Enfield police warn residents after tour bus controversy

A group of traveling salesmen left communities on high alert after reports of disturbing encounters.  (WFSB)

A group of traveling salesmen, who were promoting a country rap artist’s music, left communities across the state on high alert after reports of disturbing encounters surfaced this past week.

This group for Mikel Knight was spotted driving around in a tour bus and stopping people in parking lots and gas stations at all hours. However, eyewitnesses said they were aggressively peddling this artist’s music.

Eyewitness News spoke exclusively with some of these people, who said their sales tactics went too far and put them in uncomfortable situations.

The Mikel Knight group was seen all over Connecticut these past few days. Many were quick to snap a picture of this tour bus and post these photos to social media.

While some said they appreciate this group’s efforts to promote this artist’s music while other people have a warning to anyone who might encounter this group. They said stay away and call police.

"I just needed gas to get to work and I'm being harassed at 10:30 in the morning," Enfield resident Susan Morton said.

Morton said she was on her way to work Saturday morning when she stopped at a gas station in East Windsor.

"I pulled up to it and I saw this tour bus," Morton said. "And I said, 'wow, I've seen that name before.'"

Mikel Knight employs a group of traveling salesmen known as the Maverick Dirt Road street team to drive around and promote his music by selling CDs.

"As soon as I got out of my car, the man started, 'hi! How you doing this morning,'" Morton said. "I said, 'I'm fine...Kept walking...Paid for my gas."

But, Morton said the encounter didn’t end there.

"I came back out and they continued, put a smile on," Morton said. "What's going on? How's your Saturday going?"

Morton said she felt uncomfortable being approached by two complete strangers. However, she was not alone.

Suffield resident Carl Benedict also encountered this artist’s street team at 1 a.m. while stopping at Walmart for a quick errand. When he started to pull out of the parking lot, Benedict said these salesmen deliberately blocked his car.

"I rolled the window down, and the gentleman started to speak," Benedict said.

Benedict said he told them that they needed to get out of the way.

"They moved out of the way. I head on, but it was odd," Benedict said. "You want to make good music? Everyone loves good music...But shoving it in people's faces and blocking streets isn't the way to do it."

A slew of comments and posts emerged on social media.

One mother told Eyewitness News the group pulled their bus next to her car and started yelling out the window to her young son. She said they were asking him if he’s heard of them.

"People need to be aware," Benedict said. "Keep your kids away from them."

According to Knight’s Facebook page, he prides himself on growing his brand through his street team and their hard work.

Enfield Police Department issued a short warning on their Facebook page on Saturday night after receiving concerned calls from residents.

Officers said it’s illegal to sell any goods from a public roadway or anywhere without a state identification number. They’re also urging everyone if you are approached and have any issues to reach out to them immediately.

"If you see something and you feel uncomfortable, definitely say something," Morton said.

This group was in upstate New York before coming to Connecticut and people are now reporting, the group has made there way into Massachusetts.

Copyright 2016 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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