Customer douses dry cleaners with pepper spray in downtown Los Angeles

[ – 2024.02.29] Store surveillance cameras captured an angry customer in a downtown Los Angeles dry cleaner dousing employees with pepper spray, and the owner is sharing the footage in hopes of capturing the suspect. 

The incident occurred Feb. 28 at Orellanas Tailor Shop near East 7th and Los Angeles streets, a business that’s been a fixture in the Skid Row area of L.A. for about 16 years. 

In all those years, the shop’s owner, Ana Orellanas, said they’ve had very little trouble until the most recent incident when a customer, upset about some work done on a pair of pants a month ago and was only now bringing it to their attention, attacked an employee with pepper spray.

“He then got mad and said he needed it clean and that he wanted his money back,” Orellanas said. “He proceeded to curse, so we ignored him. We got mad and that’s when he took out the pepper spray.” 

In the video, the customer is clearly seen spraying the employee, who covers his eyes in pain as other employees come to his aid, which is when the man returns and douses everyone else in the shop. 

Four people were gassed, including the shop owner’s mother, Anna Maria, and a customer. Clothes waiting to be picked up by other customers were also coated in pepper spray, as well as the sewing machines. 

“Now I feel fine, but I feel a little bit nervous because I don’t know the guy,” she said. “Maybe he’ll come [back].”

Employees at the store have been looking through older receipts to see if they can figure out the customer’s identity.

In the meantime, Orellanas has decided to cut the shop’s hours and close early. 

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