Pepper Spray Incident May Not Be As It First Appeared

Police in Los Angeles are now suggesting that the Black Friday pepper spray incident at a Walmart in Porter Ranch may not be what we all assumed it was.

The story ran hot and heavy on Black Friday – and it was a perfect example of how crazy the whole Black Friday thing had become. A woman wanting to get her hands on an xBox 360 attacks the crowd with pepper spray, an attempt to back them away from the gaming consoles so she could get hers first.

But the story now being put out by investigators in LA is that she fired the pepper spray in self-defense. In fact, they said she may have feared for her life. “There was a stampede at Walmart from people getting Xbox games for half off,” said Los Angeles police Detective Michael Fesperman, “There was no control. People were getting stampeded and trampled. There were people screaming, yelling that they were being trampled or crushed.”

Of course, just after the incident, LA police fueled the original aggressive-shopper story by describing the woman as a “competitive shopper.” But since then they have been conducting interviews and watching surveillance tapes, and apparently have a different take on the story.

The woman, whose name has not been released, turned herself in to police late Friday evening. She refused to give a statement at that time, and was released pending further investigation. An announcement about that investigation is expected as early as tomorrow.

Consumer Expert Faroh Sauder

Faroh Sauder has spent more than 30 years working as a journalist and educator. He has written on politics, international affairs, civil rights, and consumer education.

Now mostly retired, Faroh continues to stay current on tech and consumer issues and reports on his interests here at Consumer Press