Bargain shoppers looking for video game deals at a Walmart in Los Angeles last night learned the hard way that Black Friday shopping can be hazardous to your health, when one female shopper got so fed up with the mob that she pepper sprayed the people around her.
There are conflicting reports about why the unidentified woman sprayed the crowd. Apparently there was a mad rush at a kiosk holding discounted Xbox 360 and Wii games (which you can see in this video), among the shoulder-to-shoulder shoppers mobbing the electronics department at the Walmart in Los Angeles’ Porter Ranch neighborhood. Reportedly, the crowd became crazed when the store conducted a “big reveal” of discounted video games that had been hidden under a drape. During the subsequent rush to get discounted games, they trampled on other electronics merchandise and ripped the plastic off of some of the games while trying to grab the limited supply items.
What happened next is where things get confusing. Some reports indicate that the woman with the pepper spray was reacting to other shoppers who were cutting in line. Another report said that the authorities were categorizing the incident as “competitive shopping,” which suggests that it was the malicious act of shopper trying to gain the advantage. Yet another report states that the pepper spray-wielding woman feared that she was going to be robbed amid the chaos, so she used the the spray as self-defense.
At least twenty shoppers (some reports say only fifteen) were affected by the pepper spray, yet somehow the woman at the heart of the incident managed to escape the store before she could be apprehended. Local police are said to currently be scouring store security videos, while the store is searching through sales receipts, so that she can be tracked down and arrested on felony battery charges.
I know “doorbuster” discounted video games are exciting, people, and that we’re all living in hard financial times. But come on. Do we really have to attack other shoppers just to save a little money?