Competitive shopping at Black Friday got ugly after a woman pepper-spraying other shoppers Thursday night at the Wal-Mart in Porter Ranch (Los Angeles, California) so that she could grab more discounted merchandise at around 10:10pm Pacific Time. Around 20 people, including children, were hurt during the incidence.
Alejandra Seminario, 24, said she was waiting in line to grab some toys at the store around 9:55 p.m. when people the next aisle over started shouting and ripping at the plastic wrap encasing gaming consoles, which was supposed to be opened at 10 p.m.
“People started screaming, pulling and pushing each other, and then the whole area filled up with pepper spray,” the Sylmar resident said. “I guess what triggered it was people started pulling the plastic off the pallets and then shoving and bombarding the display of games. It started with people pushing and screaming because they were getting shoved onto the boxes.”
The pepper spray wafted through the air, Seminario said, and she breathed some in and started coughing. Her face also started itching.
“I did not want to get involved. I was too scared. I just stayed in the toy aisle,” she said.
By the time she and her husband, 27-year-old Cesar Seminario, got to the cash register 20 minutes later with a Wii gaming console and some Barbie dolls, the air was still smelling of pepper spray, she said.
Wal-Mart employees were taking statements near the front of the store from about eight customers who had been pepper-sprayed, Seminario said. “After we paid, we saw five that were in really bad shape,” she said. “They had been sprayed in the face, it looked like, and they had swelling of the face, really extreme swelling of face, redness, coughing.”
It sounds like crowd getting out of control to get deals. But pepper spray? I am glad that she didn’t have something worse like a taser or a gun!
Authorities are searching for woman.