Woman accused of pepper spraying store employee in robbery attempt - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Woman accused of pepper spraying store employee in robbery attempt

Gabrielle Gomez (courtesy of the Casper Police Department)

CASPER, Wyo. — A Casper woman is accused of attempting to rob a local store of over $1,000 worth of merchandise, and pepper spraying an employee of the store during the attempt.

25-year-old Gabrielle L. Gomez was booked on recommended charges including Robbery, Battery, Shoplifting, Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of Clonazepam, and Possession of Buprenorphine Hydrochloride.

Buprenorphine Hydrochloride is a narcotic pain reliever, and is a schedule III controlled substance. Clonazepam is a sedative and is described as a schedule IV controlled substance.

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An affidavit filed by the Casper Police Department says that they were initially called to the Walmart on the 4400 block of East 2nd Street; at approximately 1:30 am; Nov. 5, 2019; for what was originally reported as an assault.

Employees of the store say that an adult woman was pushing a cart full of items toward the front doors of the store. An employee said that they stopped the woman, who attempted to push past them, before the woman reached into her pocket and pepper sprayed the employee.

The suspect was said to have left the area, only to return and pepper spray the employee again, before being confronted by another store employee. It was reported that the suspect pointed the pepper spray canister at the employee, but the device seemed to be out of pressure.

The suspect then fled the area in a pickup truck.

During the course of the investigation, officers observed the items in the cart, that the suspect had been pushing, and described it as containing clothing, sporting goods, and various electronics; with an estimated value of over $1,400.

At approximately 8:40 pm, later Tuesday night, officers responded to a call for an unrelated disturbance in the 700 block of East A Street. During that call, police say made contact with Gomez, who reportedly matched the description and surveillance images of the Walmart robbery. It was also said that a truck near the residence also matched a description of the vehicle from the scene.

Police say that Gomez initially denied going to Walmart during the time in question, and said that she had spent the night with others driving around.

Gomez was taken into custody, and while in the back of the patrol car, police said that Gomez produced a small glasses case from her person and ingested several white pills, before officers removed Gomez from the car.

Officers note in the affidavit that leftover pills were identified as suspected clonazepam.

The suspect was then transported to a nearby hospital for evaluation by medical professionals.

Police say that they questioned Gomez while at the hospital, and say that she then told them that she had gone to the Walmart while under the influence of pharmaceutical drugs, and loaded a cart with merchandise, including several packages of pepper spray. The affidavit then says that Gomez claimed to open one of the packages and placed a pepper spray canister in her pocket.

The affidavit says that Gomez indicated that she wanted to walk out the door being as inconspicuous as possible, but sprayed a Walmart employee when confronted. Gomez then said she believed she pepper sprayed another employee before fleeing the scene.

After being cleared by medical professionals, Gomez was transported to the Natrona County Detention Center. A subsequent search of Gomez’s belongings was said to have found pills of clonazepam, approximately 15.9 grams of methamphetamine, a pill of Buprenorphine Hydrochloride, a lock pick set, and a lock box containing drug paraphernalia.

All of those cited or arrested are presumed innocent until convicted in a court of law. Charges are subject to change following official filings from the Natrona County District Attorney’s Office.