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VIDEO: Woman uses pepper spray on other shoppers at Walmart amid coronavirus fears

No charges filed
Posted at 12:14 PM, Apr 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-22 12:16:43-04

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As COVID-19 continues to spread, people are encouraged to stay six feet away from each other. Some places across the U.S. are requiring people to wear masks.

But one woman in Washington, D.C. took social distancing a step further and pepper sprayed someone who tried to get on an elevator with her at Walmart.

There were a lot of shoppers and baskets trying to get on an elevator to leave the Walmart Monday, when a woman with no mask got on first and tried to close the doors.

"She was talking about some social distancing, six feet, but she was real serious with it though," said shopper Dominick Gamble, who recorded the incident.

Dominick Gamble had his cellphone out.

The other ladies then stood up [and said,] ‘You’re going to let us on this elevator.'"

When another shopper pulled her cart on anyway, the woman sprayed pepper spray in one woman's face.

Physician Lucy McBride said many of her patients are in what she calls fight or flight mode too.

"This is a crisis not only of our physical health but of our mental health. And it's more specifically a trauma, a collective trauma. All of us, whether you have coronavirus or not, are feeling loss and vulnerability and fear," said McBride.

Police came to the Walmart and questioned everybody, reviewed video and the report says confiscated Sabre pepper spray.

"She didn't have a mask on. She wasn't even supposed to be there. She macing people."

Despite this episode, the victim declined treatment when the ambulance arrived.

"Just try to not hurt nobody with this virus going on. Just stay in the house," said Gamble.

The woman was not arrested or charged.