Woman who pepper-sprayed teen arrested

Posted: Updated:
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

TEMPE, Ariz. -- When 13-year-old Anthony Lerma turned to see who was behind him, he was greeted with a face full of pepper spray.

Tempe police Sgt. Mike Pooley believes it was a case of mistaken identity.

He said last Thursday afternoon, Mackenzie Lokare, 21, claims she was molested as she walked through her Tempe apartment complex.
 
After saying she lost sight of her attacker for around five minutes, Lokare saw Lerma talking with a friend and, thinking it was the person who attacked her, pepper-sprayed the teen.
 
Lerma ran home screaming and called his mother, Shemetria Hill. Hill came home from work, confronted Lokare and then called Tempe police.

When questioned, Lokare admitted she wasn't sure it was Lerma who attacked her, leading police to arrest the Arizona State University student on charges of aggravated assault.
 
Pooley said because Lokare took the law into her own hands, she went from being a victim of a crime to being charged with a crime.