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Woman pepper-sprays maskless mom and child over COVID-19 fears: report
Photo by Ollie Millington/Getty Images

Woman pepper-sprays maskless mom and child over COVID-19 fears: Report

Authorities arrested a 32-year-old woman after she reportedly pepper-sprayed a woman and her child while the three rode in an elevator Monday, the Seattle Times reported.

The woman and her child, according to reports, were not wearing masks, which is said to have prompted the response from the 32-year-old suspect, who claims to be in a "high-risk category" for COVID-19-related illness.

What are the details?

Officers responded Monday afternoon to Pike Place Market for a report of assault, where they found the unnamed suspect, who was reportedly "pushing a stroller containing a bottle of bleach and carrying a can of pepper spray."

The suspect reportedly told police that she sprayed the victim out of COVID-19 fears.

KIRO-TV reported that the suspect — identified by KOMO-TV as Czarina Lee Slape — told investigators that the woman was "yelling at her" in the elevator, and so she took out the pepper spray and "accidentally" sprayed the woman and her child.

The King County Prosecutor's Office also reported that Slape insisted she was defending herself because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Newsweek report, authorities were able to arrest Slape and take her into custody without incident. She was booked into King County Jail on felony charges of assault and assault of a child and is being held on a $1,000 bond.

Seattle Fire Department first responders treated the adult and child victims at the scene.

The adult victim told authorities that she and her child were riding in an elevator with the woman when the suspect reportedly began swearing to herself.

When she asked Slape if everything was OK, the suspect then reportedly told the victim, "If you talk to me again I'm going to mace you."

KOMO reported that the victim reportedly responded by telling Slape that she and her son would have to pass Slape to get off the elevator, which reportedly prompted Slape to pull out a can of pepper spray and fire it at the victims.

The mother, according to the station, admitted to hitting Slape following the attack before the suspect fled from the elevator.

Casey McNerthy, a spokesperson for the King County Prosecutor's Office, told the station, "We understand that people are concerned about the [Delta] variant, but you can't attack people who aren't wearing a mask."

The station reported that Slape has an "extensive criminal history," including at least 21 other arrests ranging from disorderly conduct to theft.

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