Protesters say security guard pepper-sprayed innocent bystander

SEATTLE -- Pro-Palestine demonstrators say a Westlake Mall security guard pepper-sprayed an innocent bystander while ignoring the man picking fights with protesters Saturday afternoon, according to the Seattle Police Department.

According to police, a shirtless man was harassing demonstrators -- allegedly yelling racial slurs and obscenities -- around 12:40 p.m. in Westlake Park when he got into an altercation with a 26-year-old who happened to be walking by. Photos from the incident appear to show both men squaring off.

A Westlake security guard stepped in and pepper-sprayed the 26-year-old, allowing the shirtless man to get away, according to police. Officers have since been unable to find him.

The security guard led the 26-year-old to the mall security office while demonstrators flagged down officers. He was released after providing a statement to police.

According to police, who are investigating the incident, a demonstrator also claims she was pepper-sprayed by the security guard.

The video at the top of this story was taken by YouTube user PNW.Photographer immediately following the pepper-spraying.