Superstorm Sandy

New York Man Arrested for Buying Gasoline For Neighbors

The containers the man used to store and transport the gas--five gallon Home Depot buckets--are unsafe, says the law. Both the man and the gasoline station owner who sold him the gas face misdemeanor charges for that reason.


The containers the man used to store and transport the gas–five gallon Home Depot buckets–are unsafe, says the law. Both the man and the gasoline station owner who sold him the gas face misdemeanor charges for that reason.

From the MSNBC version of the story, which uses the phrase "gas hoarding case" in the headline. From the letter of the law, what Mr. Yunus Latif is charged with is not hoarding gas per se, but doing so in unsafe containers:

According to investigators, Yunus Latif, of Richmond Hill, collected money from his neighbors, bought gas at a Valero station almost 80 miles away in Orange and planned to bring it back to his neighborhood, where they had no power and gas….

Just before 9 p.m. on Saturday in Orange, police found buckets filled with 4 gallons each stacked inside Latif's van and it looked like the lids were beginning to expand, officials said.

That owner of the Valero gas station, located at 347 Boston Post Road, was arrested as well.

Police claimed Muniruzzaman Gomosta, 41, should have known what Latif was doing since he came into the store several times to pay for buckets of gasoline.

Gomosta said the gas station was very busy and he did not realize that Latif was filling five-gallon buckets with gas, said police.

Some reasons why what he did was unsafe. Whether the application of such laws diligently in times of emergency is the best use of police attention and time, whether that choice on the part of the cops was the best application of protecting and serving given the realities of a powerless community, seems a genuinely open question.

The story does not address what brought the police to be examining the containers in the back of Mr. Latif's van. Mr. Latif and his neighbors with no gas or power were not allowed to enjoy the fruits of their ill-stored gains; the gas was confiscated and returned to underground storage tanks.

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  1. Governmental enforcers buttfucking people’s efforts to ease the burden of recovering from a natural disaster. This is just what the Patriots of the Continental Army signed up to fight for all those years ago.

    Stay classy, NY.

    1. It is UNLAWFUL to dispense gasoline into unapproved containers

      Sub-text: We own you.

      Alt-text There’s a joke about Mohammed somewhere in there.

      1. “It is UNLAWFUL to dispense gasoline into unapproved containers.

        Bend over and take the cock of Emperor and Country.”

  2. I thought the SOP of martial law was to shoot violators onsite.

    1. onsite or on sight….either one i guess.

        1. Off site, too. And before or after sight.

  3. The story does not address what brought the police to be examining the containers in the back of Mr. Latif’s van.

    $10 says some other customer at the station saw a suspicious looking foreigner-type filling the buckets and figured he must be terrorist.

    1. this

    2. In New York? That’s not possible. It’s a progressive state, and we all know that only southern and midwestern states have racists in them.

    3. Clearly he was.

      Anyone trying to get emergency survival supplies to those whom the government has deemed unworthy of them, is a terrorist.


    1. i love the fact that people in the US *do* on the whole respect and admire police

      and i love the fact that this reality annoys you.

      this story is about as “non story” as you can get.

      a guy got charged for committing a misdemeanor, one that is hardly vague and one that is certainly reasonable. hint: don’t transport gasoline in buckets. it’s stupid and dangerous.

  5. Stories like this (they are legion) proves without a doubt that people who get into law enforcement and regulatory agencies do so not to “help people” or to “make a difference,” — they are garden variety bullies who get off on pushing others around.

    1. On the other hand if the lids popped off the buckets while dude was driving, and gas splashed around the back of the van, he could have had a really bad day.

      1. Self-correcting behavior…

      2. Would have been really messed up – for him.

        In any case, I’m sure that if he had an “approved” container that is what he would have used. Sometimes you gotta make do with what you have.

