Pepper spray is an invaluable resource in all sorts of situations. Police use it to subdue unruly criminals. Women use it to fight off unwanted advances from date-rapey frat boys. The TSJ staff uses it to spice up our yearly chili cook-off. The list goes on and on.
But pepper spray isn’t without its drawbacks. For example, maybe because it amounts to throwing food in someone’s face, people tend to get a little trigger happy with pepper spray. That’s when stuff like this happens. Here are five things you won’t believe got hit with pepper spray.
Two Actors Hugging On a Sidewalk
In Shreveport, Louisiana, Josh Brolin and Jeffrey Wright were enjoying a night out with some of the cast and crew of the movie W, or at least enjoying it as much as one can be expected to enjoy a night in Shreveport, Louisiana. Apparently, an altercation broke out at some point inside the bar they were at. A bar fight is certainly a reasonable enough place to break out the pepper spray, but by the time police get around to Josh Brolin and Jeffrey Wright, the two actors were standing on the sidewalk hugging.
Sensing that danger was most certainly afoot during this public display of man-fection, a police officer casually strolls up and hits Brolin dead in the grill with a blast of pepper spray. Either Brolin is one tough as nails son of a bitch or the pepper in said spray was a green pepper, because the actor just kind of stands there and asks the police to stop. Meanwhile, Jeffrey Wright is taken to the side, laid out on the ground and repeatedly hit with a taser, you know, because he’s black and therefore exponentially more dangerous.
And for one night, the streets of Shreveport, Louisiana were safe again.
A Toys ‘R Us Store
We’re on the fence as to whether this qualifies as bizarre or perfectly reasonable, but Toys ‘R Us is apparently ground zero for pepper spray wielding shoppers. The above video is from a Memphis news report which tells of police being called out to control wild Black Friday crowds at a Toys ‘R Us store where an angry mob, some armed with tasers and pepper spray, tried to force their way past shoppers who had been lined up for hours to get their hands on the same deals that normal people just wait to buy online the following Monday. Remarkably, this isn’t the only crazy pepper spray story to emerge from the child-infested bowels of Toys ‘R Us.
At the Toys ‘R Us flagship store in Times Square, three shoppers were hospitalized and 17 more were treated at the scene after someone released pepper spray in the store’s elevator. Our inquiries as to whether the law of “he who smelt it dealt it” applies to pepper spray in an elevator went unanswered by law enforcement officials.
An 8-Year-Old Child
Remember the days when naughty outbursts at school were handled by way of a swift paddling by the school principal? It had a magical way of keeping all but the most wildly unhinged of us right in line. But those days are gone now, and teachers are left with nothing but harsh words and the threat of detention when some parent’s demon spawn gets out of line. Unfortunately, words alone aren’t enough to settle today’s young hellions.
That was especially true for 8-year-old Aidan Elliott of Lakewood, Colorado. This youngster got so out of line during class that police had to be called in to settle him down. After he broke off a piece of wood trim and attempted to stab the officers with it, they pepper sprayed those violent thoughts right out of his head.
During an interview a few days later on the Today show, little Aidan conceded that he “kind of deserved it.” We concur, young man. We concur.
An Entire School District
An 8-year-old student getting the spicy face spray treatment might seem insane, but in Birmingham, Alabama, it’s just standard operating procedure. A lawsuit was filed in December, 2010 by the Southern Poverty Law Center to end the practice of police and school officials pepper spraying Birmingham students for little more than talking back to teachers.
In one instance, a student accused of mumbling a profanity at a teacher was pinned to a locker and pepper sprayed by the assistant principal. In another case, a young girl was held on the ground by five men and pepper sprayed for having the gall to smoke on school grounds. That’s especially harsh, unless of course the student was hit with taunts of “Yeah, what’s burning now?!?!” immediately after being pepper sprayed, in which case it’s especially harsh but also kind of comical in a way you’ll never get us to admit to in a court of law.
A Baby Squirrel
Hey man, it’s one thing to traumatize school kids by spraying them with pepper spray, but when you traumatize them by spraying an adorable baby squirrel, well, that’s just crossing the line.
That’s exactly what happened in Mesquite, Texas though. The officer in question feared that the cuddly little animal was actually a rabies infested killing machine with student blood on its mind. In an epic display of bravery, he got between the squirrel and the students who would undoubtedly soon be its prey and attempted to scare it off. When that didn’t work, he just straight pepper sprayed the poor thing. Sad.
Even sadder — the animal wasn’t rabid at all. Workers at a local animal shelter nursed it back to health and released it back into the wild after the incident. When the inevitable animal uprising finally happens, expect this guy to be the first to fall.