Sneakerheads assembled across the country to grab a pair of the latest Air Jordans — and not always peacefully. Police were called to the Westfield Annapolis mall to control a crowd at 4:30 a.m., Friday, The Washington Post reported. Law enforcement has also been called out to several malls in the D.C. area, WTOP reported, including Potomac Mills Mall, Westfield Montgomery Mall, Lakeforest Mall and Westfield Wheaton Mall to deal with the crowds.
It’s become an annual tradition: Nike releases its new kicks and pandemonium ensues.
In Seattle, the Associated Press reported, police used pepper spray on a rowdy crowd to keep it under control, and Atlanta police had to arrest shoppers who knocked down a door at a suburban mall.
Atlanta people took four people into custody, including a woman who left her two toddlers in the car while she went shopping, the AP report said. Officers took her into custody after breaking the car window to free the children.
The latest shoes, called the Air Jordan 11 Retro Concords, are a must-have gift for some shoppers, who flocked to stores to get their hands on a pair in time for Christmas. The $180 shoes are a replica of the original Air Jordan 11, which was released in 1996. ABC reported similar incidents in Indiana, Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina and Texas. Los Angeles CW affiliate KTLA reported shoppers fought over the shoes in Redondo Beach.
Customers have fought over much-coveted Christmas items in the past, such as Furby dolls and Zhu Zhu pets. Black Friday shoppers trampled Wal-Mart worker Jdimytai Damour, 34, to death in 2008.
The intensity of the holiday shopping season has been particularly high this year, in the lead-up to Black Friday and beyond. Several shoppers reported being injured in midnight store openings on Black Friday. One woman, Elizabeth Macias, gained notoriety after a video surfaced of her pepper-spraying her fellow shoppers at a Wal-Mart. Macias’s lawyer, however, told a Los Angeles CBS station that she was simply trying to protect her two teenage children, who were attacked after grabbing a much-desired Xbox. Macias says she may now sue Wal-Mart.
Friday’s Air Jordan release, while hectic, didn’t appear to approach those levels but still caused problems for law enforcement officials.
“I don’t remember anything like this in the recent past at all, definitely not with the iPhone or anything like that,” Linda Jackson, a spokeswoman for the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, told ABC.