Nacogdoches Walmart shopper pepper sprayed after finding man in - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Nacogdoches Walmart shopper pepper sprayed after finding man in truck

Would you confront a stranger sitting in your car without permission? (Source: KTRE Staff) Would you confront a stranger sitting in your car without permission? (Source: KTRE Staff)
A Walmart shopper did and endede up getting pepper-sprayed. (Source: KTRE Staff) A Walmart shopper did and endede up getting pepper-sprayed. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Shoppers are urged to use caution when approaching a stranger. (Source: KTRE Staff) Shoppers are urged to use caution when approaching a stranger. (Source: KTRE Staff)
NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) -

On Sunday night, a shopper was coming out of the Nacogdoches Walmart to get into his truck. He noticed something wasn't right.

“The door to his vehicle was standing open, and a man was sitting inside,” said Sgt. Greg Sowell, a spokesman for the Nacogdoches Police Department.

When the two made eye contact, the stranger left the truck. That's when the truck owner confronted the intruder. The trespasser pulled out his defense spray.

“At that point, the man sprayed him with pepper spray,” Sowell said. “They continued to pursue the suspect through Walmart parking lot, and he turned around and sprayed him again."

According to the report, the man ran west across North Street and go away.

Police say the suspect is a white man in his 50s. At the time of the alleged incident, he was wearing dark sunglasses, a tan or green jacket, and camouflage pants.

Last night's incident could happen in any parking lot, in any city, so it's a good idea to start thinking, “What would you do if the same thing happened to you?”

Nacogdoches resident Janene Bates said she would assume a person sitting in her truck without permission is a thief.

“If they want my truck, let them have it,” Bates said. “There's too many other things in life that's more important. Number one, your life. Two, your family and if you approach, you may lose your life. It's just a materialistic item. Let 'em have it."

John McNamre said he agrees that's a wise choice for a person unable to defend themselves. However, McNamre, an ex-military man, said he's well trained in self-defense.

“Personally, I would have gone after the guy because the fact that, you know, what I know and how I know how to carry out a situation,” McNamre said.

Even police agree it's a judgment call.

“We urge people to leave the apprehension to the police officers,” Sowell said. “It's going to be a judgment call that only the person in that situation can make."

You should understand there is a risk involved. This time it was pepper spray. Next time, the weapon could be something worse.

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