Wal-Mart Pepper Sprayer May Not Be Charged

Andy Chalk

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Nov 12, 2002
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Wal-Mart Pepper Sprayer May Not Be Charged


The woman who pepper-sprayed 20 people at a Los Angeles Wal-Mart may not face criminal charges because the police say she might have fired in self defense.

There are few things that leave my faith in humanity ruptured and bleeding on the floor as immediately and effectively as Black Friday. I didn't hear any reports of anyone being killed in this year's quest for an extra ten percent off the already low, low price on cheaply-made consumer goods that nobody really needs anyway, but that doesn't mean that there wasn't plenty of appallingly bad behavior on display.

The 2011 poster child for "What is Wrong With You People?" has to be the woman who fired pepper spray in a crowded Wal-Mart [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/114380-Woman-Pepper-Sprays-Fellow-Shoppers-for-Videogames] in Los Angeles. An estimated 20 people were affected by the attack, although fortunately nobody was seriously injured; she fired the pepper spray multiple times "to gain preferred access to a variety of locations in the store," according to Los Angeles Fire Department Captain James Carson, who added, "She was competitive shopping."

But now the police say that initial reports of the woman using the weapon to punch holes through the crowd in order to get the best deals may have been incorrect, and that she may not be charged with any criminal offenses because it's possible that used the spray in order to avoid being killed.

"What am I going to charge her with?" said LAPD Detective Michael Fesperman. "There was a stampede at Wal-Mart from people getting Xbox games for half off. 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."

It's still appalling, in other words, but possibly for different reasons than were first thought. Police spent the weekend reviewing YouTube videos and security footage taken from the store and are in the process of conducting interviews with witnesses and victims; a formal decision about whether or not charges will be filed is expected by Wednesday.

Source: MercuryNews.com [http://www.mercurynews.com/california/ci_19426509]


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Apr 28, 2008
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No wonder corporations feel that they're above everyone. Must be one hell of a power trip to turn everyone into complete maniacs by reducing prices on crap for a day.
 

Anthony Wells

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May 28, 2011
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OLD man. obviously not trying to shop lift. gonna be charged with it. YOUNG woman who may have been out to intentionally harm people selfishly. not gonna be charged. makes perfect sense to me.
 

Kopikatsu

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Anthony Wells said:
OLD man. obviously not trying to shop lift. gonna be charged with it. YOUNG woman who may have been out to intentionally harm people selfishly. not gonna be charged. makes perfect sense to me.
1. The old man did shoplift, by the letter of the law. Regardless of intent what he did is considered shoplifting by Arizona state law. No, you don't have to leave the store for it to be shoplifting. Actually, if a shoplifter leaves the store premises with the stolen merch, then they can't legally be stopped. Also, no criminal charges have been brought against him yet since the incident is still under investigation. (That last sentence is REALLY important)

2. The key phrase there is 'may have been'. While 20 'hits' is a bit excessive, I could believe that she did it in self defense. Black Friday is the day when everyone goes absolutely batshit.
 

Nouw

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If it was in self-defense, then she should definitely not be charged. Interesting how if one aspect of a story is revealed, your judgement changes.
 

wooty

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Aug 1, 2009
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Phhh, if that was in Britain then there would of been a complete storm around this story....and law suit courts.....and possible racial motivation investigations......and LIIIEEEES!
 

Andy Chalk

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It isn't what it looks like. They had mescaline in their Balls!
Andy Chalk said:
"What am I going to charge her with?" said LAPD Detective Michael Fesperman. "There was a stampede at Wal-Mart from people getting Xbox games for half off. 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."
You'd think someone who worked with the LAPD would be well acquainted with phrases like "excessive force" and "criminal assault"
henritje said:
she could have NOT gone to some shitty deal and avoid getting trampled.
that would have avoided allot of painful eyes!
BUT XBOX! <=(
 

Epona

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Of course SHE won't be charged. It's no secret that the justice system is gender biased.
 

Wintermoot

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she could have NOT gone to some shitty deal and avoid getting trampled.
that would have avoided allot of painful eyes!
 

urilukin

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Why should he be charged?! it seems that pepper spraying people in America is a national sport.
 

Anthony Wells

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Kopikatsu said:
Anthony Wells said:
OLD man. obviously not trying to shop lift. gonna be charged with it. YOUNG woman who may have been out to intentionally harm people selfishly. not gonna be charged. makes perfect sense to me.
1. The old man did shoplift, by the letter of the law. Regardless of intent what he did is considered shoplifting by Arizona state law. No, you don't have to leave the store for it to be shoplifting. Actually, if a shoplifter leaves the store premises with the stolen merch, then they can't legally be stopped. Also, no criminal charges have been brought against him yet since the incident is still under investigation. (That last sentence is REALLY important)

2. The key phrase there is 'may have been'. While 20 'hits' is a bit excessive, I could believe that she did it in self defense. Black Friday is the day when everyone goes absolutely batshit.


