The lawyer for the woman who sprayed pepper spray at shoppers in a Los Angeles area Walmart has stated that her two teenage children were being kicked and punched prior to the pepper spraying incident.
The woman, Elizabeth Macias, was originally accused of firing pepper spray at a crowd of shoppers in an effort to grab a discounted xBox before other shoppers got to it. After a nearly two week investigation, police have admitted she may have been acting in self defense.
Speaking to Los Angeles CBS affiliate KCAL, Macias’ attorney, Michael Champ, said that his clients’ children were being trampled, kicked, and punched after they had secured an xBox to purchase during the Black Friday sale.
While it was originally reported that the woman (at that time, identity unknown) involved in the pepper spraying incident had children with her. That information went unconfirmed until her attorney stated that Macias did have her children with her at the Black Friday sale.
This means that all three stories we ran that Friday about shopping related violence involved (at least the allegation) that parents or grandparents were attempting to protect children from stampeding shoppers when the violence occurred.
The first story is the pepper spraying incident detailed above.
The second story we ran involved a 54 year old man injured when, according to witnesses, he was thrown to the ground by police. A Youtube video showed the man lying on the ground unconscious, his face in a pool of blood, as he was being handcuffed. Witnesses stated that police thought he was shoplifting, but that he had tucked video games in his waistband for a reason. He needed to use both hands to help his grandson, who had fallen, cut his lip, and was being trampled by a crowd grabbing at discounted products.
The third report was about a crowd of shoppers being pepper sprayed by an off duty police officer. He reportedly ‘dribbled’ pepper spray over the crowd because because they were grabbing at products before they could be set up by Walmart employees. The grandfather of a young girl who was sprayed, a former police officer, was arrested during the incident, after complaining of the spraying. “I couldn’t breath and everything got dizzy and I was shaking,” said the man’s granddaughter after the incident.
Of course, there were other reports of violence, in many locations, during Black Friday. This is not a scientific finding by any means. But here at NFS, we did find it interesting that the three most eye catching incidents of reported Black Friday violence involved people that, allegedly, were trying to protect their children.