Black Friday 2012 security lowlights

Nov. 26, 2012
Sales produce one death, an armed robbery, a fistfight over women's underwear and more bedlam

Many times, video of Black Friday bedlam can at least be entertaining for the "rest of us" -- after all, people put themselves in these situations so we can rubberneck, right? But before I recap the more entertaining stuff, let's start with the deadly serious and tragic, as Black Friday and weekend sales claimed at least one victim (albeit a shoplifter) in a suburb of Atlanta.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, DeKalb police say a man, whose identity hadn’t been released, took two DVD players and exited through the front door of a Walmart but was caught by two workers and a security officer in the parking lot, where a “physical altercation” took place. When police arrived, the AJC reports they found the trio on top of the man. Police found the man to be unresponsive and bleeding from his nose and mouth, and he was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The two store employees have been placed on leave and the security officer, who police say may have placed the suspected thief in a choke hold, is no longer working for Walmart, the company said. “No amount of merchandise is worth someone’s life,” Walmart spokesperson Dianna Gee said Sunday in a statement that emphasized that it was early in the investigation. “Associates are trained to disengage from situations that would put themselves or others at risk.”

Here's a roundup of more Black Friday mayhem:

ROSEVILLE, Calif -According to Sacramento's Fox40 news, two women came to blows fighting over undergarments at a Victoria's Secret in the Roseville Galleria mall. Then, three men joined in to create a brawl -- here's a link to the video, shot by a passerby (FYI- there is adult language in the background of the video): (this video is also in the image carousel on the left). Jessica Wilbourn, who works for the Victoria’s Secret, told Fox40 that soon after the doors were open, customers there went crazy, climbing up on the “panty bar,” throwing clothes and boxes, pushing and shoving and trampling each other. She said one girl got hit in the head with a box and another was punched in the stomach.

MESQUITE, Texas – According to a WFAA report, violence interrupted Black Friday shopping at the Town East Mall as police broke up a fight and subdued a suspected shoplifter with a Taser. Mall spokesman Chad Hastings said the incident was handled swiftly by in-house security and the Mesquite Police Department. While some witnesses reported hearing gunshots, Hastings denied that, saying that sound was furniture being thrown. It is not clear how the fight began, but you can see the whole thing go down here:

VAUXHALL, N.J. - According to a CBSNewYork report, robbers chose the rush of Black Friday to enter a Target store in Vauxhall, N.J., then hid out in the store's restrooms for hours before emerging with masks and guns, surprising one of the bosses and forcing him into a secure "cash office". The theives then tied up the manager and two other workers, stole thousands in cash, then fled through a back door, across a roadway and down a hill where a chain link fence was knocked to the ground. They were able to go straight through to a getaway car waiting on the other side. The men are still at large.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - The Associated Press reports that a Massachusetts man left his girlfriend’s 2-year-old son in a car while he went shopping for a new 51-inch flat screen television at a Massachusetts Kmart. Then, as the 34-year-old man told police, he thought he lost the boy while shopping, panicked and called someone else for a ride. Police, alerted by store security, found the boy asleep in the vehicle in a parking lot at about 1:30 a.m. They forced their way into the car and took the boy to the hospital as a precaution. Police say they expect to charge the man with reckless endangerment to a child.

MOULTRIE, Ga. - Here's a look at how NOT to do Black Friday from the retail security perspective, as this scene of "crowd crontrol" gets way out of hand at a Walmart in Moultrie, Ga.:

MOLINE, Ill. - Here's another out-of-hand Walmart crowd (FYI- there may be some foul language going on in the background):

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