Pepper spray: It’s not just for peacefully protesting college students anymore.
The usual Black Friday shenanigans across the country were marked by the emergence of a new trend: pepper spraying people at Wal-Mart. On both coasts, shoppers scrambling for video games at the discount retailer were met with a face full of burning as clouds of Megyn Kelly’s “food product” were blasted into the unruly hordes.
In the first case, police report a shopper attempted to gain a competitive advantage over her fellow patrons at a Wal-Mart store in Porter Ranch, Calif., at about 10 p.m. Thanksgiving Day. Here’s what that was like, according to witness accounts in the Los Angeles Times:
Witness Matthew Lopez described a chaotic scene in the San Fernando Valley store among shoppers looking for video games soon after the sale began.
“I heard screaming and I heard yelling,” said Lopez, 18. “Moments later, my throat stung. I was coughing really bad and watering up.”
The second Wal-Mart spraying (so far) was more in line with what we’ve come to expect when it comes to pepper spray and crowds: an off-duty police officer working store security used the weapon in the midst of a mass of unarmed shoppers. This time it was Kinston, N.C., where the painful spray wafted through a Wal-Mart.
“Sgt. Roland Davis of Kinston Public Safety says Walmart hired off-duty police officers to help with security during their Black Friday event today,” reports WITN-TV. “Davis says an officer was trying to quell a disturbance and make an arrest, and used pepper spray.”
Here’s video of the aftermath recorded by one witness and posted by WITN:
Not all Wal-Mart trips ended in pepper spray, but several others did end in police action. In Rome, N.Y., a man was arrested after “several shoppers at the electronics department were pushed to the ground and several fights broke out,” according to NBC3 in Syracuse. And in Cave Creek, Ariz., the bomb squad took a suspected explosive device out of a Wal-Mart employee break room.
Other incidents occurred outside Wal-Mart stores early in the morning of Black Friday. In Myrtle Beach, S.C., a woman was shot in the foot during an armed robbery outside a Wal-Mart at around 1 AM. In San Leandro, Calif., a man was reportedly shot outside a Wal-Mart at about 2 a.m. “after suspects asked the victims for their items and were refused,” leading to a fight.