Black Friday takes ugly turn at Los Angeles Wal-Mart: Shopper pepper sprays crowd to get deals, 20 injured
The suspect began shooting the pepper spray when the coverings of items she wanted were removed, police said
BY Aliyah Shahid
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Friday, November 25 2011, 7:30 AM
Shoppers vie for copies of video games at a Black Friday sale at a Wal-Mart Stores Inc. store in Mentor, Ohio, U.S., on Thursday. Mayhem broke out at a Wal-Mart in Los Angeles on Thursday night when a customer pepper sprayed a crowd to prevent shoppers from getting items she wanted, police said.
Black Friday took an ugly turn at a Los Angeles Wal-Mart when a female shopper -desperate to get her hands on discounted electronics-pepper sprayed a crowd to keep them away from the merchandise she wanted.
At least 20 shoppers suffered minor injuries and police are still looking for the woman.
The melee began shortly after 10:20 p.m. Thursday as shoppers prowling for Black Friday deals were let inside the store.
The suspect began shooting the pepper spray when the coverings of items she wanted were removed, according to police.
"Somehow she was trying to use [the pepper spray] to gain an upper hand," police Lt. Abel Parga said.
Witnesses described the frenzied scene to the Los Angeles Times, describing how shoppers-gone-wild tore down video game displays, trampled merchandise and shoved each other for the deeply-discounted goods.
"People started screaming, pulling and pushing each other, and then the whole area filled up with pepper spray," Alejandra Seminario, 24, told the newspaper.
After the competitive shopper unleashed the chemicals, Seminario said she began to cough and her face began to itch.
"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," she added.
Despite the chaos, the store remained opened and those not affected by the pepper spray continued to hunt for bargains.
"I don't care," Nakeasha Contreras, a 20 year old who arrived after the incident, told the Times. "I'm still getting my TV."
With News Wire Services