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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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