Entries in pepper spray (8)


UC Davis Settlement: Pepper-Sprayed Students Will Get $30K

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(DAVIS, Calif.) -- The University of California regents will pay about $1 million to 21 UC Davis current and former students who were pepper-sprayed during a peaceful campus protest last November.

A video of the incident that went viral shows an officer casually walking up to and aiming a thick stream of the spray directly into the faces of seated students at close range during an Occupy rally.  The incident triggered outrage and an investigation by the university.

In the settlement, each student who filed suit will each receive $30,000 and a handwritten apology from UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi.

In addition, the university system has agreed to pay $250,000 for the students’ legal fees.

According to the deal reached earlier this month, the university has set aside $100,000 for additional students hit in the incident who wish to submit claims as a part of the class-action suit.  Those students are set to receive up to $20,000 each depending of the number who come forward.

In the agreement obtained by ABC News, students involved in the November incident will receive “reasonable assistance and counseling” for the “academic performance issues that allegedly arose as a result of the incident.”


The settlement comes as a result of the Nov. 18 Occupy protest at UC Davis.  Students encamped in the university’s quad in protest of rising tuition costs, were warned to leave before being pepper sprayed by campus police.

According the settlement, the university believes “they acted reasonably and with good intentions, without violating the rights.”

The papers filed Wednesday morning will not become official until approved by a federal judge.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Police Still Interviewing Witnesses in Shopping Rage Incident

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Police are reportedly still undecided about whether they will press charges against the Black Friday shopper who doused 20 people in pepper spray at a Los Angeles Walmart.

The woman was released pending further investigation as authorities decide whether they will file charges, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday.

The woman, who has only been identified as a Latina in her 30s, turned herself in around 8:30 p.m. Friday. She was released pending further investigation.

"There are a lot of victims and witnesses that need to be interviewed to determine what the appropriate actions are," Officer Bruce Borihanh told ABC News.

The woman became notorious during the Black Friday frenzy when she allegedly used pepper spray on shoppers in different areas of a Walmart store Thursday night to gain quick access to the deals on her list.

The store had brought out a crate of discounted Xbox video game players, and a crowd had formed to wait for the crate to be opened. The woman began pepper spraying shoppers in order to get closer to the crate, according to Police Sgt. Jose Valle.

Shopper John Lopez wasn't hit, but compared the scene to a riot.

"[The victims'] faces were red," he told ABC News Radio. "This one guy was coming up to my wife going, 'Call an ambulance! Call an ambulance!'"

During the melee, the woman was able to pay for her purchases and slip away before police arrived, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Black Friday Violence Casts Dark Cloud Over Holiday Shopping

Comstock/Thinkstock(SAN LEANDRO, Calif.) -- A string of Black Friday violence, including a shooting outside a Walmart and pepper-sprayed shoppers, swept the country during the early hours of the morning.

Police said a man was shot in the parking lot of a San Leandro, Calif., Walmart around 1:50 a.m., after he refused to give up his purchases to a group of thieves.

“It looks like these guys were looking for a crime of opportunity,” Sgt. Mike Sobek of the San Leandro Police Department told ABC News.

The victim, whom police refused to identify, was shopping with his family, who managed to hold down one suspect until police arrived. The others fled, but Sobek said the police were still reviewing surveillance footage for clues.

In Los Angeles, one woman proved some people would do anything for a good deal.

Twenty people suffered minor injuries after the woman doused the eyes of shoppers with pepper spray at a Walmart in the Porter Ranch area of Los Angeles shortly after 10:20 p.m.

Elsewhere, two men fought over jewelry deals at a Walmart in Kissimmee, Fla.

Police arrived at the store shortly after 1 a.m. to defuse the fight. One man was arrested when he resisted as officers tried to escort him out of the store.

In another Walmart-centric act of rage, Tonia Robbins, 55, was shot in the foot while thieves stole her purse outside a Myrtle Beach,  S.C.,  store shortly after 1 a.m.

The suspects fled after Ann Robbins, 58, pulled out a revolver and fired three warning shots into the air, the police report stated.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Calif. Woman Pepper Sprays Shoppers to "Gain Preferred Access"

GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Twenty people, including children, were pepper sprayed Thursday night just minutes after a Walmart in Porter Ranch opened its doors to eager Black Friday shoppers.