    2. right. because enforcing entirely reasonable laws about transporting of flammables is just PUSHING OTHERS AROUND.

      jesus christ. people will whine about anything. the law isn’t stupid (like many laws we have). it’s entirely rational. it’s not arbitrary (like many laws we have). it’s well advertised (how many people have seen those signs at gas stations. i’d reckon about everybody who has ever pumped gas. they are prominently displayed) and this moron DESERVED a criminal cite.

      are we supposed to sympathize with him or think the cops are evil for enforcing an entirely reasonable statute?

      should the cops have held his hand and sung kumbaya with him?

      carrying gas in approved containers is easily done and remarkably safe. carrying it in buckets is incredibly stupid and could put him AND others in danger. prohibiting same is the essense of GOOD law

  6. it looked like the lids were beginning to expand, officials said.

    I wonder if that is true, or just another one of those standard lines/lies they insert into reports.

    the gas was confiscated and returned to underground storage tanks.

    What about the cash?

    1. It didn’t say whose underground storage tanks it was returned to.

      1. You can be sure they called in the full hazmat team to dispose it, so my guess is they poured it into their yard tank.

        1. Do they have a union of their own? The Unapproved Gasoline Container Removal & Enforcement Workers of the United States (UGCREWUS)?

      2. Reminds me of when I was a teen and we had bonfires and beer at the beach.

        Cops would roll up in a 4×4, confiscate the beer, load it into the vehicle, and move on to the next fire pit.

        1. I used to live in a college town where the cops would brag about how they never had to purchase alcohol.

          1. They can keep the tequila that comes in big plastic jugs. And damn near everything else I drank in college.

            I shudder to think what those cops were willing to drink. It lowers my opinion of them even more.

            1. This was a fancy-pants college where they could afford things closer to the top of the shelf.

              1. We hosted some big parties.

                Nobody buys 20 gallons of top-shelf stuff to make margaritas for 19-year-olds who wouldn’t know A?ejo from their anuses.

                1. Not all confiscated booze comes from big parties.

          2. perks are perks!

            1. What other job allows you to beat up some drunk kid who’s too fucked up to fight back or even know what’s going on, steal his booze, and then drink it while he sits in jail!

              Being a cop is awesome!

              (and people wonder why I have zero respect for law enforcement)

    2. Confiscated and returned to underground police safe.

  7. It is pretty unsafe to do what it seems he did. A sealed container with gasoline pumped out of the ground at around 55?F can blow the lid off as the fuel warms up and the vapor pressure rises. It’s less of a danger in a container designed to relieve this pressure safely. If a 5 gal container lid pops in the car and sloshes fuel around inside it could be rather dangerous.

    Anyway, SLD, this guy should be responsible for damages if anything bad happened. These laws are pushed by insurance companies mainly for their benefit. Think of ordinances ahainst leaving your car unlocked, etc.

    1. Not every dangerous activity is ‘policed’ by insurance companies.

      1. Some are policed by physician lobbies, and other fine professions.

      2. Some dangerous activities are ensured by police.

  8. MSNBC is hoarding stupidity.

    1. MSNBC is hoarding stupidity.

      I do not know, they seem to share pretty freely.

  9. I don’t see the problem if this was a safety issue and not about reselling the gasoline.

    1. I don’t see the problem if this was a safety issue and not about reselling the gasoline.

      Who was harmed?

      1. The neighbors who chipped in for the gas who I assume are not getting their money back.

        1. The neighbors who chipped in for the gas who I assume are not getting their money back.

          And we know who was responsible for that, and it was not Latif.

