has proven its efforts to locate this alleged incident and handle it professionally
• Overall, security video shows that the customer was not present at SuperAmerica and her credit/debit cards statements are consistent with the video results.

SuperAmerica thanks all of the individuals and organizations involved in this investigation as well as the public for their patience during the time of this extensive investigation.

SuperAmerica continues to support our military through numerous opportunities including being designated a yellow ribbon company for its support and employment of our nation’s veterans, the Minnesota Military Family Association, and our Defending the Blue Line program for military, police, and firefighters. Their dedication and sacrifices are greatly appreciated by all of our SuperAmerica family.

  • Neil

    But… what if I still really, really WANT it to be true?

    • Greg W

      Demand more investigation. Or just don’t believe it and think it’s part of vast cover-up.

      • Jeff

        SAnghazi

      • Jim in RF

        If we allow things like this to be covered up, Vince Foster died in vain.

    • Ben

      You’d not be alone.

  • Neil

    Interesting: evidence shows that she was not there, but she went through with a lineup. She thought she could wriggle out of it? This is what we used to call bad facts for her.

    PS Sounds like the employee deserves a really big apology.

    • It’s not clear in what order the two events occurred (lineup v. security camera footage).

      • Neil

        Sure, but if she wasn’t there… she’d know that. AnD she made this person go through a lineup knowing that. Unless I’m missing something.

        • Well the cops were involved and people can shut down when the cops are involved.

          A lot of credit has to go to SuperAmerica for pursuing the investigation with all vigor. I realize that the same people who were and are continuing with their screeds believe that it’s part of a grand conspiracy but how can it be, when the grand conspiracy is the U.S. invasion of Texas?

          • jon

            This is a distraction from what’s happening, or gung to happen in Texas!!

            The U.S. military started the rumor to show Texas business what would happen if they refused to support jade helm!

            Now open the store like normal and pretend that the military hasn’t taken over your town our we’ll destroy you the way we almost did super America! And pay no attention to the screams coming form that old Wal-Mart.

          • be kind

            @jon: You’re being satirical, right? Just checking.

          • kevins

            good question..but what if not?

          • jon

            I think I’m being sarcastic.

            But the combination of “support our troops, not immigrants” when placed back to back with “The troops are here, They must be up to something nefarious.” Really makes it sound as if the US is in an abusive relationship with it’s own military…

          • Paul

            The government doesn’t need the military to get Texans into Wal*Marts, just have Wal*Mart announce a sale on NASCAR stuff.

            Or is that statist?

          • Jade Helm:

  • Mike Worcester

    My concern is that this story will perpetuate, thanks to that
    potent combination of gullibility and the eternal nature of the
    Internet. For how long will SA corporation be forced to refute the
    story over and over….and over….and over…..

    I suppose this is what keeps sites like Snopes in business.

    • I could see a defamation case coming out of this.

      • Ben

        According to CBS, SuperAmerica does not intend to persue legal action. Not too sure they’d get much gain out of it anyway. Might even hurt them by appearing too vindictive.

  • Jack Ungerleider

    What I want to know is who made up the story in the first place? The alleged victim or her father? Was her initial reluctance to meet with police related to her father posting a story she knew was a fabrication? (That may be too strong a word but I think it fits.) If he created the story what was his ax to grind with SA? If its ethnically or racially motivated (because of the cabbies) does it rise to the level of “hate crime”? (I don’t think so.)

    Too many questions, not enough answers.

    • She told the story to her father; her father took it from there. And, yeah, there’s at least the faint aroma of anti-immigrant bias in the air behind it and the reaction to it.

    • Paul

      I wonder if he’s an Uber driver annoyed at the competition.

  • crystals

    I think it was Kassie who said this on the prior post (the thought of going back there gives me shudders): there are a lot of people beyond Super America who were labeled, generalized, and harmed in this cluster of a situation and I hope they are not lost in the series of apologies/recants/etc. still to come.

  • Jak

    Is there anywhere that I can find SuperAmerica’s statement online?

    People are still saying that it happened and decrying that “MPR is bias”

    • I posted it exactly as stated.

      People are fools.

      • Jak

        Thanks for the reply.
        Unsubstantiated rumors are the bread and butter of social media. The lack of accountability makes it powerful but dangerous.

        I just wish people wouldn’t go off the handle with such little info, let alone info that sounds dubious

  • lindblomeagles

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and speculate for a second. Those of us in the minority community hear occasionally from whites they believe they are being reversely discriminated against. I think this woman was uncomfortable being in close proximity with immigrants. I think she was so concerned about what the immigrants were doing behind her that she didn’t pay close attention to what was happening in front of her. Desirous of moving the immigrants from the store, she fabricated a story of what she thought may happen to her versus what was really happening to her — she was over-reacting to being in the presence of immigrants.

    • Wouldn’t she have had to be there? She wasn’t there.

      • Jack

        Minor detail Bob.

  • Dale

    Well if its on the internet it has to be true….right

  • Ben

    Bob, where was the official statement posted?

    • It wasn’t posted anywhere. It was sent to reporters who asked for it.

  • MrE85

    Bob, you did a great job uncovering this non-story. My heartfelt thanks for doing what you do, Next time we meet, the drinks are on me.

  • Matt

    Facts are stubborn things.