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Police to review videotape in Wal-Mart pepper spray incident

November 25, 2011 | 10:05 am

Los Angeles police detectives hope to retrieve video surveillance evidence from a Porter Ranch Wal-Mart store by early Friday afternoon to begin trying to identify a woman who shot pepper spray at other shoppers to get a Black Friday competitive edge.

“We’re going to check the video surveillance and hope the cameras were pointed in the right direction,” said LAPD Sgt. R.J. Valle of the Devonshire station.

The woman apparently sought to purchase an Xbox video game console and used the spray to clear out other shoppers. About 20 customers, including children, were hurt in the Thursday night incident, which police officials called “shopping rage.” Shoppers complained of minor skin and eye irritation and sore throats.

Valle said detectives would look at Xbox purchases, as well as video surveillance taken at the Wal-Mart’s cash registers around 10:10 p.m.

“There’s video cameras at the register so hopefully we can identify her,” he said. 

Black Friday sales began at the Wal-Mart at 10 p.m. and featured sales on toys, including $5 Bratz dolls, $10 Wii video games and $29 tricycles.

The suspect could face felony battery charges.

“There’s felony booking [charges] for using caustic chemicals,” Valle said. “You can legally carry certain kind, like pepper spray, for self-defense, but obviously not to get access to an Xbox.”

Valle said given the video and other technological evidence, the woman is better off turning herself in.

“We hope she turns herself in instead of making us use manpower looking for her,” he said.


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-- Hector Becerra