A 30-year-old Washington man has been charged with destruction of property in connection with the smashing of gasoline pumps, parked cars, and windows at a Northwest gasoline station early yesterday.
Lloyd Lewis Coviembin, of 2140 F St. NW, owner of the Foggy Bottom Grocery Store at the same address, was arrested by District of Columbia police at Basham's Gulf, 2137 Virginia Ave. NW, after they received reports of a pickup truck running into gasoline pumps there.
The destruction was caused by three men who used a pickup truck and a metal tire rim to "smash and destroy everything in sight," according to station manager Paul Reinheart.
Reinheart, whose fifth-floor apartment at the Governor Shepard Apartments overlooks the station, said he was awakened about midnight when he heard "glass breaking and an engine revving and all hell breaking loose."
When he went to his window, he said, he saw the truck speeding around from the parking lot at the rear of the station where it adjoins the back lot of Coviembin's Foggy Bottom Grocery.
"The truck "came flying around the station, and knocked the gas pump clean off the island . . . then it knocked down two more gas pumps and the air pump, and then lined up and backed straight into the oil rack, Reinheart said.
Reinheart said the truck then backed up into the front window of the station, and then went forward again, ramming the two pumps at the other gasoline island.
"While the truck was doing this," Reinheart said, two men "threw a tire rim through the glass door of the station . . . Then they went out back (to the parking lot) again and started jamming and smashing up the cars back there."
By 12:20 a.m., when the police arrived Basham's Gulf lay in ruins: Two gasoline pumps were on the ground, destroyed. Two others leaned limply, innards exposed, to one side. Behind the station, eight cars that had been waiting for early-morning repairs sat in disarray in the skid-marked parking lot. Three had smashed windshields -- and all showed signs of repeated impact.