New Details in Walmart Pepper Spray Incident

San Fernando Valley mother turned herself in to Los Angeles police

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The LAPD releases new details about the suspect and the incident in Porter Ranch on Black Friday.

    The woman accused of using pepper spray on other Black Friday shoppers in the Los Angeles area is a 32-year-old mom from the San Fernando Valley. 

    Detectives say the woman, who turned herself in to police Friday night, was vying for half price Xbox 360 video games when she allegedly pulled out her canister of pepper spray. 

    Fourteen people were sprayed directly or were in the vicinity.  Ten other people nearby also felt the effects, like eye irritation and sore throats, police said.

    New Details in Walmart Pepper Spray Incident

    [LA] New Details in Walmart Pepper Spray Incident
    Detectives say a woman who allegedly used pepper spray on holiday shoppers in Porter Ranch is a 32-year-old mother who lives in the San Fernando Valley.

    When she turned herself in she declined to be interviewed according to LAPD Lt. Tim Torsney.

    "We gathered her information and released her," Torsney said.

    Police add the investigation is only about halfway complete because of multiple people and perceptions involved in the case. 

    "We're piecing together the video captured by citizens that were inside to try to determine as best we can what happened and then have that investigation presented to the District Attorney's office,"  Torsney said, adding police are working with Walmart to look at surveillance videos and speak to employees and security from the night of the incident.

    The District Attorney's office will determine if any misdemeanor or felony charges will be filed. 

    Pepper spray, containing the substance oleoresin capsicum (OC), is legal to use in California but only for self defense purposes.  A person must be 18 years of age or older and cannot have been convicted of a crime to buy or use pepper spray.  The pepper spray must be in aerosol spray form and can be no greater than 2.5 ounces according to California Penal Code Section 12403.7.

    "We are trying to do our best to piece together the investigation to try to determine the suspect's state of mind at the time the incident took place," Lt. Torsney said.

    In the calm and tranquility of Monday's shopping at the same Walmart, customers were convinced the actions deserve some sort of penalty.

    "I know it gets crazy inside but no matter what she shouldn't have pulled out that pepper spray," Sandy Griego said.

    "Even if it's a misdemeanor, community service or something because someone was injured. There was more than one person injured," Michael Petroni said.

    Detectives are asking others who were at the store during the pepper spraying to come forward and call them at 818-832-0609.