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Sunday, March 26, 2017, 12:47 a.m.

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Employee pepper-sprayed by shoplifter at west Little Rock department store, police say

By Gavin Lesnick

This article was published March 20, 2017 at 11:54 a.m.

melissa-brignola

Melissa Brignola


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An employee who was trying to prevent a shoplifting at a west Little Rock department store was sprayed in the face with a "pepper spray-like substance" by one of the assailants, according to a Little Rock Police Department report.

It happened shortly before 10 p.m. Friday at the Kohl's at 13909 Chenal Parkway.

The victim told police he saw 49-year-old Melissa Brignola and a man with her "take and conceal" a portable charger and a camera before leaving without paying for the items, according to the report.

Police say the employee followed the two outside and tried to detain them, but he then got into a struggle with Brignola.

She yelled to the man with her to "come back and get him off of me," the report said, noting the man "came up to [the employee] and sprayed him in the face" with the substance. Police wrote in the report that the area around the victim's eyes were "red and puffy" when officers arrived.

Brignola was taken into custody. She was later booked into the Pulaski County jail on charges of robbery and theft of property, online records show. She remained jailed late Monday morning with bail set at $5,000.

The man who used the spray had not been arrested at the time of the report.

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Comments on: Employee pepper-sprayed by shoplifter at west Little Rock department store, police say

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Displaying 1 - 5 of 5 total comments

DoubleBlind says... March 20, 2017 at 12:16 p.m.

I would hope that retail managers would urge employees not to follow shoplifters outside; it's too dangerous. The store is insured for whatever is taken. In this case, it was pepper spray but could just as easily have been a gun.

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Kharma says... March 20, 2017 at 12:43 p.m.

Was probably misdemeanor shoplifting and now it's felony robbery. Good job stupidhead.

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Winfield says... March 20, 2017 at 1:45 p.m.

SEND HER TO PRISON!

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Deadeye26 says... March 20, 2017 at 2:05 p.m.

Thugs come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and genders.

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mrcharles says... March 20, 2017 at 4:14 p.m.

What kind of name is johnetta ? ha ha ha, bet she cant spell it . Wonder how many kids she has? What is wrong with these people?

Agree with you deadeye, but lots dont. Yet we see the proof every day of the thugs of humanity.

The man needs to be sent to prison. She needs to spend a quite weekend with the inmates at Tucker max to discuss life.

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