Entries in Black Friday (6)


Black Friday Frenzy: 2 Run Down in Washington, Man Pulls Gun in Texas

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Black Friday, one of the most ballyhooed shopping days of the year, has also proven to be hazardous, with incidents including fights between frenzied shoppers and parking-lot robberies.

Two people were run down Thanksgiving night in the parking lot of a Covington, Wash., Walmart by a man police suspected of being intoxicated.

The 71-year-old driver was arrested on a vehicular assault charge after the Thanksgiving incident, spokeswoman Sgt. Cindi West of the Kings County Sheriff's Office said.

The female victim, whose identity has yet to be released, was pinned beneath the driver's Mercury SUV until being rescued by the fire department. She was flown to Harborview Medical Center, where she was listed in serious condition, West said.

The male victim was also taken to Harborview Medical Center, where, West said, he was listed in good condition.

High tension was at the entrances as people lined up outside stores, waiting for the doors to open.

At a San Antonio, Texas, Sears, one man argued with customers and even punched one in order to get to the front of the line, prompting a man with a concealed carry permit to pull a gun, said Matthew Porter, public information officer of the San Antonio Police Department.

"It was a little chaotic. People were exiting the store," Porter said. "Fortunately for us, officers responded quickly and were able to ease the commotion."

The man who allegedly caused the altercation fled the scene and remains at large, Porter said. The shopper who pulled the gun will not face charges, he said, because of his concealed carry permit.

One man was treated at the scene for injuries sustained when people rushed out of the store, Porter said.

In Maryland, there has been at least one report of a parking lot robbery.

A 14-year-old boy told police he was robbed of his Thanksgiving night purchases by five men in the parking lot of a Bed Bath and Beyond store early Friday morning, the Baltimore Sun reported.

And in Massachusetts, Kmart employees tried to locate a shopper over the intercom after a 2-year-old was reported to be alone in a car, ABC News affiliate WCVB-TV reported.

Police arrived to break into the car and remove the child. The boy's caretaker, his mother's boyfriend, denied the incident took place, according to the station, and was not arrested.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Real Estate Mogul Charged with Shoplifting

Elizabeth Burks/Getty Images for Bloomingdale's(CHICAGO) -- A top executive at a high-profile Chicago real estate firm is accused of shoplifting three designer neckties from Bloomingdale’s on Black Friday.

Michael J. Sato, 44, was charged with retail theft for allegedly stealing three Burberry ties from the Michigan Avenue department store. The ties sold for $145 each.

According to court documents, a store security guard said he watched Sato tuck two of the pricey ties into the pocket of his coat, and put a third into a shopping bag he was carrying. Sato then allegedly walked past the cash registers and was stopped in the exit vestibule by security.

Sato’s lawyer told the Chicago Sun-Times it was all a misunderstanding in the chaos of Black Friday’s shopping crush.

“It was just a mistake. It was busy,” defense attorney Jon Erickson said. “He had his kids with him, it was crowded.”

Erickson called Sato a “highly respected” member of the community who did not intend to take the merchandise.

According to his company’s website, Sato is a president of Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty, and is one of “Chicago’s top producing realtors, with over $400 million career sales volume.”

At his court appearance, Erickson told the judge that Sato had no criminal record. Sato is scheduled to return to court next month. He was released on his own recognizance. Neither he nor his attorney returned phone calls Monday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Analysts: Thanksgiving Night Openings Were Successful, Here to Stay

GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Despite the scuffles, the pepper-spray and the stampedes, the midnight openings on Black Friday were a success, say retail analysts.

The CEOs of Target, Toys R Us, and Best Buy said that crowds were more than their stores could even handle. The success of the venture means that early Black Friday openings are in for the long run.

The dark side of Black Friday, however, was on full display. At a Walmart outside of Phoenix, Ariz., a grandfather was slammed onto the floor by police suspecting him of shoplifting. He told officials that he had tucked a video game into his waistband so he could save his grandson from the riotous shoppers.

