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Black Friday Pepper Sprayer Now Blaming Walmart

Mike Vulpo |
December 10, 2011 | 9:23 a.m. PST

Executive Producer

The scene on Black Friday in Porter Ranch (NBC's "Today")
The scene on Black Friday in Porter Ranch (NBC's "Today")
A woman who is accused of pepper spraying Walmart shoppers in Porter Ranch, Calif., on Black Friday to obtain a X-Box game system won’t be facing felony charges.

Los Angeles County prosecutors said there wasn’t enough evidence to indict Elizabeth Macias, 32, with felony charges. Instead, the city attorneys will decide whether to deliver misdemeanor charges against her.

Macias is now fighting back against Walmart claiming the retailer didn’t provide enough security for the post-Thanksgiving shopping crowds.

She claims she had to release the pepper spray after shoppers attacked her two teenage children. At one time, her son was on the ground and being punched by a man according to her attorney, Michael Champ.

More than 20 shoppers were attacked with pepper spray. Many of the injured were taken to an area hospital, treated and released.

Macias paints a different picture than what the media first reported when the story broke. Many portrayed Macias as an out-of-control shopper who insisted on getting one of the limited X-Box bundles on sale at any cost. On the other hand, Macias describes an out-of-control environment that put her children at risk. As a result, she had to use pepper spray to control the situation.

Detective Mike Fesperman of the Los Angeles Police Department recently told the Los Angeles Times it’s possible Macias used the pepper spray in self-defense. 

“I’m not saying it was right,” Fesperman said. “It could have been a situation that she was in fear of her safety, that she would be crushed.”

Reach writer Mike Vulpo here 

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