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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Suspect Allegedly Pepper Sprays Store Security Over $32 in Merchandise

Posted by on Thu, Apr 5, 2012 at 11:06 AM

On April 4, a 26-year-old man walks into a West Seattle store, presumably for a little light shopping, then all hell breaks loose:

Officers contacted the Loss Prevention Officers at the store and they stated that they confronted the suspect after he placed $32.00 worth of items in a grocery basket and then proceeded to put those items into plastic grocery bags he pulled from his pocket. The witnesses stated that they watched as the suspect then walked out of the store without paying for the items. At that point the security officers confronted the suspect, identified themselves, and attempted to convince the suspect to step back inside the store. The man attempted to flee, but store security was able to wrestle him to the ground. A man walking by the store witnessed the struggle and attempted to assist in holding the suspect down. It was at that point that the suspect pulled out a small can of pepper spray and sprayed the security officers and the passerby in the face. The suspect then fled and 911 was called.

...Officers arrived in the area and quickly located the suspect in an alley, just south of Lander. As the officers approached, the male suspect took off running, refusing the officers’ commands to stop. One officer pursued the suspect on foot down the alley, ordering him to stop several times. As the suspect ran out of the alley, he turned and attempted to spray the officer with the pepper spray canister he still held in his hand. The officer was able to avoid most of the spray from hitting his face, and the suspect was taken into custody after the officer deployed his Taser.

This was an appropriate use of a Taser, I think. However, it's criminal that SPD omitted from its report what those $32 worth of items were.


Comments (22) RSS

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watchout5 22
If as an officer you need to bring a gun to a taser fight to win maybe you need to go back to police school. If we're going to be paying them to much money they should at least be able to win a taser v taser fight come the fuck on.
Posted by watchout5 on April 5, 2012 at 10:52 PM · Report this
SPG 21
Oh yeah, forgot to mention that quite a few of those "rent a cops" are actually real cops moonlighting as security. Those guys can shoot you.
Posted by SPG on April 5, 2012 at 4:22 PM · Report this
SPG 20
@17, Security guards are usually advised against getting physical, but they're within their rights as much as you are if someone is stealing your shit. If a security guard were to come up and punch you in the face for taking too long at the checkout with all your coupons, well that's a whole other story. But rob the place? They can beat you down and suffer no legal or employer consequences.
Posted by SPG on April 5, 2012 at 4:21 PM · Report this
unknown_entity 19
Let's be grateful the thief brought pepper spray rather than a gun or a knife. Also, well done by the police officer who nabbed the suspect after getting hit by pepper spray (even a small amount of that stuff is vicious). It is nice to have a reminder that police will not use deadly force even in the face of a dangerous (but not deadly) threat.
Posted by unknown_entity on April 5, 2012 at 1:22 PM · Report this
@13 Deserved to be shot over $32?

Taser is supposed to be an alternative to deadly force. Would the police officer have had to have shot this guy if he hadn't had a taser? Is this a level of crime where procedures authorize the use of deadly force to bring down a fleeing suspect?
Posted by cracked on April 5, 2012 at 1:18 PM · Report this
johnnie 17
Obvs, didn't work out for that guy, but whatever store employed these security guards needs to get a new service. Rent-a-cops don't have authority to detain people, let alone tackle them to the ground.
Posted by johnnie on April 5, 2012 at 12:33 PM · Report this
@10 That's how it could have ended up for this guy, but noooooo. If foghorn leghorn is right, he'll have a long time to be kicking himself.
Posted by floater on April 5, 2012 at 12:04 PM · Report this

Don't know if mace is considered a deadly weapon, up to the jury I suppose.

The answer is "probably not." RCW 9.94A.825 sets out the definitions of deadly weapons, which does include, "...any weapon containing poisonous or injurious gas." However, the statute states, "...a deadly weapon is an implement or instrument which has the capacity to inflict death and from the manner in which it is used, is likely to produce or may easily and readily produce death." Since chemical mace is generally considered a non-lethal weapon, a prosecutor would be unlikely to add an enhancement.

Worth noting that there are a number of items that are specifically cited as per se deadly weapons. So if you get into a bar fight, don't use a "dirk," "dagger," "blackjack," or "sand club." But a wooden baseball bat is fine.
Posted by Mr. Happy Sunshine on April 5, 2012 at 11:58 AM · Report this
keshmeshi 14

And, in my experience, seeing dumb teenage friends getting nabbed for shoplifting, most shoplifting punishments involve restitution and attending a class on how bad shoplifting is for society. Maybe some community service for a repeat offender.
Posted by keshmeshi on April 5, 2012 at 11:56 AM · Report this
Refreshing to see an apropriate (restrained, even!) use of force from the police. The guy is lucky not to have been shot after spraying a cop. I don't think many eyebrows would have been raised if the guy had ended up shot dead by a police officer, after a pepper-spray attack.
Posted by ohthetrees on April 5, 2012 at 11:48 AM · Report this
Scalpel 12
So he threw a condiment at the officer, essentially.
Posted by Scalpel on April 5, 2012 at 11:47 AM · Report this
@9: Would those be dildos for dragons, or made of dragons, or merely dragon-shaped?

Oh hell, it doesn't matter. They all sound awesome.
Posted by NateMan on April 5, 2012 at 11:46 AM · Report this
lizlemon 10
I played that bring-your-own-plastic-bag-then-walk-out game when I was 17 and pulled it off numerous times. Then I got caught once by Safeway loss prevention for not paying for my cheese-its and ice tea. Less than a $10 "theft" and I got a lecture about how I was the cause of inflation and some other bullshit about them threatening to throw me in jail. Needless to say, I paid for my cheese-its and ice tea from then on.
Posted by lizlemon on April 5, 2012 at 11:42 AM · Report this
venomlash 9
$32 worth of dragon dildos.
Posted by venomlash on April 5, 2012 at 11:38 AM · Report this
Foghorn Leghorn 8
Hmm. So we've got misdemeanor theft (though use of a weapon may bump it up to felony theft), multiple 2nd degree assault charges (probably class B felony), resisting arrest, and assaulting an officer. Don't know if mace is considered a deadly weapon, up to the jury I suppose. But if it is that'd tack on another 6 months to a year per assault charge, which are already 3-9 months each. Assaulting an officer with a weapon will go poorly for him. Even worse if the idiot is already a convicted felon. Looks like maybe 3-5 years.

Over $32.
Posted by Foghorn Leghorn on April 5, 2012 at 11:27 AM · Report this
I have to admit I got a snicker out of someone pepper spraying security for once.
Posted by NateMan on April 5, 2012 at 11:21 AM · Report this

I was standing in line at Lake Meridian Safeway last night and a customer literally saved that much with coupons...she was plunking down 50 centers like crazy! I joked that she could save for her retirement that way.

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on April 5, 2012 at 11:18 AM · Report this
Foghorn Leghorn 5
$32 worth of pepper spray, obviously.
Posted by Foghorn Leghorn on April 5, 2012 at 11:15 AM · Report this
pinksoda 4
Male enhancement products?
Posted by pinksoda on April 5, 2012 at 11:13 AM · Report this
rob! 3
A couple packages of razor blades.
Posted by rob! on April 5, 2012 at 11:12 AM · Report this
Zebes 2
$32 worth of peppers and batteries.
Posted by Zebes on April 5, 2012 at 11:11 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 1
$32 worth of salt.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on April 5, 2012 at 11:10 AM · Report this

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