1. point taken. stupid as hell laws but point taken.
2. again point taken. but i doubt 20 people needed to be sprayed.
Conclusion: Arizona needs better shoplifting laws and this woman probably went a bit overboard but might be innocent.
 

Epona

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Anthony Wells said:
Kopikatsu said:
Anthony Wells said:
OLD man. obviously not trying to shop lift. gonna be charged with it. YOUNG woman who may have been out to intentionally harm people selfishly. not gonna be charged. makes perfect sense to me.
1. The old man did shoplift, by the letter of the law. Regardless of intent what he did is considered shoplifting by Arizona state law. No, you don't have to leave the store for it to be shoplifting. Actually, if a shoplifter leaves the store premises with the stolen merch, then they can't legally be stopped. Also, no criminal charges have been brought against him yet since the incident is still under investigation. (That last sentence is REALLY important)

2. The key phrase there is 'may have been'. While 20 'hits' is a bit excessive, I could believe that she did it in self defense. Black Friday is the day when everyone goes absolutely batshit.


1. point taken. stupid as hell laws but point taken.
2. again point taken. but i doubt 20 people needed to be sprayed.
Conclusion: Arizona needs better shoplifting laws and this woman probably went a bit overboard but might be innocent.
If she went overboard, she isn't innocent.
 

winter2

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Sweet.. so next year we can bring a tazers and state it was in self defense..

I waz gun'git stampeeded! i feered fer mah laife!
 

Rawne1980

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wooty said:
Phhh, if that was in Britain then there would of been a complete storm around this story....and law suit courts.....and possible racial motivation investigations......and LIIIEEEES!
Where in Britain have you been?

If that happened in this town people would be complaining there was no iron bar used and no one ended up in intensive care.

In other words, it's not news worthy in a northern town unless it involves extreme violence and/or a hit and run involving an old lady on a motorised wheelchair "running over" a drunk bloke .... which was one of the most hilarious stories i've read in the Burnley Express.
 

Anthony Wells

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Crono1973 said:
Anthony Wells said:
Kopikatsu said:
Anthony Wells said:
OLD man. obviously not trying to shop lift. gonna be charged with it. YOUNG woman who may have been out to intentionally harm people selfishly. not gonna be charged. makes perfect sense to me.
1. The old man did shoplift, by the letter of the law. Regardless of intent what he did is considered shoplifting by Arizona state law. No, you don't have to leave the store for it to be shoplifting. Actually, if a shoplifter leaves the store premises with the stolen merch, then they can't legally be stopped. Also, no criminal charges have been brought against him yet since the incident is still under investigation. (That last sentence is REALLY important)

2. The key phrase there is 'may have been'. While 20 'hits' is a bit excessive, I could believe that she did it in self defense. Black Friday is the day when everyone goes absolutely batshit.


1. point taken. stupid as hell laws but point taken.
2. again point taken. but i doubt 20 people needed to be sprayed.
Conclusion: Arizona needs better shoplifting laws and this woman probably went a bit overboard but might be innocent.
If she went overboard, she isn't innocent.

not the point i was trying to make. i know she isnt if she did. thats why i put probably went overboard but MAYBE she's innocent. maybe she didnt go overboard. if she did they better charge her..
 

Diminished Capacity

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You couldn't pay me enough to go shopping on Black Friday, let alone at a Wal-mart. In the words of Tommy Lee Jones (paraphrased) from Men in Black:

"A person is smart. People are stupid, dangerous, panicky animals, and you know it".
 

wooty

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Rawne1980 said:
wooty said:
Phhh, if that was in Britain then there would of been a complete storm around this story....and law suit courts.....and possible racial motivation investigations......and LIIIEEEES!
Where in Britain have you been?
Bit of lingering rage from earlier there, but I'm in Southport where there was some ruckus on saturday night, some guy who happened to be Latvian, got beat up outside a nightclub and claimed it was racially motivated....

All well and good except the guy who hit him was much too pissed to even realize he was human. So naturally he's suing
 

GonzoGamer

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Nouw said:
If it was in self-defense, then she should definitely not be charged. Interesting how if one aspect of a story is revealed, your judgement changes.
She may not be charged by the law but she's still going to be sued by everyone she sprayed.
I don't care how much money she saved. It's not going to make up for how much she'll lose...just in legal fees...for one afternoon.