Two arrested in connection with evacuation incident at Riverton Walmart

Published: Sunday, Sept. 16 2012 12:38 p.m. MDT

RIVERTON — Two people were arrested Saturday for allegedly spraying a pepper spray-like substance in a Walmart as "a joke."

As many as 81 people were effected when the irritant was sprayed inside the Walmart store at 13502 S. Hamilton View Road (3600 West) Saturday afternoon, according to Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal. The store was evacuated and hazardous material crews responded while the store was decontaminated.

Police released surveillance video photos of the suspects and received a tip from one of the suspect's parents as to their identity and location around 9 p.m., Hoyal said. The three people believed to be involved were located at an address in Herriman.

"One of the parents said they were at their home and called us out to come talk to them," Hoyal said.

After an interview, it was determined that one of the suspects was actually a victim because he had been sprayed as well. Hoyal said police confirmed the substance was a "pepper spray-like substance used for self defense."

Jordan Ryan Crane and Madison Valerie Durrant, both 20, were arrested in connection with the incident. Hoyal said they told police "it was just a joke."

Crane was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of terroristic threats, causing a catastrophe, aggravated assault, assault and obstructing justice. Durrant was booked on suspicion of assault and obstructing justice.  

According to a Salt Lake County Jail report, Durrant had the spray in her purse. Crane removed it in the store and started spraying it in the building, the report states. Hoyal said they were seen with a black canister in the toy and infant clothing department before leaving the building.

Police said Crane later threw the spray from a moving vehicle.

Jacquie Cloward was in the store near the checkout stands Saturday when she noticed a man ahead of her coughing. She said she was watching him when the substance made its way to her.

"The closer I got, it hit me and I started coughing," Cloward said. "I went around the corner, and I was just coughing more and more."

Soon after, she said buzzers went off and customers were told to leave the store. Cloward said paramedics were at the scene to check people, provide oxygen and transport them to the hospital, if needed. She said she knew at least one person who was transported.

"It was really scary," Cloward said. "It was like, boy, talk about the wrong place at the wrong time."

Hoyal said three people were transported to the hospital Saturday. It is believed their injuries were not life-threatening.

Contributing: Sandra Yi

E-mail: emorgan@desnews.com Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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