Walmart kicked off its Black Friday sales Thursday night at 10 p.m.

The woman identified as being responsible for the attack is still being sought by police, according to the Los Angeles Times. Authorities told the Times the woman used the spray to "to gain preferred access to a variety of locations in the store." Los Angeles Fire Capt. James Carson said "she was competitive shopping."

Shopper John Lopez wasn’t hit, but compared the scene to a riot.

“[The victims'] faces were red,” he told ABC News Radio. “This one guy was coming up to my wife going, ‘Call an ambulance! Call an ambulance!’”

During the melee, the woman was able to pay for her purchases and slip away before police arrived, the Times reported.

Several shoppers reported minor injuries, including sore throats and skin and eye irritations.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


UC-Davis Chancellor Resists Calls To Resign

ABC News(DAVIS, Calif.) -- University of California-Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi says she won't resign despite outrage over her handling of campus officers' blasting pepper spray into the faces of students protesting Friday in support of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

"I really feel confident at this point the university needs me," Katehi said Monday on ABC’s Good Morning America. "There are so many critical issues to be addressed and we really need to start the healing process and move forward."

Calls for Katehi's resignation have come fast and furious from both students and faculty since the incident, video of which shows as many as 20 students, all seated throughout the protest, hit at close range by pepper spray. Two of the protesters were taken to the hospital. Ten people were arrested, nine of them students.

The chancellor's office confirmed to ABC News that UC officials will announce Monday they have placed campus police chief Annette Spicuzza on administrative leave. Chief Spicuzza was on the scene when the pepper spray incident occurred.

The UC-Davis faculty association called for Katehi's resignation Saturday, writing in a letter there had been a "gross failure of leadership."

Admitting that the university she leads is at a "critical position," Katehi said she is willing to work with all sides.

"I'm working with the greater faculty body," she said. "I really want to work with members of our community, the staff and the faculty to take our institution out of this crisis."

Katehi has said she next plans to meet with demonstrators Monday at their general assembly.

Katehi's statements follow a weekend of damage-control for both her and the university as the incident reverberated across the nation. The school placed two of the campus police officers identified on video using the pepper spray on administrative leave.

Katehi held a teleconference Saturday and released a statement in which she said she takes "full responsibility for the incident."  She also announced she would form a task force to probe events surrounding the arrests, and then accelerated its timetable, setting a deadline from 90 days to 30 days for the task force to issue its report.

After the UC-Davis Occupy was disassembled Friday, students resumed their protest Saturday with an evening rally on the roughly 31,000-student campus.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


UC Davis Pepper Spraying: Cops Suspended

George Doyle/Stockbyte/ThinkstockUPDATE: UC Davis Police Chief Annette Spicuzza has been placed on administrative leave, ABC News has learned. An official announcement is expected Monday. Spicuzza was on the scene when the pepper spray incident occurred.

(DAVIS, Calif.) -- Two campus police officers caught on video using pepper spray on seated Occupy protesters at University of California, Davis, have been put on administrative leave, the school announced Sunday.

"I spoke with students this weekend, and I feel their outrage," UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi said in a statement released Sunday. "I have also heard from an overwhelming number of students, faculty, staff and alumni from around the country. I am deeply saddened that this happened on our campus, and as chancellor, I take full responsibility for the incident.

"However, I pledge to take the actions needed to ensure that this does not happen again," she said. "I feel very sorry for the harm our students were subjected to and I vow to work tirelessly to make the campus a more welcoming and safe place."

Katehi said that she had also accelerated the timetable for a task force to investigate the events surrounding the arrests, including communications from the police to the administration. She set a deadline of 30 days for the task force to issue its report.

Katehi's announcement comes as faculty and students began calling for her resignation over the incident, which occurred Friday and was captured on video that was postd on YouTube.

She initially voiced support of the police, who wore riot-gear during the stand-off, having given them to order to dismantle the UC Davis Occupy encampment because camping on college grounds is officially forbidden, but then said she would form a task force to probe the incident.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


NYPD Cop Disciplined over Occupy Wall Street Pepper Spray

New York City Police Department (NYPD) officers clash with a protester from the Occupy Wall Street movement in Zuccotti Park in New York. Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- An internal New York Police Department review has found a senior police officer violated NYPD guidelines when he used pepper spray on Occupy Wall Street protesters last month, ABC News confirmed.