In Los Angeles, police searched for a woman accused of using pepper-spray to get ahead in a line outside of Walmart. At least 20 people were injured in the incident. On Saturday an unidentified woman turned herself in, although police have not released any details.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Black Friday Violence Casts Dark Cloud Over Holiday Shopping

Comstock/Thinkstock(SAN LEANDRO, Calif.) -- A string of Black Friday violence, including a shooting outside a Walmart and pepper-sprayed shoppers, swept the country during the early hours of the morning.

Police said a man was shot in the parking lot of a San Leandro, Calif., Walmart around 1:50 a.m., after he refused to give up his purchases to a group of thieves.

“It looks like these guys were looking for a crime of opportunity,” Sgt. Mike Sobek of the San Leandro Police Department told ABC News.

The victim, whom police refused to identify, was shopping with his family, who managed to hold down one suspect until police arrived. The others fled, but Sobek said the police were still reviewing surveillance footage for clues.

In Los Angeles, one woman proved some people would do anything for a good deal.

Twenty people suffered minor injuries after the woman doused the eyes of shoppers with pepper spray at a Walmart in the Porter Ranch area of Los Angeles shortly after 10:20 p.m.

Elsewhere, two men fought over jewelry deals at a Walmart in Kissimmee, Fla.

Police arrived at the store shortly after 1 a.m. to defuse the fight. One man was arrested when he resisted as officers tried to escort him out of the store.

In another Walmart-centric act of rage, Tonia Robbins, 55, was shot in the foot while thieves stole her purse outside a Myrtle Beach,  S.C.,  store shortly after 1 a.m.

The suspects fled after Ann Robbins, 58, pulled out a revolver and fired three warning shots into the air, the police report stated.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Calif. Woman Pepper Sprays Shoppers to "Gain Preferred Access"

GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Twenty people, including children, were pepper sprayed Thursday night just minutes after a Walmart in Porter Ranch opened its doors to eager Black Friday shoppers.

Walmart kicked off its Black Friday sales Thursday night at 10 p.m.

The woman identified as being responsible for the attack is still being sought by police, according to the Los Angeles Times. Authorities told the Times the woman used the spray to "to gain preferred access to a variety of locations in the store." Los Angeles Fire Capt. James Carson said "she was competitive shopping."

Shopper John Lopez wasn’t hit, but compared the scene to a riot.

“[The victims'] faces were red,” he told ABC News Radio. “This one guy was coming up to my wife going, ‘Call an ambulance! Call an ambulance!’”

During the melee, the woman was able to pay for her purchases and slip away before police arrived, the Times reported.

Several shoppers reported minor injuries, including sore throats and skin and eye irritations.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Black Friday Bargains May Brighten Retail Gloom

Customers wait in line outside a Sears department store in Fort Worth, Texas. Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Holiday generosity pent up over the past two years may finally be vented in a Black Friday rush.  Retailers across the country opened their doors overnight to provide shoppers the opportunity to find bargains on items they will give as gifts and sometimes, keep for themselves.

Best Buy stores were set to open at 5 a.m. in every time zone but at one in Manhattan, lines were so long store security opened the doors at 3:30 a.m.  When Macy's in Herald Square opened at 4:30 a.m., there were 7,000 people waiting to get in.

A woman who skipped Thanksgiving dinner to wait outside a store in Atlanta said she was just out to get some bargains and was headed to Wal-Mart next.  "I better get something," she said.  In California, people slept outside Best Buy.

Experts say shoppers may be ready this year to part with a little more money on items that are not so much "must haves" as they are "desires."  Many of the holiday gifts purchased last year and the year before tended to be more practical in nature, while this year there may be a feeling among some that they can splurge just a little.

Still, with unemployment still right around 9 percent, many people will keep their belts tight.  Retailers have those people in mind too.  Target stores were offering $3 appliances Friday morning, including things like hand-mixers and other small kitchen items. 

No hard numbers indicating the success of the sales are due on Friday but the National Retail Federation is expected to report figures on Saturday.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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