Shopper Starts Pepper Spray Melee At Porter Ranch Walmart Store
PORTER RANCH (CBS) — Authorities are looking for a woman who used pepper spray on shoppers at a Walmart store in Porter Ranch Thursday night.
Cell phone video obtained by CBS2 shows the chaos that ensued after the disgruntled shopper shot pepper spray at 20 people.
The victims, who mostly complained of stinging in their eyes, were treated at the scene.
Shopper Juan Castro says the woman started attacking other shoppers when an XBOX display was unveiled shortly after 10 p.m.
“Just as they started to unwrap everything, all hell broke loose and everybody just swarmed. And in the middle of the parade, some lady just started (pepper spraying) the crowd,” he said. “There were two ladies on the side of me that started fighting. As I was walking by another section, there was this poor girl walking by with a Wii system, the box all torn up.”
He said customers were “just trampling over people, people shoving each other. There were a lot people who got it in their eyes, so they were burning. They were screaming, crying. It was bad.”
Walmart told CBS2 that they felt they had more than adequate security and proper procedures in place.
They released a statement saying, “It was an unfortunate situation but we’re glad everyone is okay. We are working with law enforcement to provide security video and information.”
Police are looking at surveillance video, as well as Castro’s cell phone video, to see if they can identify the woman.
They think the woman, pictured to the right, fits other shoppers’ description of the suspect. The woman was described as Latina, 5-feet-4-inches tall, 36-38 years old and approximately 140 pounds.
Anyone with information about the woman’s whereabouts was asked to contact the LAPD.
Shoppers who came to Walmart later that day were shocked to hear about the incident.
“She’s as crazy as those policemen who pepper-sprayed all those students,” said an elder woman, referring to a police officer who sprayed Occupy protesters on the UC Davis campus earlier this week.
Another woman said, “It’s just disappointing — but I’m glad we weren’t here because I’d have to kick some butt if that happened to me!”