Chaos at Mall on Release Date of Air Jordan Sneakers

Police came for crowd control, but a lot of the customers left angry

Mall crowds broke down into extreme chaos Friday morning over the release of the new Air Jordan Retro Concord sneakers, leading to at least six arrests locally.

At St. Charles Towne Center in Waldorf, Md., people lined up at several entrances overnight. At 5 a.m., people pushed open the doors at three entrances, getting inside the mall. Initially, they lined up outside the six stores that were set to sell the shoes, but people began pushing each other, trying to keep their places in line, and several scuffles broke out, Charles County Police said.

Charles County officers arrested four juveniles and two adults for disorderly conduct and assault. No would-be buyers were injured, but an officer hurt his hand while making an arrest. Officers closed the mall entrances for about 45 minutes until they felt the situation was under control

At the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City in Arlington, Va., a a limited number of buyers were let in at midnight and then at 6 a.m. Police had to come for crowd control, but a lot of the customers left angry.

At Dulles Town Center, a crowd of more than 350 rushed the doors when just a few people were supposed to have been let in, around 3 a.m. Mall security called the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office, but some members of the the crowd pushed the deputies against walls and doors.

Ultimately, the Civil Disturbance Unit and Virginia State Police responded. "Mutual aid was unavailable from neighboring jurisdictions due to similar incidents in those counties," said a release from the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office.

Officers kept order at both Dulles Town Center stores that were selling the shoes, and escorted shoppers to their vehicles when they were done.

One woman suffered a leg injury, and was treated on the scene. She remained at the mall to complete her purchase.

At 4:30 a.m., security at Westfield Annapolis Mall called police for assistance with a large crowd gathering for a pre-sale of the Mikes at 6 a.m. Anne Arundel County police instructed those in the crowd to stay in their cars, but about 200 people refused. By 5:30 a.m., the crowd had grown to about 500.

Police used barricades to try to keep lines in tact outside a Foot Locker store, but some customers remained unruly and caused pushing and shoving, police said. One man attempted to cut in line three times, and police arrested him to avoid starting a larger disturbance, police said. Sean Turner, 32, was charged with failure to obey a lawful order, disorderly conduct and second-degree assault (for shoving an officer).

The stores agreed to cancel the pre-sale after talking to mall management and the crowd was disbanded without incident.

Two people were arrested in the Air Jordans crowds that formed at Arundel Mills Mall, police said. No details of those arrests were available.

Chaotic scenes are also reported at other malls, including Landmark Mall in Alexandria, Va., and around the country.

People started lining up at 4 a.m. at a mall in Dayton, Ohio. Fights broke out, and some people sold their spots in line, a producer at WDTN-TV told NBC4.

Four people were arrested in a suburb of Atlanta, reports the Ledger-Enquirer, and police used pepper spray to break up fights among buyers in Seattle, according to the Seattle Times.

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