Alleged Cayenne pepper attack at Whole Foods leads to assault charge for Eric Bertrand

Eric Bertrand was arrested after allegedly tossing the spice at Whole Foods customers in Hadley.

By Evan Bleier
Hot peppers (CC/Eric in SF)
Hot peppers (CC/Eric in SF)

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HADLEY, Mass., July 14 (UPI) -- A Massachusetts man is facing assault charges after he allegedly got hot under the collar and tossed cayenne pepper at customers at the Whole Foods in Hadley.

Police were called to the store after Eric Bertrand was allegedly "spraying a white substance" at the store. The mystery substance turned out to be cayenne pepper.


The 59-year-old apparently started going through the store and "randomly throwing large amounts of powdered cayenne pepper at customers," the Republican reported.

Before police arrived, another customer confronted the suspect and the two began to fight. Bertrand allegedly punched and kicked the other customer until a Whole Foods employee was able to step in.

Numerous customers were affected by the pepper, but no one needed medical attention.

According the Hadley Police Department's Facebook page, Bertrand was arrested for seven counts of assault and battery dangerous weapon (cayenne pepper and shod foot), one count of assault and battery, and disorderly conduct.

Bertrand was forced undergo a "psychological evaluation."

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