1 Shot in Conn. Amid PlayStation Mayhem
Friday, November 17, 2006; 10:34 PM
HARTFORD, Conn. -- Two armed thugs tried to rob a line of people waiting for the new PlayStation 3 game system to go on sale early Friday and shot one man who refused to give up his money, authorities said.
In Sullivan, Ind., a man was in critical condition after emergency surgery for a stab wound after he and a friend tried to rob two men of consoles they waited 36 hours in line to buy, police said.
Nationwide, short supplies of the PS3 and strong demand led to long lines of buyers, some waiting for days outside stores. Once the doors opened Friday, they pushed and shoved their way to the shelves in several cities to get at the limited supply. Two people were arrested in Fresno, Calif., after a crowd trampled people in a parking lot.
It was about 3 a.m. when the two gunmen in Putnam, a town of about 9,000 residents in northeast Connecticut, confronted 15 to 20 people standing outside a Wal-Mart store and demanded money, said State Police Lt. J. Paul Vance.
"One of the patrons resisted. That patron was shot," Vance said.
Vance said the gunmen fled after shooting Michael Penkala, 21, of Webster, Mass., in the chest and shoulder. Penkala was in stable condition at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Worcester, Mass., with injuries not believed to be life-threatening, Vance said.
Police were searching for the suspects, both believed to be in their teens, Vance said. He said one was wearing a ski mask and brandishing a handgun, and the other had what appeared to be a shotgun.
About 30 miles away, another shopper was beaten and robbed of his new PlayStation 3 just minutes after he bought it at a store in Manchester, police said.
The shopper told police five men surrounded and beat him as he left the Shoppes at Buckland Hills.
Police Sgt. Chris Davis said the attackers pushed one of their cohorts out of the car as they drove away. That man, a 17-year-old from Windsor, was charged with robbery, larceny, assault and breach of peace.
Four other teenagers were arrested, and more arrests were expected, police told WTNH-TV late Friday.
Andrew Templeton, 20, and David Wiggins, 28, of Sullivan, Ind., were assaulted by two teens after waiting for 36 hours at a Super Wal-Mart, police said.