The New York Times reports:
Shortly after midnight yesterday, an estimated 15,000 shoppers pushed and shoved their way into the Fashion Place mall in Murray, Utah. Police soon joined them, responding to reports of nine skirmishes.
Once inside, shoppers ransacked stores, overturning piles of clothes as they looked for bargains. A retailer’s dream — too many customers! — quickly turned into a nightmare, forcing store clerks to shut their doors, and only let people in after others left. The mall even briefly closed its outside doors to avoid a fire hazard.
At the Wal-Mart outside Columbus, customers dashing toward 5 a.m. deals pinned employees against stacks of merchandise.
“Oh, my god, stop pushing me, oh, my god,” screamed Linda Tuttle, a 47-year-old employee at the store.
A TV newscast in Virginia reports:
The rush at Roanoke’s Best Buy turned violent, just seconds after the doors opened at 5 a.m. NewsChannel 10 caught a man on video hitting someone over and over. Watching in slow motion you can see him hit someone at least 5 times.
A Scranton newspaper reports:
The scene at many stores was part Woodstock, part Lord of the Flies, as hundreds hunkered for hours bundled in clothes, wrapped in blankets and holding coffee cups and crumbled newspaper inserts.
As the 5 a.m. opening at Best Buy approached, latecomers crashed the line marked by yellow tape, jockeying for pole position with people who stood in the cold for hours.
Attempting to quell the crowd, a store manager jumped on a garbage can and threatened to call police. Store employees handed out tickets, entitling the bearer to one of the limited number of so-called “doorbuster” items.
Many of those in the line circling the building had no idea that the front of the store was on the brink of chaos, or that items they waited for were already claimed.
In Torrance, California, the Mercury News reports:
An elderly woman and nine other bargain hunters were injured Friday in a rush for gift certificates dropped from the ceiling of a local mall.
Some 2,000 shoppers rushed for 500 falling prize-filled balloons at the Del Amo Fashion Center, leaving nine with minor wounds and sending an elderly woman to the hospital.