A live scorpion undeniably violated the privacy of a shopper in the fitting room of a JCPenney store in the San Francisco area.
Customer Sandra Hernandez was trying on a red dress on Sunday in the Hayward, Calif., outlet, when a three-inch, brown-yellow arthropod fell out of it. She originally thought it was just a piece of string. “When I pulled the skirt down I gave it a shake, and when I gave it a shake the scorpion kind of — what I thought was string — opened up and went down to the floor,” she recounted to the local CBS News affiliate. “I was shocked, I looked down, I said ‘oh my God, oh my God, oh my God.'”
The scorpion charged at the startled shopper’s boot with its tail up, but Hernandez managed to skirt it, as it were, giving it a kick in an attempt to keep it in the dressing room. She called store clerks for help, but the creature managed to escape through a crack in the wall. Employees had tried to capture the scorpion in a bag.
“I was in disbelief. It was scary,” Hernandez told the SFGate blog. “I needed someone from the store to see this because it was serious. Last time I saw one of those was behind glass at the friggin zoo.”
No one was harmed in the incident. A former JCPenney employee, Hernandez noted that she had been carrying the dress for about a half hour before she got to the changing room and could have been stung during that time.
“Hernandez, who worked at the store for 16 years, said the incident could happen anywhere but said she’ll be more cautious when clothes shopping. She believes the scorpion came in from a warehouse shipment out of state,” KLTV reported.
Hernandez herself notified JCPenney executives about the incident. “I’m going to be extremely cautious because this isn’t just a JCPenney thing,” she reaffirmed. “This can happen anywhere.”
Apparently only a few varieties of the scorpion species are venomous, fortunately.
In a statement to CNN, JCPenney explained that “we are relieved the customer wasn’t injured, as the safety of customers and associates is always our top concern. We have inspected all dresses at the location, and are working with local exterminators so we can prevent a similar occurrence from happening again.”
As far as the dress in question is concerned, it was no sale.
[image credit: Mike Kalasnick]