If evidence is needed that the spirit of Christmas has been irretrievably lost, look no further than the customers drawn to a Los Angeles area Walmart. Detectives say a woman used pepper spray on other shoppers in an attempt to get a shopping advantage.
They are calling it a case of ‘shopping rage.’
The Black Friday shopper has not been identified, but police hope video surveillance recordings will help them track down the woman who resorted to violence in obtaining an Xbox video console. She sprayed about twenty customers – including children – to clear out the area in front of the display Thursday night.
Those hit by the chemical spray complained of skin and eye irritation and sore throats.
Computer-driven cash registers are being checked for purchases of the sale item in an attempt to identify the shopper, in addition to reviewing store surveillance videotapes.
The incident occurred about ten minutes after the Walmart store opened Black Friday sales that began at 10 pm.
Police say the use of caustic chemicals constitutes felony battery and the unidentified suspect could face charges.
If the pepper spray wasn’t enough, another shopper became a victim near Oakland, California. A would-be robber pulled a gun when a shopper refused to hand over purchases outside another Walmart early Friday.
Sgt. Mike Sobek of the San Leandro Police Department says a car with three or four persons pulled up next to a group of shoppers headed to their cars about 1:00 am. The suspects in the car demanded that the shoppers hand over their merchandise, and when the victims refused, one suspect opened fire.
One of the suspects was grabbed by the uninjured shoppers, who held him until police arrived.
The rash of shopping related violence will eventually give a different twist on the term – Black Friday.