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Pepper spray: it’s not just for UC and Cal State students, anymore!

In Porter Ranch, 20 customers, including children, were hurt in a 10:10 PM pre-Black Friday incident in which a woman customer SPRAYED OTHER SHOPPERS with pepper spray in a deliberated attempt to get more “door buster” deals! Shoppers complained of minor skin irritation, sore throats, and eye irritation.

In what must have appeared to be an episode of Monty Python‘s “Spot the Looney” gone haywire, the woman used pepper spray in more than one area of Wal-Mart to gain a competitive advantage over other shoppers and “to gain preferred access to a variety of locations in the store,” said Los Angeles Fire Capt. James Carson. “She was competitive shopping,” he said.

“This was customer-versus-customer ‘shopping rage,'” said Los Angeles Police Lt. Abel Parga.

The police are searching for the woman, but have had trouble getting a clear description of her. If you have ever experienced pepper spray (I have), you know WHY! :-)

Witnesses told the LA Times that they suddenly experienced a peculiar coughing sensation. One shopper, 27-year-old Cesar Seminario, said: “After we paid, we saw five that were in really bad shape. They had been sprayed in the face, it looked like, and they had swelling of the face, really extreme swelling of face, redness, coughing.”

The pepper-spraying lady allegedly got away. The New York Daily News quoted Lt. Abel Parga as saying: “Somehow she was trying to use [the pepper spray] to gain an upper hand.”

Some will believe that she was inspired to her competitive act by Lt. John Pike, the University of California, Davis, policeman who attempted to disperse a group of passive protesters by dispersing pepper spray all over them.

Personally, I think that she may have been inspired by the great Vince Lombardi, instead, who probably heard this phrase from UCLA coach Henry Russell Sanders and used it as early as 1959:

Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing!

I hope that police find the “lady.” I hope that she resists arrest. :-)

(Note added November 26, 2011: The suspect was described as a Latina in her 30s, about 5 feet, 3 inches tall, weighing about 140 pounds. She was wearing black pants and a black sweater. [Ninja? :-) ] A woman who matched that description turned herself in to L.A. police at around 8:30 PM on Friday and was later released while police continue the investigation. The pepper spray incident reportedly involved a shoving match to purchase Xbox gaming consoles and Wii video games.)

-Bill at

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