Suspect who deployed bear spray during shoplifting incident at Greeley Walmart arrested

Local News

GREELEY, Colo. (KDVR) — The Greeley Police Department released new details early Monday after a man attacked multiple Walmart employees with bear spray when they confronted him about allegedly stealing something.

This all happened at 1:35 p.m. on Sunday at the Walmart on 47th Avenue. 

The investigation showed that store associates attempted to detain Vince Joe Pacheco, 29, for shoplifting. At that point a struggle happened, and Pacheco deployed the bear spray at three employees. 

A fourth employee, a 70-year-old man, tried to help subdue Pacheco, but the suspect hit him in the head with the bear spray, causing the can to rupture and contaminate the store, police said.

Police said the Weld County Regional Dispatch Center began receiving multiple calls that there was both bear spray deployed and also a man with a gun in the store or possibly an active shooter situation.

Greeley police officers quickly arrived on scene and determined there was no active shooter or guns involved in the incident. 

Greeley Fire and EMS treated the employees, as well as multiple customers who inhaled some of the spray, before releasing them. Police said first responders also remained on scene to help clear out and decontaminate the store.

Walmart was closed to the public for a few hours while the store was decontaminated.

Police said they found Pacheco’s car in the 100 block of E. 20th Street around 9:20 p.m. The suspect was taken into custody without incident, police said.

Pacheco was transported to a local hospital to be medically evaluated before being transported to the Weld County Jail. 

Pacheco will be charged with one count of third-degree assault on an at-risk elder, three counts of third-degree assault, as well as aggravated robbery, and theft. 

If you have any information on this case or witnessed it, and have not been interviewed by officers, please contact the Greeley Police Department front desk at 970-350-9605.

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