2 Juveniles Charged After Spraying Pepper Spray Inside Bristol CC

The odor prompted an evacuation of the Massachusetts campus and 20 people were treated for difficulty breathing and vomiting.

2 Juveniles Charged After Spraying Pepper Spray Inside Bristol CC

Two juveniles are facing charges after allegedly dispersing pepper spray inside a building on a New Bedford, Mass., college campus, prompting an evacuation and sending at least 10 to the hospital.

Bristol Community College (BCC) was evacuated just before 10 a.m. Thursday and nearby streets were closed off after reports of the smell of natural gas, according to NBC 10.

When first responders arrived, they determined it was some sort of chemical gas. An investigation later determined the odor was pepper spray.

“We were sitting in class and there was a fire alarm that went off and everybody had to leave. They said that it was a chemical that spilled,” recalled student Mariah Alexander. “The paramedics came up and asked us if we were feeling anything, if we were throwing up or having an itch in our throat or coughing.”

According to a message sent to the BCC community, the source of the odor was identified as “a 10 percent concentrate pepper spray that is easily available.”

The two suspects, who are students at nearby City on a Hill-New Bedford Charter School, are being charged with trespassing, disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace of a school, and possession of pepper spray under the age of 18, South Coast Today reports.

New Bedford Deputy Fire Chief Scott Kruger said about 10 people were taken to the hospital after complaining of trouble breathing and 10 others were treated at the scene. Everyone has since been released.

Among the treated was a security officer who reported difficulty breathing and began vomiting when helping others.

The campus remained closed through Thursday but returned to normal operations on Friday.

About the Author


Amy is Campus Safety’s Senior Editor. Prior to joining the editorial team in 2017, she worked in both events and digital marketing.

Amy’s mother, brother, sister-in-law, and a handful of cousins are teachers, motivating her to learn and share as much as she can about campus security. She has a minor in education and has worked with children in several capacities, further deepening her passion for keeping students safe.

In her free time, Amy enjoys exploring the outdoors with her husband, her 2 children and her dog.

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