Albany teen accused of shoplifting, pepper-spraying security officers
GUILDERLAND A teenager caught shoplifting Friday at the Macy’s store in Crossgates Mall tried to get away by pepper-spraying employees and fighting wildly with an off-duty police officer, police said.
Rayonna S. Ward, 17, of Albany, pepper-sprayed two Macy’s loss prevention officers when they tried to detain her, police said. The pepper spray also struck a customer and another Macy’s employee, according to police.
It took an off-duty police officer to get the girl into custody, but she “lacerated” his wrist in the process, police said. When Guilderland police arrived, they said they found Ward in the officer’s custody. They also found she had two outstanding warrants.
None of the people involved in the incident were seriously hurt, police said.
In Friday’s incident, Ward was charged with four counts of felony assault, one for each of her alleged victims. She also faces misdemeanor counts of resisting arrest, reckless endangerment and criminal nuisance for her alleged fight with the loss prevention officers and a felony count of burglary and misdemeanor counts of petit larceny and possession of burglary tools for the alleged shoplifting.
As for the pepper spray, she faces a rarely-used charge of unlawfully possessing noxious material, a misdemeanor. It’s legal to own pepper spray for self-defense, Guilderland police said, but children under the age of 18 can’t own it, and adults can be charged with unlawful possession if they use it to attack someone, rather than protecting themselves.
The charges for her alleged shoplifting add one more felony and two more misdemeanors to her long list of charges.
When police arrested her, they also took her to court to answer the outstanding warrants. She faces charges of petit larceny and impersonation in Guilderland and another charge of impersonation in Albany, police said.