Press Club

ACPD: Woman pepper sprayed man for taking photos of children — who turned out to be his own kids

In an apparent case of mistaken assumptions, a woman pepper sprayed someone she believed to be a stranger taking photos of children. The kids, however, were his.

The incident happened on the 1100 block of S. Hayes Street, the same block as the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall, around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.

“Police were dispatched to the report of an assault in progress,” said today’s Arlington County Police Department crime report. “Upon arrival, it was determined that the unknown female suspect approached a security guard and stated she believed the victim was taking pictures of juveniles not known to him.”

“The security guard made contact with the victim and determined he was taking photos of his children,” the crime report notes. But that explanation apparently did not satisfy the woman, who then pulled out a can of pepper spray.

“The suspect then intervened, deployed pepper spray and sprayed the victim, before fleeing the scene on foot,” the crime report says. “The victim sustained non-life threatening injuries and was treated on scene by medics. The investigation is ongoing.”

The suspect, said to be in her late 20s or early 30s, remains at large. She is being sought on a charge of “malicious injury by caustic agent.”

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