A pepper spray attempt to free a suspected shoplifter wound up emptying Dadeland Mall's Macy's Saturday afternoon and sending a security guard to the hospital.
The attack failed, however, to liberate 24-year-old Adarius Jones.
Jones got arrested and charged with third degree grand theft and as well as resisting an officer of a merchant in recovering property. He’s got a 2011 conviction for third degree grand theft, burglary of an unoccpied dwelling and criminal mischief. More motivating for an accomplice to try to spring him from even a minor charge, however: he’s on two years probation for a 2015 grand theft auto conviction.
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Miami-Dade police say store security saw Jones and a black female dressed in black with two ponytails together inside the store, then saw Jones shoplifting. When security guards grabbed Jones and hustled him into the first floor elevator, the woman tried to join them. She sprayed pepper spray in the elevator, then skedaddled from the store.
Police say the pepper spray got into the ventilation system, necessitating the evacuation of 350 to 400 customers. Around 5 pm, the public address ordered customers outside. They were allowed back in briefly 20 minutes later, then told again to exit. The store reopened later.
One security guard had trouble breathing and went to a nearby hospital.