National Black Friday: The weird, the bad and the ugly

Nothing like the thrill of the hunt, the need for greed and plain old stupidity, rudeness and/or evil to mar Black Friday sales across the nation.

The pepper spray heard ’round the world

It’s probably the most talked-about incident of Black Friday: A woman trying to improve her chance to buy cheap electronics at a Walmart in a wealthy Los Angeles suburb spewed pepper spray on a crowd of shoppers and 20 people suffered minor injuries.

The store had brought out a crate of discounted Xbox video game players, and a crowd had formed to wait for the unwrapping, when the woman began spraying people “in order to get an advantage,” police Sgt. Jose Valle said.

“People could have gotten trampled,” he said. “Good thing there were no small kids.” The woman got away in the confusion, but it was not immediately clear whether she got an Xbox, Valle said.

Tired store employee drives into canal

A tired Target employee on her way home from working an early morning Black Friday shift lost control of her car in the Palm Beach, Fla., area, drove into a canal and nearly drowned.

Deputy Frank Mayo, also on his way home after working his shift, quickly got to the canal,  pulled off his gunbelt and jumped in. The desperate woman was clinging to the car, which was sinking in water up to 20-foot deep.

Grandpa roughed up

Police in the Phoenix suburb of Buckeye are coming under fire for a video posted online Friday that shows a grandfather unconscious on the floor of a Walmart with a bloody face after police said he was caught trying to shoplift. Officers in the video are shown trying to sop up blood as outraged customers yell expletives and say, “That’s police brutality,” and “He wasn’t doing anything.”

The man’s wife and other witnesses say he was trying to help his young grandson after the boy was trampled by shoppers, and only put a video game in his waistband to free his hands to help the boy.

Robbery victim shot

In Northern California, a Black Friday shopper was hospitalized in critical but stable condition after he was shot by an armed robber outside a San Leandro Walmart store, police said.

The victim and his family were walking to their car around 1:45 a.m. when they were confronted by a group of men who demanded their purchases. When the family refused, a fight broke out and one of the robbers pulled out a gun and shot the man, San Leandro police Sgt. Mike Sobek said.

Among other Black Friday shootings:

– Police say no injuries have been reported in a shooting outside a West Des Moines, Iowa, mall. Police say it appears to be a random act and no evidence indicated someone had been shot.

– In Fayetteville, N.C., authorities say gunfire erupted at Cross Creek Mall as holiday shoppers gathered, though there are no reports of any injuries. No evacuation was ordered, but several shoppers left the mall and some smaller stores closed.

AP reported an assortment of other Black Friday episodes across the nation, including:

– Police used stun guns to arrest two Walmart patrons, one in Milford, Conn., the other in Florence, Ala.

– In Ohio, a car hit a utility pole, knocking out power at a Port Clinton Walmart, and police reported one of three fights at a suburban Toledo Walmart was over towels selling for $1.88.

– Fights broke out at a Kissimmee, Fla., Walmart jewelry counter and a Rome, N.Y., Walmart electronics department.

On the other hand, seems Black Friday in Canada is a relatively new and innocent concept. (Exhibit A: Unlike in the aforementioned U.S. Walmarts, this was the first time Canadian Walmarts branded this weekend’s sales as “Black Friday.”)

Here’s the resulting headline in Canada’s National Post:

“Black Friday Canada style: We enjoy low-key, more polite sales (without the pepper spray)”

– For The Atlanta Bargain Hunter blog

(Note: Commenting has been disabled on this post.)

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — Authorities say gunfire erupted at a North Carolina mall as holiday shoppers gathered, though there are no reports of any injuries. No evacuation was ordered, but several shoppers left the mall and some smaller stores closed.

The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office says detectives are looking for two suspects after gunfire rang out at Cross Creek Mall in Fayetteville early Friday.

The first shots were fired around 2 a.m. outside the mall near a food court entrance. Investigators say several more shots were fired after one of the suspects ran inside the mall.

15 comments Add your comment

Georgiagirl35

November 25th, 2011
5:33 pm

All I can do is shake my head at this. This is a sad reflection of what Christmas and the holiday season has become- gimme gimme gimme.

LOL Canada

November 25th, 2011
5:39 pm

Oh look, Canadians taking a cheap shot at Americans; that’s original. (BTW, your country is still a joke)

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Ron

November 25th, 2011
5:47 pm

Geeeeeeeeee I wonder who did it? Gotta love em.

Ellen

November 25th, 2011
6:14 pm

Notice that a lot of the melee happens at Walmart stores…

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Well Ah?

November 25th, 2011
6:54 pm

Dang, next year i am going to stake out these places with a camera and turn it into a movie………

Well Ah?

November 25th, 2011
6:55 pm

you do realize we get most of our nuclear energy from Canada right?

Mike

November 25th, 2011
7:06 pm

Georgia gets zero nuclear energy from Canada.

O Canada!

November 25th, 2011
7:07 pm

I’d rather be in Canada, this country is starting to look like one big joke.

WowWow

November 25th, 2011
7:10 pm

Does it say something about the people that shop at Wal-Mart that all of the above incidents, with the exception of 1, happened there? I don’t see any mentions of Target or Macy’s, etc..

The FNA Man

November 25th, 2011
7:13 pm

People really need to study marketing! If you’ll buy something for $29.99, but $30 bucks is too much to spend, you’re lost anyway. Ask…”sale compared to what?” and “how much does it cost to advertise a sale?” So many people dupped! Way to stimulate the economy!

count_schemula

November 25th, 2011
7:21 pm

Christmas can no longer be defended as anything other than crass commercialism. Been that way for a while now, but the last few years, with this Black Friday nonsense, the disgustingness of the holiday as anything other than a make or break retail event can’t be denied.

count_schemula

November 25th, 2011
7:30 pm

The 1% was in bed. The 99% were out in the streets fighting over $1.88 towels and street jacking each other for TVs. The original cabbage patch doll fight seems so long ago.