As Black Friday bleeds into Thanksgiving Day, the frenzy surrounding one of the busiest shopping days of the year has grown and, in some instances, led to violence or even deaths. Here is a look at some recent incidents that have marred one of the busiest shopping days of the year.
Tragedy in New York
In 2008, a Wal-Mart employee was killed when hundreds of shoppers stampeded through the doors as the store, located about 20 miles east of Manhattan, opened at 5 a.m. According to the New York Times, other workers were trampled when they tried to help the man, and at least four other people — including a woman who was eight months pregnant — were injured. Police estimates put the crowd gathered outside the store in the pre-dawn hours at about 2,000.
Fight over toys turns deadly
An argument between two women at a Toys R Us store in Palm Desert, Calif., ended with two others dead on Black Friday in 2008. The argument, for which no reason was given, intensified into a fistfight between two men who were accompanying the women, according to the Palm Springs Desert Sun. They then pulled out handguns and began shooting at each other as panicked shoppers fled the store. Both men ended up shot to death.
In 2011, the scene at a Los Angeles Wal-Mart turned chaotic when a 33-year-old woman allegedly released pepper spray into a crowd of shoppers as a selection of electronics was unveiled. The Los Angeles Times reported that a police lieutenant described the incident as “customer-versus-customer shopping rage,” recounting a scene where people were screaming as they were shoved into display boxes. The woman eluded police, and store surveillance video failed to provide a clear description of her amid the mayhem.
A 21-year-old woman in Madison, Wis., was arrested in 2010 after cutting in line in front of several hundred shoppers at a Toys R Us store. She was charged with disorderly conduct after she allegedly threatened other shoppers who confronted her, saying she would pull out a gun and shoot them. “Everybody was cutting in line,” Lanessa Lattimore told CNN. “I just wanted to get my daughter the toy she wanted for Christmas.”
Gift certificates gone wrong
Instead of holding a drawing to give away gift certificates or handing them out on Black Friday in 2006, officials at a shopping center in Torrance, Calif., thought it would be fun to drop them from the ceiling. Big mistake. A free-for-all erupted as an estimated 2,000 shoppers scrambled to grab one of the 500 gift certificates. Among the 10 people injured in the melee was an elderly woman who was transported to a nearby hospital. The mall’s marketing director, Sam Carpenter, told the Associated Press that management was “completely overwhelmed” by the turnout for the promotion.
Stampede at Target
The scene at a Target store in Buffalo turned chaotic in 2010 when anxious shoppers rushed through the entrance as the doors opened at 4 a.m. on Black Friday.
Fracas over cell phones
A female customer was punched in the face when shoppers scrambled to snatch up "Straight Talk" phones as they were released at a Benton, Mich., Wal-Mart store in 2011.
Some crazed Wal-Mart shoppers rushed a towel rack on Black Friday in 2011.
Charging into Urban Outfitters
A giant crowd swarms through the entrance of an Urban Outfitters store in Thousand Oaks, Calif., in 2011.
--Information compiled from media reports
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Arcadia man, 80, prepares for 111th marathon
A year ago, Arcadia resident Tom Briggs was well into the Boston Marathon course when he heard runners nearby talking about an incident up ahead.
Police seek teen last seen in Edmond-north OKC area
The family of a missing teenage girl made a plea to the public Friday to help them find the Casady honors student.
For information about Edmond senior programs, stop by and pick up a monthly calendar, check out the website at edmondseniorcenter.com or call 216-7600. Lunch is served at 11:30 a.m. and reservations are needed a day in advance by 11 a.m. For lunch reservations, call 330-6293 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
UCO plans Earth Day Fair
The University of Central Oklahoma invites the community to celebrate sustainability with its Earth Day Fair from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 22 in locations throughout Central’s campus.
The fair kicks off at 10 a.m. around Broncho Lake with exhibitions from local businesses, state agencies and student organizations. Visitors will have the opportunity to learn about its environmental mission and message.
UCO School of Music closes semester with concert series
The University of Central Oklahoma School of Music will wrap up its instrumental performance season with three concerts featuring Central students April 29 through May 1 at Mitchell Hall Theater located on the UCO campus.
Auction benefits Fine Arts Institute
The Spring Sampler dinner and auction event April 12 at Oak Tree Country Club benefitted the Fine Arts Institute of Edmond.
Kaiser joins Thunder ownership group
Tulsa businessman George B. Kaiser has been approved by the NBA Board of Governors as a new partner in The Professional Basketball Club LLC, which owns the Oklahoma City Thunder. Thunder Chairman and CEO Clayton I. Bennett made the announcement Friday. Kaiser is purchasing the ownership interest of Tom L. Ward.
“We are honored to welcome George Kaiser as a member of the ownership group of the Oklahoma City Thunder,” Bennett said. “George is a well-respected and important Oklahoma business leader, as well as one of the state and nation’s top philanthropists. His commitment to successful business and community leadership is in true alignment with that of the Thunder.
“I also appreciate the commitment and leadership provided by Tom Ward as a member of our ownership group from the beginning,” Bennett added.
Literally, books come to life for club
When some of the women at Touchmark at Coffee Creek got together to form a book club, they didn’t know it would be so much fun and become such an important part of their lives.
The group of about a dozen residents gets together monthly to not only discuss the assigned novel, memoir or classic, but also to immerse themselves in the setting and culture of the book. There is no limit to their creativity.
Local children win Edmond Sun Easter coloring contest
Two local children were named winners of The Edmond Sun’s Easter coloring contest. At left, Madsion Porter, 4, daughter of Tracy Porter, won a princess Easter basket, which included a tiara, tea set, stuffed bunny rabbit and chocolate rabbit. At right, BriAnna Harbaugh, 9, daughter of Leslie Haubaugh, won a Hello Kitty Easter basket, containing art supplies, a Hello Kitty stuffed animal and a chocolate bunny. The families also received a three-month subscription to The Edmond Sun. For your own subscription to The Edmond Sun, visit edmondsun.com, call 341-2121, or visit 123 S. Broadway.
Pastor seeks congressional seat
Working in the Congressional 1st District office of Congressman Jim Bridenstine was an eye opener for Harvey Sparks, he said. His analytical exposure to Congress has sparked his drive to run for the Congressional 5th District of Oklahoma, said Sparks, R-Oklahoma City.
Sparks has been a pastor for the majority of his professional life. Sixteen months ago, he was asked by 1st District Congressman Jim Bridenstine to come work in his Washington, D.C., office. He and his wife, Jennifer, have three daughters and a son, ages 10-3.
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