Lining up and fighting crowds during Black Friday, when all you want to do is sleep off a turkey dinner, is enough to make anyone a bit cranky and there were already reports of multiple arrests Friday morning as deal-hunters swarmed malls and big-box stores in the U.S.
In San Antonio, Texas a man pulled a gun on another man who had punched him in the face while both men were waiting in line at Sears. The man was not charged because he had a permit for the weapon.
In Springfield, Mass. a man left a two-year-old child alone in a car while he went in to a K-Mart to buy a 51-inch television. That man is facing a charge of reckless child endangerment.
In Altamonte Springs, Florida, a 28-year-old woman was arrested inside a Walmart after police said she was being disruptive in the traffic lineup outside the store, bullied an officer who was trying to direct traffic and refused to go into line.
In Seattle, a Wal-Mart parking lot became the scene of a crime when a 71-year-old man hit two other shoppers with his SUV. He was arrested and charged with vehicular assault and police said they suspected he was drunk.
These arrests seem almost routine, however, when compared to a 2011 incident where police say a 33-year-old woman sprayed shoppers with pepper spray while she was grabbing discounted video games in a San Fernando Valley, California Wal-Mart store.
Also in 2011, a grandfather in Buckeye, Arizona had his face slammed into the ground in a Wal-Mart where he was accused of shoplifting. Gerald Newman is now suing the Town of Buckeye and one of its police officers.
In Canada, many retailers opened early and offered deep discounts in hopes of cashing in on the American holiday, but there were no reports of fights, arrests or pepper spray. “The early bird crowd would have been a disappointment at any major U.S. shopping center,” reports Reuters.
Friday, November 23, 2012