The woman was walking through the housewares aisle at the Walmart store on Bruce B. Downs Boulevard in New Tampa shortly before 9 p.m. New Year’s Day. She was dressed in ashalwaar kameez, a tunic traditional in her native Pakistan.
As she reached over to pick up an item, she saw a woman holding what looked like a portable device used to scan items. The next thing she knew, according to her daughter, the woman in the tunic felt a sharp pain in her back. She let out a scream and had to hold on to a rack to keep from collapsing.
Tampa police say it appears the woman was shocked by a stun gun. Police are searching for the attacker and are trying to determine whether the incident was a hate crime directed against the woman, a Muslim.
The Tribune is not naming the woman because she is concerned for her safety and the attacker is at large.