A number of incidents are being reported of hectic and sometimes violent scenes in stores nationwide as crowds push and shove their way to a discount this Black Friday.
In Moultrie, Georgia, one eyewitness filmed the large crowds forcefully shoving each other at the local Wal-Mart in an effort to be among the first to obtain mobile phones that had been marked down for the big shopping day. Groups of security guards had to get involved in the matter, shouting at shoppers to back up and to be patient and orderly.
Similar scenes took place in Santa Monica, California, where shoppers smashed a glass door at Urban Outfitters as they tried to hurriedly enter the building at once. Five people were injured with minor cuts.
In San Antonio, Texas, one man pulled a gun on a shopper who punched another patron that was trying to jump the line. The assailant fled the scene, but the gunman has not been charged.
In Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, a woman told police that she was robbed at gunpoint while shopping at Best Buy. She said that the thief took off with approximately $200 in cash.
Similarly, in Annapolis, Maryland, a 14-year old boy states that he was surrounded by five men as he was leaving Bed, Bath and Beyond, and one of the men grabbed his bag while another punched him forcefully.
There are also reports of small children being left in vehicles while parents and caregivers ran into the stores to take advantage of the deals. In one instance, a Massachusetts man left his girlfriend’s two-year-old son at the store while he went home with a new television set. Police arrived at the scene and helped to rescue the young boy.
This year, a new phrase, “Grey Thursday,” was coined as a number of stores opened on Thanksgiving Day to give shoppers an early start.