Black Friday is the day when millions of Americans head to the stores seeking bargains. But for some shoppers, Friday was also a day of sharp elbows and noxious fumes.
Police said a Los Angeles woman pepper-sprayed several people at a Walmart store in a case of apparent “competitive shopping.” The woman was trying to keep fellow shoppers from getting to a discounted Xbox she apparently had her eye on. The incident happened on Thanksgiving night — when several major retailers, including Walmart and Toys-R-Us opened their doors at or near midnight to get a jump on “Black Friday” sales. The Associated Press reported ten people suffered cuts and bruises in the Xbox melee, and 10 others suffered minor injuries from the pepper spray.
It was not known late Friday whether the woman got the Xbox.
WATCH: NBC Nightly News reports on the ‘mean season’ of holiday shopping
[MSNBCMSN video=”http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640″ w=”592″ h=”346″ launch_id=”45440233^1720^119460″ id=”msnbc469ad1″]
In Michigan, a teenage girl was knocked down and stepped on repeatedly, after she got caught in a crush of shoppers rushing to take advantage of discounts on electronics at a Walmart near Muskegon, according to the Associated Press.
Walmarts were also the scene of three other incidents Friday.
Two women were hurt after a fight broke out in a Walmart in upstate New York, leading to the arrest of one man. Another man was arrested when a fight broke out at a jewelry counter at a Kissimmee, Florida Walmart.
And police in North Carolina were disputing an account of an off-duty police officer using pepper spray to break up a fight at a Kinston Walmart — an incident that was captured on video and uploaded to Youtube.
WATCH: Off-duty officer allegedly pepper sprays Walmart shoppers
According to NBC News:
Kinston police are disputing accounts of the incident, telling NBC News that they fired a single “puff” of pepper spray when a large group of people tried to grab products before Walmart employees were finished putting the items on display.
An officer sprayed “a puff” of pepper spray in the air to have the crowd “regain composure,” police said. They told NBC News that none of the substance was sprayed into anyone’s eyes or face and that no one requested medical attention.
Police confirmed that one man was arrested but wouldn’t confirm his identity as reported in local news accounts.
Read the rest here.
A Walmart spokesman said Black Friday was safe at most of the company’s 4,000 locations in the U.S., but acknowledged a few “unfortunate incidents.”
Black Friday is one of the biggest shopping days of the year, and retailers depend on it to kick-start their biggest selling season. A record number of shoppers are expected to take advantage of the discounts this year, along with discounts offered on “Small Business Saturday” and “Cyber Monday,” the day dedicated to online shopping.