What to Know
- A woman standing in a line at Walmart suddenly snapped, spraying pepper spray on people around her and attacking a woman holding her girl
- The mother who was attacked said she suffered a concussion and is recovering at home, unable to go to work as a Spanish teacher
- The alleged attacker, who also took an employee hostage at knifepoint inside a package room, is now in jail
Chaos erupted inside a Walmart store in New Jersey Sunday when a woman standing in a customer service line snapped and pepper-sprayed everyone around her and then slammed another woman's head against the wall, cellphone video shows.
Carolyn Cuellar said she'd gone to the Walmart in North Bergen to return a DVD and was standing in the customer service line when the woman in front of her suddenly released pepper spray, attacking at least four employees with the substance, and then went after Cuellar.
Video taken by another customer shows Cuellar's mother screaming "My daughter!" and begging for help as Cuellar's head was being slammed against the wall.
"I tried to cover my face and I felt a pull, and she yanked me and started hitting my head against the wall," said Cuellar. "My mom is screaming."
After Cuellar managed to get away, the woman pulled out a six-inch knife and barricaded herself inside the package room, holding an employee inside hostage.
"I couldn't believe I was so close to being fatally injured," said Cuellar, recovering at home Tuesday, unable to return to her job as a Spanish teacher. "I just keep thinking my kids wouldn't have their mom."
It was Cuellar's daughter's fourth birthday Tuesday, but Cuellar was struggling, diagnosed with a concussion and wearing sunglasses to protect her eyes to hide the deep scratches on her face.
"I don't know what happened," said Cuellar, in tears as she wondered where security was during the fracas. "Why did they take so long?"
A Walmart spokesperson said customer and associate safety is their top priority, and apologized for what happened at the store.
The suspect, Imani Jones of the Bronx, is being held at Hudson County Jail on charges including weapons possession and aggravated assault. It wasn't clear if she had an attorney.