Arrests and hospitalizations are being reported across the country and around the world today as large crowds push and shove their way through the stores on Black Friday.
Just as last year, a number of retailers decided to get an early start on the big shopping day, opening their doors on Thanksgiving Day. Footage from Thursday and Friday shows enormous crowds piling into the stores, sometimes trampling or climbing over each other as store employees open the doors to the masses.
On Thursday night, two women at a Norwalk, California Walmart got into a “pushing and shoving match” over a Barbie doll, with the police being called to the store after one of the women threw a punch at the other.
At approximately 1 a.m. this morning, two women were arrested after a fight broke out at a Tustin, California Kohls. A third woman was taken to the hospital on a precaution, while the other two face assault and battery charges. It is not known what item the women were fighting over.
At 3 a.m., two people were arrested after being ejected from an Indianapolis, Indiana mall. While names have not been released, local television station FOX 59 reports that a man was asked to leave the mall for being too rowdy, and after he left the building, he began fighting with another man in the parking lot and gave him a bloody nose. When an off-duty officer asked the man to leave, he then punched the officer in the jaw. His girlfriend likewise began assaulting the officer. Both were arrested.
An online video from Houston, Texas shows shoppers literally laying on top of boxes of Samsung large screen televisions in an attempt to lay claim to the item. Security guards and officers arrived, ordering shoppers off the floor and lifting them to their feet.
In Michigan City, Indiana, one couple was captured on film ripping a box of Sony speakers from another shopper and hurling profanity at him as they nearly struck a handicapped shopper with the item.
But it wasn’t only in the United States that stores saw mass mayhem among shoppers. The hysteria spread overseas, as a number of reports out of the United Kingdom (UK) detailed fighting and brawls for Black Friday.
The BBC reports that approximately 200 shoppers refused to leave a Middleton store “despite being told stock had all gone,” and that a Bicester Village shopping outlet in Oxfordshire closed for a time because the gridlock due to the large masses that were flocking to the store and overcrowding the facility.
“Fights broke out between shoppers in Stretford, and a woman suffered ‘minor injuries’ after being hit by a falling television,” it details. “A man was arrested in Salford after he threatened to ‘smash a staff member’s face in’ [and] a woman broke her wrist in a crush, with Greater Manchester Police’s deputy chief constable Ian Hopkins describing shoppers’ behavior as ‘appalling.'”
Police were also called to the scene in Wigan, after they received a call that “several hundred people [were] trying to enter the store.”
“It’s ruining the spirit of Thanksgiving,” 20-year-old Cathyliz Lopez told reporters Thursday. She said she spent $700 on items so far.