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.
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.
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.