      2. is this another one of those arguments that reckless activity can only be proscribed ONCE it results in injury or death?

        the funhouse mirror libertarianism (no mainstream libertarian advocates for, for example, doing away with DUI laws except when people are injured) that benefits nobody and just makes the fringe element look like the lunatics they are.

        carrying gasoline in a motor vehicle, especially one that’s about to travel on the highways etc. in an unapproved (which means a presumed unsafe) container is dangerous and not just to the transporter.

        from a cost effectiveness angle, i’d rather the cops be stopping the transport as in this case, then responding AFTER the fact to highway tragedy.

        this really is much ado about nothing.

        people could argue he should have been given a warning, but ok. that’s a fair argument but it’s hardly an injustice that he was cited for committing a dangerous and non-arbitrary and well advertised (iow, it’s hard to be ignorant of this law since there are notifications at every gas pump i’ve seen) law.

    2. I do. Bad law, stupid regulation, enforced by the local badges. Not good.

      1. What makes it a bad law?

        1. All laws about the possibility of something bad happening, rather than punishing people for things that actually happen, are bad laws.

          Fuck you, that’s why.

          1. That covers…well, that covers practically all regulations and most public safety laws.

            So if you argument against this particular regulation is LIBERTOPIA BITCHES! then I guess we’re done here.

            1. Accelerating an enormous assemblage of metal and flammable fuel is a public safety risk. Ban automobiles.

              The argument isn’t “LIBERTOPIA, BITCHES!” It’s “these rules are fucking retarded and morally unjustifiable.”

              1. Accelerating an enormous assemblage of metal and flammable fuel is a public safety risk.

                It is when you’re doing 100 mph on the Jersey Turnpike.

                It’s not if you are driving in a controlled manner.

                1. In my Mustang, I can mow down dozens of people at 30mpg entirely accidentally. Clearly, a safety risk.

                  In that luminously retarded view, everything is a public safety risk. That’s why all these regulations are wrong.

            2. Sure are.

              1. Done here, that is.

            3. That covers…well, that covers practically all regulations and most public safety laws.

              Now you are getting it. Pre-crime is an abomination.

              1. “Yes sir, we know the mob is running a protection racket in your neighborhood, but until they actually firebomb someone’s store, it’s not a crime yet.”

          2. “Yes ma’am, we’ve gotten lots of calls that there’s a nut up in the tower shooting at people, but until he actually hits someone, we’re powerless to do anything about it.”

        2. It tells people what they can and can’t do with shit they buy. If you’re a fucking imbecile and your gasoline kills someone, sure, jail it is, but victimless crimes are an abomination.

          1. “No sir, we will not tell your neighbor to stop firing up into the air. Unless the bullets come down and kill someone, we wouldn’t want to tell him what he can do with the shit he buys.”

  10. Failure to pay the New York gas taxes (between 34 and 67 cents, depending on locality) is a crime! Why would you evil Somalia-loving libertarians want to deny the state its revenues? It’s for the children!

    1. Yeah, to abort the children, because Planned Parenthood funding IS A RIGHT.

  11. I would think a safety violation would be at most a fine, but obviously I don’t think like a New York legislator.

  12. The story does not address what brought the police to be examining the containers in the back of Mr. Latif’s van.

    “Police dog ‘Rex’ ‘alerted’ while passing the van, indicating there was probably cause to intrude investigate further. Clearly, since we found these containers, it validates Rex’s abilities.”

    GOOD BOY, Rex!

  13. How much gasoline is being wasted by idiots driving around looking for gasoline?

    This guy was performing a useful service by aggregating demand.

    The Precautionary Principle strikes again.

  14. Reminds me a bit of this story I read on BoingBoing over the weekend. They go full retard over price gouging and hoarding. I waded into the comments and got called a sociopathic 13 year old by their censorious douche moderator Antinous (I fuckin hate that guy).

    1. A coworker of mine was angrily talking of how unconscionable it is to profit off of something like this.
      “How could someone charge more for essentials like water to and old lady or a single mother!?!”
      I asked “I’d rather the old lady or single mom pay extra than have them wait in a long line only to find that there’s no more.”

      Her head exploded.

      1. did she babble incoherently about it not being fair that someone with more money being able to bypass the lines? It’s like they can’t fathom that some people will pay more, not because they can, but because they want to?

