Police: Man denied job tries to kill gas station manager

  • William Soler, 41, of Concord was arrested and charged with attempted murder in the city on Aug. 24, 2017. —Courtesy

  • The Mobil station on South Main Street in Concord is shown. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Friday, August 25, 2017

A Concord man told police Thursday that he had just tried to murder a gas station manager whom he believed had denied him a job because he’s Hispanic.

William Soler, 41, said he tricked the manager into leaving the store by telling her that a gas pump had been vandalized, according to an affidavit prepared by Concord police Officer Ryan Howe. He then got behind the wheel of a Kia Soul and tried to run her over, the affidavit alleges.

Soler is charged with one count each of attempted murder and attempted first-degree assault, and two counts of felony reckless conduct with a deadly weapon. He waived his arraignment Friday afternoon in Merrimack County Superior Court in Concord, where a judge ordered him held for lack of $100,000 cash-only bail.

Police responded to the Mobil station at 81 South Main St. Thursday at about 2:30 p.m. for a report of an assault. The caller reported that the suspect had fled in a gray Kia Soul and headed north on South Main Street.

The store’s manager, Delayne Hanright, told police that Soler had come into the gas station to ask if she had hired anyone yet, police said. Hanright said she remembered Soler as he had applied for a job about a month or two earlier. The position, however, had been filled, she told him Thursday afternoon.

Soler left the gas station, but a short time later returned to report that one of the pumps had been vandalized, Howe wrote in the affidavit. He said he didn’t witness the crime himself, and that “a man” had told him about it.

Upon receiving the report, Hanright and another gas station employee, Jeremy Howard, went outside to take a look at the pump in question, which they quickly realized was fully intact.

Hanright then heard and saw “the Kia Soul that William was driving coming towards them,” Howe wrote, adding that Hanright jumped out of the way to avoid getting hit, but still felt the car brush the back of her shirt.

Howard told police the car came “within inches of hitting him.”

After speaking with witnesses, Howe received a call from dispatch alerting him that Soler was at the police station and looking to speak with an officer. Howe said he returned to the Green Street station where he spoke with Soler in a first-floor interview room.

“William said that he was here because he just tried to murder someone,” Howe wrote in the affidavit, adding that Soler further specified he had tried to kill the Mobile station manager. “William told me that when the manager went out to check the pumps, he drove his car at her attempting to kill her. He then stated, ‘If she didn’t move out of the way I would have run her over.’ ”

Soler told police he was getting the runaround on a job application, and thought it was because the manager was discriminating against him because of his ethnicity. Further, he told police that he is the target of a conspiracy, and that he had evidence in a briefcase, the affidavit says.

Soler has a criminal history in New Hampshire that includes a 2011 conviction for negligent driving. He was found guilty of striking two Concord police officers who were working detail on Loudon Road that June. One officer was thrown to the pavement, and the other flung onto a police cruiser, breaking the windshield, state police said at the time. The two officers suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

(Alyssa Dandrea can be reached at 369-3319, adandrea@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @_ADandrea.)