PORTER RANCH, Calif. (AP) — One shopper says he heard screaming and yelling at a Southern California Walmart -- and moments later, his throat was stinging, and he was "coughing really bad and watering up."
Matthew Lopez told the Los Angeles Times what happened after a woman used pepper spray on a crowd of shoppers, while trying to defend her own chance to get some cheap electronics.
The attack took place at around 10:20 p.m. last night, shortly after doors opened for the sale in Porter Ranch in the San Fernando valley.
The store had brought out a crate of discounted Xbox video game players. A crowd had formed to wait for the unwrapping. Police say the woman began spraying people "in order to get an advantage."
Ten people were slightly injured by the spray, while 10 others suffered minor bumps and bruises in the chaos.
The woman got away in the confusion. Police say it's not clear whether she got an Xbox. They say the store is looking through the register receipts to try to find out. If she's found, she could face felony battery charges.
The store remained open, and people continued shopping.
147-a-08-(Sergeant Jose Valle (veye-YAY'), Los Angeles Police Department, in AP interview)-"with black hair"-Sergeant Jose Valle with Los Angeles police says the scene was very chaotic, and it was hard for anyone to get a good look at who was responsible. (25 Nov 2011)
<<CUT *147 (11/25/11)>> 00:08 "with black hair"
144-a-04-(John Lopez, shopper and witness to pepper spray incident, in interview)-"pepper spraying everybody"-Witness John Lopez says he and his wife didn't stay inside the Walmart, once someone fired pepper spray. COURTESY: KABC-TV ((mandatory on-air credit)) (25 Nov 2011)
<<CUT *144 (11/25/11)>> 00:04 "pepper spraying everybody"
146-a-14-(Sergeant Jose Valle (veye-YAY'), Los Angeles Police Department, in AP interview)-"for the Xboxes"-Sergeant Jose Valle with Los Angeles police says it all started as a crate containing Xboxes was about to be opened at the Wal-Mart store. (25 Nov 2011)
<<CUT *146 (11/25/11)>> 00:14 "for the Xboxes"