        1. Exactly.

          “It’s unfair! How can someone profit off misfortune like that! What about the truly needy? Why do they pay more while the rich get whatever they want?”

          It always boils down to envy.

      2. Uh, because someone with a vehicle and fuel could just as soon go hang out in the Adirondacks and go fishing, rather than use it to haul stuff back into a hell-hole, to supply people who need it and didn’t bother having any on hand?

    2. Pinko cunts really aren’t worth the effort. Imagine he’s a turd, because that’s about as much as he’s actually worth.

  15. He probably used 5 gallon buckets because federal regulations put in place within the last few years have made a typical 5 gallon gas can expensive and shitty. Have you guys bought a gas can recently? God they suck now.

    Fortunately, some outlets still sell “utility jugs” that, I’m sure in a bizarre coincidence, look and function exactly like those before the regs were put into place. Note the disclaimers:…..1/10002/-1

    The “legal” ones cost $13 more.

  16. Personally I wouldn’t store gasoline in a bucket. That seems excessively dangerous, not just from slosh or lids popping but you could spill it while pouring it into a funner or whatever. And gasoline is really toxic and much more volatile and dangerous than other fuels. It’s not the kind of thing that will burn off. You get gasoline on yourself and it catches fire you’re getting third degree burns. A bucket of gasoline that catches fire will explode and destroy your car and pose a dangerous to other cars near it.

    1. Agree – not sure if “there oughta be a law” but that was an act of momentous stupidity.

      I have no idea what type of plastic those buckets were made out of. The gasoline could break them down completely or, break them down partially, then really fuck up whatever engine burns it.

  17. Dennis: Now explain to me how exactly we’re gonna calculate the totals.

    Charlie: Oh, it’s easy, dude. You pour gas into the car using one of these funnels, right? And I count how much gas is going into the car.

    Dennis: All right, let me?let me just stop you right there. How exactly are you planning on counting a liquid?

    Charlie: Uh, I know how to count, dude.

    1. Mac: We’d like to return some gas please.

      Dennis: Yeah, don’t worry bro, we got receipts.

    2. Dennis:In the 1950s, yeah, you could drive around door-to-door in a windowless van and people didn’t think they were going to get raped. Now, they will think that.

  18. If the people placed in charge of the gas station are cool with it, I should be able to put gasoline in a paper bag. Or directly in to a 40oz bottle inside a paper bag. Responsibility and liability for what happens to the gasoline outside of the gas station property should fall on me.

    1. Since you’ll be dead it will be hard to get you ro pay for the damages.

  19. Have you guys bought a gas can recently? God they suck now.

    Oddly enough, I went looking for a new gas can a while ago. The new ones suck worse than my old one, which drools gasoline all over the place. I decided to just keep using th old one.

    One of these days, I’ll fabricate a new spout out of aluminum. I have been saying that for years.

  20. “the gas was confiscated and returned to underground storage tanks.”

    I’m sure.

  21. If there is a significantly serious safety risk such as an explosion, I can understand citing the gas station owner and the buyer of gasoline. But I don’t understand how this warrants an arrest rather than a simple ticket and fine. That part is just bizarre.

    1. this is a common misconception
      an “arrest” CAN mean the issuance of a criminal cite upon which the person is released at the scene.

      the DOJ and other reporting agencies (like local PD’s) count that as an “arrest”.

      the story says they were arrested. it also says they were issued a cite. i don’t see where it says they were BOOKED (which means taken to the station for prints and photographs), so it very well MAY be that they were not CUSTODIALLY BOOKED but were merely cited.

      the cops will say “john q bozo was arrested for X” when they mean CITED and released. we do it all the time. i don’t see where the article i read says “BOOKED”, so i wouldn’t jump to that conclusion

  22. And in completely unrelated news…

    Blitz USA Shuts Down, Lawsuit ‘Abuse’ Hammers Hometown

    Imagine you’ve worked at the same job for the last 30 years.

