Ponca City man arrested for using racial slurs after being told he can’t use a refill cup during pandemic

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PONCA CITY, Okla. (KFOR) – A Ponca City man is now facing charges after police say he used several racial slurs toward a convenience store employee.

According to Ponca City Police Department officials, the man began yelling when he was told that, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, he couldn’t refill his own personal cup.

“I just don’t understand why someone could be like that for no reason,” Stacy Orange said.

Stacy Orange tells KFOR she is still scared of going back to work at Casey’s General Store in Ponca City.

“I feel like he did it on purpose,” Orange said.

Stacy’s shift as manager started around 6 a.m. last week when she says a man walked up to the counter wanting a drink refill with a personal cup.

“I looked at my cashier because I saw the cup sitting there,” Orange said. “I said remember we can’t have refill mugs because of COVID-19.”

According to Stacy, it’s the convenience store’s coronavirus policy to limit contact.

“By then, he’s already telling me to F off,” Orange said.

That comment was just the beginning, according to police. Stacy then asked the man to leave and then called the police.

“Ponca City 911,” the 911 operator said.

“There’s a guy in here calling me n***** and stuff,” Orange said. “He’s calling me c***, n*****, b****, and flipping me off.”

“His last comment was you should hang just like the rest of the n******,” Orange said.

Ponca City Police showed up and eventually tracked down 58-year-old William Welch.

“We charged him with outraging public decency because it was in the public and we had witnesses,” detective Kevin Jeffries with Police City police said.

KFOR also showed up to Welch’s Ponca City home. He answered the door, but then slammed it, not wanting to make a comment.

“We don’t want this stuff in our town,” Orange said. “We have a good town and a lot of good people. I won’t have one person have me thinking any different.”

Police say there is surveillance footage of the incident, but it is not available to the public as of now.

Welch was in jail for 48 hours before he posted bond at $5,000.

Welch’s next court date is set for July 31.

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