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Police Describe Wal-Mart Pepper Spray Suspect

20 injured in Porter Ranch Black Friday fight over Xbox 360.

The woman accused of shooting pepper spray at other customers at a busy Wal-Mart store in Porter Ranch, injuring 20, was described by police Friday as about 5 feet 3 inches tall, between the ages of 32-38, with black hair and brown eyes.

Police do not have a description of the vehicle the woman was driving, but they expressed confidence that the woman will be arrested.

Los Angeles Police Department Detective Gus Villanueva said detectives are actively working the case, but are not expected to receive surveillance video from Wal-Mart until early next week because of "technical glitches."

The video should be clear enough to help identify the suspect, Sgt. A.J. De Bellis of the Devonshire police station, said.

"Eventually this will catch up with her," De Bellis said.

The woman "at the very least" will face "a minimum of one" battery charge for each injured person, De Bellis said.

This was "not a very bright thing (for her) to have done," De Bellis said

Greg Rossiter, Wal-Mart's director of corporate communications, called the incident an "unfortunate situation."

"We're glad everyone seems to be OK," Rossiter said in a telephone interview from the company's Bentonville, AR. headquarters. "We're cooperating with the investigation and working with law enforcement to provide any camera footage we have."

There were no other incidents at Southern California Wal-Mart stores that required police involvement, Rossiter told City News Service.

"It's unfortunate that one person became a true Grinch and ruined a family experience by harming adults and children simply trying to shop for their loved ones," said Councilman Mitchell Englander, who chairs the city's Public Safety Committee and whose District 12 includes the Wal-Mart.

"An unhappy customer" sprayed pepper spray at the Wal-Mart store at 19821 Rinaldi St. around 10:10 p.m. Thanksgiving night, said LAPD Lt. Abel Parga, the Devonshire Station's watch commander.

The woman "was waiting with other shoppers for some items wrapped in plastic to be released for sale at 10 p.m.," LAPD Officer P. Rimkunas said. "When the plastic was ripped off, she sprayed."

There are broadcast reports the woman grabbed an Xbox video game system and purchased it as she left the scene.

Firefighters treated 20 patients for minor injuries, Shawn Lenske of the Los Angeles Fire Department said. All the patients were treated and released, Lenske said shortly before 1 a.m.

One section of the store was cleared while patients were treated and the pepper spray dissipated, Parga said. Meanwhile, the store remained open and those not affected by the pepper spray continued shopping.

-- City News Service

Brandt Hardin November 25, 2011 at 10:37 PM
Incidents such as these are sad and shameful for the world-view of our country. Just 24 hours after we are supposed to give thanks and show compassion for those in need, all of this comes to surface from the Capitalist mania the public is worked into by Big Business. I wrote an article about the true meaning behind our holiday and a warning about our national disgrace which is Black Friday at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2010/11/wishing-you-and-yours-bountiful-harvest.html
Common Sense November 27, 2011 at 11:43 PM
HILARIOUS! Haha.
Pat December 01, 2011 at 08:51 PM
This woman has since turned herself in. The police are currently thinking about what kind of charges to bring against her for using her pepper spray. Oh, and to Common Sense, it may seem funny to you, but it certainly wasn't funny to the people who were sprayed.
Common Sense December 01, 2011 at 09:16 PM
@Pat... NO! REALLY?!? Lol.

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