    The majority of your working life has been spent helping put together red gasoline “cans,” meant to safely store gasoline, and sold at your local gas station and supermarket.

    Now imagine that your career and future livelihood are gone because of product misuse and lawsuit abuse.

    That’s the situation Blitz USA’s 117 employees now face as the company officially shuttered its doors Tuesday after seeing its coffers decimated by what some consider scores of frivolous lawsuits. The Miami, Okla.-based company was forced to file for bankruptcy after nearly 50 years of existence due to injury settlements for its red gasoline containers.

    Blitz USA, which had about 70 percent of the gasoline can market, spent more than $30 million defending 42 product liability lawsuits after consumers were injured pouring gasoline out of the can onto an open fire, according to the company. That’s forced the company to lay off virtually its entire workforce, a few will remain until all of the company’s assets are sold off — robbing them off their pay, their health care, and their stability.

    1. I would give anything to be a juror on that trial. I’d never stop pointing and laughing at the idiots who poured gas on an open flame.

      They would just sit there looking really surprised.

      1. If their face muscles still functioned. They might always look really surprised now, or always really happy. One thing is certain- they always look like that guy from the Hannibal movie now.

        1. Thanks for getting the joke!

    2. Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.


      Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason. He is survived by three stepbrothers; I Know my Rights, Someone Else is to Blame, and I am a Victim.…..sense.html

    3. That is tragic and infuriating.

    4. Tell me again why anyone would want to start a business in the USA?

      1. By “start a business” do you mean to “provide goods and services to willing customers”, or “accept government subsidies to produce things that politicians feel people should buy”?

        I can understand doing the latter. You get paid either way. But the former? That’s just dumb.

        1. Good point. I was thinking of the former.

  23. So if you own a gas station, stay open, manage to get fuel delivered and electricity to run your pumps, you get to deal with angry crowds, you can’t earn windfall profits and you risk going to jail. If you do spend any money to do any of this and try to pass just the extra costs on to your customers, you had better also hire an accountant and lawyer to defend yourself against price gouging charges.

    Can someone tell me, why are there gasoline shortages with the government doing so much to help?

    1. If I owned a gas station in the affected area I’d sell every last drop in the tanks to the highes bidder and take a month’s vacation. Leave the convenience store open to sell bread and necessities.

      1. to the highes bidder

        Price Gouging!!!

  24. If you charge too much, its price gouging.

    If you charge too little, its predatory pricing.

    If you charge exactly the same as everyone else, its collusion.

    I think that pretty much covers it.

    1. Workers of the world, unite!

      1. Dyslexics of the world, untie!

    2. Whatever it takes, as long as we get a conviction.

  25. “Whether the application of such laws diligently in times of emergency is the best use of police attention and time, ”

    If you start “time and place” restrictions on law enforcement during emergencies that might lead to people questioning the vallidity of laws during peaceful times.

    Those legislatures have to protect their phoney baloney jobs!

    1. the application of such laws makes good sense. and in addition to the person being cited (specific deterrence), there is the benefit of general deterrence as well. other people see the person getting cited and realize that mebbe they shouldn’t carry gasoline in buckets for fuck’s sake.

      granted, most people realize it’s colossally stupid to do so and don’t do it, and i suggest most people would see no problem with the cops taking enforcement action against some numbnut who does transport it in buckets. when your selfishness places other people in danger, and it’s a crime, that crime SHOULD be enforced.

    2. Harumph!

  26. I would like to hear from Lord Humongous on this issue.

  27. Did the NY cops arrest you for using too much alt-text?

  28. Gasoline in 5 gal buckets? In his van? Are you shittin’ me? I bet he had the windows up, too, right? He may have well been driving with a plastic bag with model airplane in it glue over his head.

    That’s about the most asinine thing you can do. Some people deserve to be beat until senseless.

    [Head ……….. Desk ………… BAM

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