Spotting a man who she believed took her purse, Rainey yelled for someone to call 911 and confronted the man, whom police identified as Hensley, the Times reported.
That’s when the assailant pepper-sprayed Rainey in the eyes, the newspaper reported.
“I just crumbled into a little ball of pain and shock," Rainey said. "I went blind at that point.”
Hensley then allegedly pepper-sprayed three more people in the grocery store, but other shoppers pinned him down until police arrived, the Times reported.
Police took Hensley to the Wicomico Detention Center in Salisbury, Maryland, the newspaper reported. Hensley had several bench warrants in Maryland, police said. Delmar police said they are working on expediting Hensley to Delaware, the Times reported.
Rainey, an administrative assistant at Salisbury University, said she was grateful for the customers who reacted.
"I'm just so touched," Rainey told the Times. "There's so many people I wish that I could thank. ... And I don't even know who they are."