Shoppers Hit By Pepper Spray Wielding Woman In Wal-Mart “Black Friday” Incident

The inanity that is Black Friday took a new turn in California last night:

Matthew Lopez went to the Wal-Mart in Porter Ranch on Thursday night for the Black Friday sale but instead was caught in a pepper-spray attack by a woman who authorities said was “competitive shopping.”

Lopez described a chaotic scene in the San Fernando Valley store among shoppers looking for video games soon after the sale began.

“I heard screaming and I heard yelling,” said Lopez, 18. “Moments later, my throat stung. I was coughing really bad and watering up.”

Lopez said customers were already in the store when a whistle signaled the start of the Black Friday sale at 10 p.m., sending shoppers hurtling in search of deeply discounted items.

Lopez said that by the time he arrived at the video games, the display had been torn down. Employees attempted to hold back the scrum of shoppers and pick up merchandise even as customers trampled the video games and DVDs strewn on the floor.

“It was absolutely crazy,” he said.

Another customer said screams erupted after about 100 people waiting in line to snag Xbox gaming consoles and Wii video games got into a shoving match.

Alejandra Seminario, 24, said she was waiting in line to grab some toys at the store around 9:55 p.m. when people the next aisle over started shouting and ripping at the plastic wrap encasing gaming consoles, which was supposed to be opened at 10 p.m.

“People started screaming, pulling and pushing each other, and then the whole area filled up with pepper spray,” the Sylmar resident said. “I guess what triggered it was people started pulling the plastic off the pallets and then shoving and bombarding the display of games. It started with people pushing and screaming because they were getting shoved onto the boxes.”

Peace on Earth, Goodwill Toward Men, and all that stuff.

Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. EazieCheeze says:

    And we’re absolutely sure this isn’t the cop from UC Davis?

  2. RWB says:

    Big deal; it’s basically just a food product.

  3. G.A.Phillips says:

    Peace on Earth, Goodwill Toward Men, and all that stuff.

    Isn’t it amazing how we go from this to what you posted.

    It is so sad that we have no explanation.No good book on the subject.Nothing that explains it. This metamorphosis from something so beautifully created into something so petty and wretched and vile….

  4. michael reynolds says:


    Hey, that was nice.

    On the main topic:

    In related news a bunch of Target shoppers had to be pepper sprayed to get them to actually enter a Wal-Mart.

    My team loyalties: Target, Costco, Nordstrom. No one ever gets pepper sprayed at Nordstrom. Except when they do the big women’s shoes sale.

  5. lou91940 says:

    As I get older the days of 153 million of us seem more and more bucolic. WW2 was over, Korea had not yet happened. As an 8 y.o. I could ride my Schwinn freely through any part of town without fear of pedophiles… my friends and I oblivious to getting home after sunset.

    Of course “duck and cover” was soon to become a part of our world and Korea was the morning headline. But milk was still home delivered. In the winter it would freeze and the cream would push up the wax top from the bottle. My mothers cooking was from scratch (not frozen or in a box)…we even had a meat market and small grocery store in our neighborhood, as did many other neighborhoods.

    Now some people pepper spray others in order to grab a store bargain first. We seem to live in a rude crude Idiocracy. Where did it all go so wrong? I hope I didn’t contribute too much. For the sake of my grandchildren I hate to see this become a new normal.

    Maybe Dec. 21, 2012 should come after all…a reset, you know.

  6. @michael reynolds:

    I don’t like Costco. My mind just refuses to accept the concept of paying for the pivelege of shopping at a store.

  7. michael reynolds says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    Dude: In California Costcos you can buy Macallan 12 for under 40 bucks. Plus blueberries for a third of what you pay anywhere else. But mostly the Scotch.

  8. @michael reynolds:

    In California Costcos you can buy Macallan 12 for under 40 bucks.

    In Pennsylvania, all liquor stores are owned by the state government and we can only buy what they feel like selling us at highly inflated monopoly prices.

  9. Neil Hudelson says:

    @michael reynolds:

    In Indianapolis its around $32. Standard. At every store.

    Indiana: Come for the lack of tsunamis, stay for the cheap whiskey.

  10. matt says:

    Last time I went to a black friday at walmart the police had to show up and arrest a bunch of people. While I was walking in the parking lot to my car I saw a couple break a window on a van cause they thought it was theirs and only after getting inside did they realize they had the wrong car… never been to a black friday since..

    All of this in Texas.. Up north in Illinois it was much more civilized..

  11. G.A.Phillips says:


    Hey, that was nice.

    Thanks Harry:) but that was about the main topic….

    On a side note, we got 2 dalla 4 packs of milwaukee’s best ice and 2 dollar bottles of Winking Owl wine.Well that’s what us in the 99% drink anyhow….that half a days pay rich white mans drink is reserved for the 1% around here, unless you work for the city or state then you get all your life, and wellness costs paid for and drink good too…

    lol, damn! There goes my theory on the 1% only being able to pay for and being smart enough to handle drinking the nectar for the gods……….

    Well, ha, I guess crack dealers drink a lot of Hennessy, but don’t pay much in taxes, kinda like the state and city workers who don’t pay much in taxes and are paid in taxes…and ain’t very educated or smart.

    I think I am looking at perhaps an asterisk or two and then another in depth study on how to make my theory fit into what I know is reality…crap more freaking thinking….

    HootHoot!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Where has my bottle of tasty, chubby little feathery happiness got……

  12. G.A.Phillips says:
  13. Trumwill says:

    @michael reynolds: Or you can do like I did, which is buy the card and almost never use it due to inconsistent inventory (making it non one-stop shopping).

  14. grumpy realist says:

    As yes, the nectar of the gods….

    Damned expensive here in Illinois, will become more expensive as they boost up the sin taxes to fix the hole in the budget.

    Actually I don’t mind. I’d rather have us charged up front for the services we use rather than shove everything under the rugs for several generations until the proverbial hits the proverbial and we end up trying to bail out the Titanic with a leaky spoon. I wouldn’t mind taking all the prior politicians who promised us guns AND butter without paying for it and stripping all pensions and medical services from them, though.

    (Reminds me of Animal House: “you screwed up! You trusted us!”)

  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Neil Hudelson: Yeah, but how much is the Laphroaig?

  16. Eric Florack says:

    So, does the phrase “Domestic Terrorists” fit, now? Hmmm?