Several people at Modesto’s Vintage Faire Mall were exposed to pepper spray Thursday afternoon after a woman, suspected of stealing from a store, used the chemical to escape.
A security guard who was sprayed, along with about 50 other people, were treated at the scene with symptoms of irritation and asthma. None required hospitalization. The woman got away.
A witness, Ramsey Rob, said the theft occurred at Pink, which is on the first floor of the two-story mall in north Modesto. The woman then fled the mall from the mall entrance near Starbucks, according to Heather Graves, spokeswoman for the Modesto Police Department.
At some point near that entrance, Graves said, the suspect was confronted by a security guard. The woman pulled out the pepper-spray and discharged the chemical. People nearby came in contact with the chemical.
Modesto police and emergency personnel quickly arrived on scene, which was cleared by 5 p.m., about an hour after the incident began.