Black Friday fights erupt at retail stores over smartphones, HDTVs, video games

Black Friday crowd

With plenty of YouTube videos being posted recording the retail chaos of snagging doorbusters, shoppers around the United States have continued the tradition of fighting on Black Friday at various retail locations including Walmart, Kmart and Sears. At a retail location of Walmart in Alabama, customers were filmed ripping apart a display of Xbox 360 games before police were called to break up the kerfuffle. At another unnamed Walmart location, crowds were filmed ripping apart a display of smartphones as Walmart employees in yellow security vests were pushed away.

Best Buy Black FridayAccording to the L.A. Times, a man at a Kmart location in South Sacramento threatened to stab customers in line waiting for the store to open. Police stated that the crowd became incensed when employees of the Kmart location came out to the line to hand out vouchers for doorbuster items and were screaming obscenities at the workers. At one point, one man started threatening to stab people with vouchers. However, police were contacted and customers were allowed into the store without further incident.

A similar situation at a Kmart in Indianapolis incited threats of violence when shoppers at the front of the line attempted to sell their vouchers for a 42-inch plasma HDTV that was being sold for less than $200. Only a few of these vouchers were being handed out at the stores due to limited stock. According to local affiliate WISH TV, the remaining people in the line were getting upset at the customers that were attempting to sell their vouchers for a profit. According to the police that arrived on the scene, customers yelling threats were escorted off the premises. 

black friday fights over electronics searsAt a Sears location within a shopping mall in San Antonio, Texas, one man attempted to rush the door and cut in line in front of customers that had been waiting all night to grab the Black Friday doorbusters. The unnamed man punched another customer in the face during the argument and that customer pulled a handgun on the argumentative line-cutter. The impatient man fled the scene and police were called. However, the man with the handgun was not charged since he had a concealed carry permit. 

Customers attempting to get their hands on doorbusters weren’t the only problem for retail stores opening for Black Friday this year. Police were called to several locations to arrest shoplifters taking advantage of the chaos within stores. According to local Dallas affiliate WFAA, police were called to the Town East Mall to break up fights in addition to catching a suspected shoplifter. A nearby shopper caught the incident on video which shows the suspected shoplifter being shot with a taser after he failed to listen to police. 

Pepper spray also made another appearance this year after a mother of two used it last year at a Walmart location to get her hands on a discounted Xbox 360 during Black Friday. According to Fox Business, a customer was pepper-sprayed in the face at a JC Penney’s location. In addition, a woman attempting to shoplift at a shopping mall in Omaha and used pepper spray on a store employee as well as two security guards.