According to a person with knowledge of the investigation, Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna faces discipline of a loss of 10 vacation days as a result of the incident on Sept. 24.

According to officials, after the demonstrators left their base in Zuccotti Park and spilled over into the streets, blocking traffic, Bologna approached a group already corralled by police and sprayed the group with pepper spray.

Clips on the Occupy Wall Street website show the incident, when a group of young women who were penned in by orange netting were approached by Bologna, who then, without apparent warning, used pepper spray on them. Two of the women hit by the spray fell to the ground and one screamed.

Bologna has the option to appeal the decision.

“Deputy Inspector Bologna is disappointed at the results of the department investigation,” Roy Richter, president of the NYPD captain’s endowment association, said in a statement. “His actions prevented further injury and escalation of tumultuous conduct. To date, this conduct has not been portrayed in its true context.”

The Occupy Wall Street protests began in downtown New York City Sept. 17, and have continued with the occupation of a park in the city’s financial district and several large-scale marches, generally on weekends. Though many of the group’s marches have resulted in dozens of arrests, there has been very little violence, and conflicts between the protesters and police have been limited.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Second Grade Boy Pepper Sprayed by Colorado Police in Class

George Doyle/Stockbyte/Thinkstock(LAKEWOOD, Colo.) -- Colorado police and school officials are defending a decision to pepper spray a second grade boy who threatened to kill his teachers.

Aidan Elliot seems like a typical video game loving eight-year-old, but what happened in his Glennon Heights Elementary School on Feb. 28 was hardly typical.

"I kind of blow up a little," Aidan said. "I said I'm going to kill you once you get out of that room."

Aidan is in a class for kids with behavior problems. He became enraged, spitting and throwing chairs and even threatening teachers and students with a sharp piece of wood he held like a knife.

Aidan told Good Morning America that he regrets his behavior, but when asked if he meant to injure the teachers with the piece of wood, he said, "Kind of."

"I was rowdy on the bus...They didn't let me do something I wanted to do. We needed to do stuff, but they wouldn't let me. They put me in a corner with chairs and they called my mom," he said. "It was really the teachers because I just got really upset with them."

The boy's mother, Mandy Elliot, is furious with school officials and police.

"I was angry. I didn't understand. I was on my way....Why didn't they talk to him. He was red, handcuffed, crying, screaming how much it burned," Mandy Elliot said.

Lakewood police officer Steve Davis said that when they arrived on the scene Aidan told them, "I will kill you mother effers," Davis said.

Teachers were so worried for their safety, they reportedly barricaded themselves in an adjacent office.

"He told the teachers the same thing...if they came out, they were going to die," Davis said.

Aidan's mother said that her son never behaves violently outside of school.

"I think there is a problem, but it's with school and Aidan," Mandy Elliot said. "It only happens at school. It doesn't happen at soccer. It doesn't happen at swimming. It doesn't happen with babysitters, with family members."

Elliot is filing a complaint against the police for pepper spraying her son.

"I think they should have approached him, tried to talk to him, even if it was from a distance. You talk to him and you find out what it is that's bothering him as well. You don't just walk in, ask him to stop and then spray," Elliot said.

Police defended their decision.

"It was a situation that had to be diffused and it had to be done very quickly. No one went home injured that day," Davis said.

School officials told the Denver Post that they are seeing more elementary and pre-school students who are increasingly violent.

"As a district we've been very concerned about it," Polly Ortiz-Lutz, the school district's director of special education told the Denver Post.

School officials said that Aidan would be welcome back to the school if his behavior improves.

"That would be our hope and goal. I hope that he is getting the services he needs so that he is able to return," said Peg Kastberg from Jefferson County Public Schools.

Aidan's mother said that she's tried putting her son on medication to improve his behavior, but it didn't work.

Aidan said that he needs to work on cooling down his temper.

"I don't know how my future is going to be -- rich, happy, good life road or bad, homeless, poor road," he said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio