Black Friday Pepper Sprayer Elizabeth Macias Threatens to Sue Walmart

Mother Elizabeth Macias says she pepper sprayed to end attacks on her two teens.

ByABC News
December 10, 2011, 11:13 AM

Dec. 10, 2011— -- A California woman who won't face felony charges for pepper spraying Black Friday Walmart shoppers is considering a lawsuit claiming that the national retailer didn't provide enough security for the post-Thanksgiving shopping spree.

Elizabeth Macias, 32, said she fired the stinging spray after shoppers attacked her two teenage children as they tried to obtain X-Box video game consoles for purchase, attorney Michael Champ, Macias' lawyer, told CBS News' Los Angeles station KCBS Friday.

At one point, her son was on the ground, being punched by a man and her daughter also was being punched and kicked, Champ said.

The teens were traumatized, he said.

Macias' lawsuit threat comes after Los Angeles County prosecutors concluded there wasn't enough evidence to indict her on felony charges for the pepper spraying.

The case has been handed down to city attorneys who will decide whether to impose misdemeanor charges against Macias, who was on videotaped inside Walmart's Porter Ranch store.

After a spraying that affected at least 20 shoppers, including children, Macias left the store.

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

The next day, she turned herself in to police but declined to answer their questions and was released.

Det. Mike Fesperman of the Los Angeles Police Department told the Los Angeles Times it's possible that Macias used the pepper spray in self-defense.

"I'm not saying it was right. It could have been a situation that she was in fear for her safety, that she would be crushed," Fesperman said.

Police said they interviewed more than a dozen witnesses and examined store security videos and YouTube videos in which people can be heard saying, "I'm being trampled."

Walmart officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.