Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday violence erupts across country

CHICAGO — A police officer responding to a call of alleged shoplifting at a  Chicago-area store Thursday shot the driver of a car that was dragging a fellow cop, authorities said — just one of several reports of violence ahead of Black Friday, according to reports.

In the Chicago case, police shot the driver just after 10 p.m. Thursday after responding to a call of two people allegedly shoplifting clothes from a Kohl’s store in Romeoville, Police Chief Mark Turvey said at a news conference in that southwest Chicago area suburb.

“As officers approached the front door, one of the two subjects ran out the door into the parking lot” and the officer chased him to a waiting car, Turvey said.

“The officer was struggling with the subject as he got into the car and then the car started to move as the officer was partially inside the car. The officer was dragged quite some distance. He couldn’t get out,” Turvey said.

The wounded driver and the dragged officer were both taken for hospital treatment of non-life-threatening shoulder injuries, and three people were arrested, Turvey said.

Videos of the chaos have also emerged online, with one showing shoppers at an unidentified Walmart getting violent over discount items, according to Mediate.

Other clips on YouTube reportedly shows crowds storming a Walmart in Mayaguez in Puerto Rico, and shoppers getting violent over tech bargains in Forth Worth, Texas.

In New Jersey, police say they pepper sprayed and arrested a man at a northern New Jersey Wal-Mart after a Thanksgiving shopping dispute.

Authorities say 23-year-old Richard Ramos became “belligerent” while arguing with a Wal-Mart shopper over a television Thursday night, and then attacked a Garfield police officer when the manager called for help.



Police tell The Star-Ledger that officers used pepper spray to subdue the Passaic man. No one else was injured.

Police say the store was packed with Black Friday shoppers at the time of the incident.

Ramos is charged with aggravated assault of a police officer, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.



In California, a San Bernardino police officer was hurt breaking up one of three fights at a Wal-Mart between two shoppers, after the store let thousands of people enter ahead of its scheduled 8 p.m. opening — a decision that cops said sparked the chaos, the San Bernardino Sun reported. Store managers said 3,000 people were jamming the front entrance of the Rialto store, the paper reported.

Warning: Bad Language



That officer suffered a broken wrist.

And in Virginia, an argument over a Wal-Mart parking space in Claypool Hill ended with a 35-year-old man being stabbed in the arm, leaving a wound that cut “down to the bone,” local TV station WVVA reported.

Meanwhile, a father faced felony child neglect charges last night after a Florida Highway Patrol trooper spotted a baby left alone in a car outside a Best Buy store.

The incident happened about 5:30 p.m. Thursday near Orlando.

Authorities say trooper Edy Rivera saw the infant in a car seat inside a locked car. He went into the store, looking for the vehicle’s owner. When no one came forward, he broke the vehicle’s window and got the baby boy out.


A short time later, officials say 34-year-old Haider Darwash returned to the vehicle. He told troopers he thought his wife had the baby. She was located standing in line at another business in the shopping center.

More than a dozen major retailers from Wal-Mart to Target to Toys R Us opened on Thanksgiving Day and planned to stay open through Black Friday, the traditional start to the holiday shopping season. As a result, crowds formed early and often throughout the two days.

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