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Bear Spray Attack Victim Never Saw It Coming

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Surveillance video shows a bear spray attack at Dandelion Dispensary in Boulder. (credit: Boulder Police)

Surveillance video shows a bear spray attack at Dandelion Dispensary in Boulder. (credit: Boulder Police)

BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4)- Police in Boulder are looking for one suspect, not two, in the bear spray attack and robbery at a medical marijuana dispensary Thursday night.

One victim who was sprayed in the face with the bear deterrent was hospitalized. The bear spray is similar to pepper spray except that it is a lot stronger.

The bear spray left a residue inside the Dandelion Dispensary at 9th and Walnut in Boulder so the business remains closed because it could be harmful to customers.

The woman who was working at the dispensary Thursday evening when she was attacked with bear spray had been released from the hospital by Friday but she was still recovering.

Her employer feels helpless after the robbery. She fought back tears as she described what happened during the attack.

“Just the emotional distress that they’ve had to deal with and put in that position. I couldn’t do anything about it,” said dispensary owner Lauren Ginsberg.

The employees had closed the store a little early when they heard a knock on the door.

“My employee opened the door and he sprayed bear spray into her face, told two of the other employees to get out,” said Ginsberg.

The employee did not want to discuss what happened on camera.

She and three other employees were able to escape and call police.

Officers had a tough time gathering evidence right away because of the fumes and residue from the bear spray.

“It was pretty thick inside so at this point we’re just trying to air out the building right now and make it safe so we can go in and do our investigation,” said Boulder Police Sgt. Doyle Thomas.

Surveillance cameras both inside and outside of the dispensary captured the suspect in action. Police were back at the dispensary on Friday to continue their investigation.

Initially police believed there were two suspects but only one suspect is seen inside the dispensary on the surveillance video. Detectives believe only one person was involved.

That suspect was loitering outside the business before the robbery and was carrying the FedEx box with him as he checked out the dispensary.

The suspect is described as a white man, 6-foot-1, about 200 pounds or more. During the attack he was wearing a dark colored North Face jacket with some type of hooded shirt underneath and what looked like a head lamp.

Police are looking for a vehicle of interest in the attack and robbery, a black Pontiac Grand Prix with a temporary tag that reads 382661H.

Ginsberg isn’t sure when the dispensary will reopen.

“There’s orange spray all over the walls, the seats, the floors, the glass counter tops. If you wipe your hand it’s covered in orange. In the back he threw jars everywhere, there’s glass shattered everywhere,” said Ginsberg.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Heather Frey at 303-441-3369. Those who have information but wish to remain anonymous may contact the Northern Colorado Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or 1-800-444-3776.

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