UPDATE: Video Shows Pepper-Spray Suspect; Was It Self-Defense?

'What am I going to charge her with?' detective asks.

Update: KCAL9 has isolated an image of the suspect in a video of the Thanksgiving night Wal-Mart pepper spraying incident. Click here for the video and report.

The woman who pepper-sprayed Porter Ranch Wal-Mart shoppers Thanksgiving night may have sprayed in self-defense, police said Monday.

"What am I going to charge her with?" Detective Michael Fesperman of the LAPD Devonshire Division police station told Dana Bartholomew of the Daily News.

Detectives reviewed YouTube and Wal-Mart security videos and now say the 32-year-old woman may have feared for her life in the crush for discounted Xbox video game consoles.

"There was a stampede at Wal-Mart from people getting Xbox games for half off," Fesperman said. "There was no control. People were getting stampeded and trampled. There were people screaming, yelling that they were being trampled or crushed.

"This woman may have fired her pepper spray in self-defense."

He told Bartholomew that initial police reports about a "competitive shopper" pepper-spraying other customers to grab the discounted games may have been erroneous.

Click here for the complete story.

Zookeeper91326 November 28, 2011 at 11:44 PM
You've got to be kidding! No excuse for this woman using pepper spray. She knew there were crowds, she knew there would be a rush... She just wanred her "deal," regardless of who she hurt in the process.
carly G November 29, 2011 at 04:42 AM
Who brings pepper spray to a store sale? She hit kids with it too, she needs to be charged with that at least!
Diane B. November 29, 2011 at 01:12 PM
it is assualt no matter how you look at it. If the people who got sprayed band together something can be done. If someone hits you it is a form of assualt no matter if they hit you with their fist or pepper spray she created a situation where people got hurt and it could have been worse than it was .What if someone had fallen and hit their head on something dangerous and died. It happens. I am an asthmatic and if I had been there I would have ended up in the hospital. Also I have heard that if a person gets pepper spray underneath their contact lenses they could have more problems. I sometimes carry pepper spray but I am not so stupid that I would use it to hurt someone. It is only for defense against a danger. This is making me so angry that this stupid woman might get away with this. This is only telling others they can get away with it too. Can the store press charges? If nothing else she should have to pay for all the police and firefighters that had to go to walmart to help those who were hurt.
Dustin Holst November 29, 2011 at 05:48 PM
this is why USA is in shambles the way it is- criminal neglagence, endangerment, or the classic assault with a weapon...... hell the store can even charge her with trespassing
a.f. November 29, 2011 at 07:42 PM
If I was in "fear for my life" to the point that I felt I needed to pepper spray a crowd, I wouldn't stick around to make a purchase. Such a ridiculous response from this woman. She just wanted her deal, and this was her idea of making sure she would get it. How do they not know what to charge her with? Can I randomly go up and down the street with this behavior and not be charged? Come on Detective Fesperman, use your head!
Mirna Hernandez November 29, 2011 at 08:39 PM
.I understand people should behave certain way, but also believe people behave the way is allowed to behave, and Wal-Mart allowed all kind of behavior.
Katherine November 30, 2011 at 01:23 AM
I was in the wal*mart when this occurred, although I probably walked by the area by mere seconds of when it occurred. I also believe that there is no way this was "self-defense". The place was very crowded - my mom and I went knowing it would be this way. I myself have issues with being in crowded areas, but I went prepared (and NOT with pepper spray). We realized it was way too crowded this year and when the main item we wanted wasn't available we left (which is when we saw the ambulance pulling up). But I also agree that Wal*Mart was very unprepared. I think most of it had to do with them opening at 10pm. I think the early opening caused there to be a LOT more people that normally go on Black Friday (we were there last year for Black Friday when they opened in the morning hours and we were able to get everything we wanted without much trouble).
A.j. Simkatu November 30, 2011 at 01:32 AM
Why don't Wal-Mart and other stores just provide everyone who is in line by midnight with a ticket. Then however many items they have, they just draw that many tickets out of a hat (or have a computer select randomly). Anyone with a "winning" ticket then gets a chance to buy the discounted item. This would make rushing to get in line stupid and a waste of time. Everyone would just orderly get in line and get their ticket and wait to see if they are selected. Wal-Mart should be punished for not providing security to prevent this behavior.
Katherine November 30, 2011 at 01:35 AM
I was talking about that just now - Give the people who are in line for each item a ticket (they do that to save their place in line now) and then have them use that ticket to purchase the item at the register - and then they can come pick it up another time! Wal*Mart may be to blame in that they were disorganized to an extent, but they are not responsible for this woman's actions. She did it with purpose. That's evident to me by the look on her face in that video still. She went knowing what she was going to do.
Tee InvitationLady November 30, 2011 at 08:24 PM
You said it just perfectly
Tee InvitationLady November 30, 2011 at 08:30 PM
Thank you - this is what I have been explaining to people I know - HELLO!!!! you wouldn't still grab something you would make your way out for safety. DUH! LAPD/DA office cant figure that out - sure plenty of charges to come up with and my main thing is CHILDREN were present!
AG December 06, 2011 at 10:39 PM
IMHO: From what I know of pepper spray use in CA and from what I have heard of this incident (Your mileage may vary..LOL). This was a mother with her two kids and she had pepper spray. There are many non-lethal defensive personal protection devices on the market. Pepper spray is legal to buy and carry and own in CA. You don't need a license or training to own it. It is a natural 'green' product and it causes temporary minor distress so the user can leave the situation. It can be easily bought in various sizes from most sporting goods stores for protect people in wilderness areas and the city. **PLEASE, Don't get it confused with it's much different 'bigger brother' products like chemical "Mace" or electrical Tazer products (contact or dart use).


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