The Black Friday shopping frenzy, which began for millions of Americans on Thanksgiving this year, produced more than its fair share of mayhem.
To some people, pushing Black Friday sales into Thanksgiving is ridiculous and offensive. It’s supposed to be a time to spend with family and be grateful for what you already have.
In a CNNMoney online poll, 54 percent voted for “Nothing can pry me away from family and pumpkin pie.” (An additional 37 percent said online shopping was better than braving the streets.)
Still, more than 22 million people shopped at Walmart on Thanksgiving Day, USA Today reports. Crowds of sometimes 1,000 people lined up outside Walmart, Target, Sears and Kmart stores.
Here are some of the crazy things that happened once Black Friday shopping got under way on Thursday night:
- On Thanksgiving evening, a shopper carrying a big-screen TV home from a Target store was shot in the leg by a thief when the shopper fought to keep it, The Associated Press says.
- Two shoppers were knocked over, and at least one of them was stepped on, by a Utah crowd rushing to grab a $49 tablet at Walmart, the AP says.
- A Florida man or his wife allegedly left their baby in the car while they were separately shopping at a Best Buy and other stores in the same plaza, the AP says. The husband said he thought his wife had the baby, and he was arrested. The baby was OK.
- A Southern California police officer’s wrist was broken while the officer was breaking up one of three fights that happened at a Walmart store, the AP says. Two men waiting in line were fighting, with one allegedly kicking the other in the head.
- A driver was shot by police after at least one passenger allegedly shoplifted from a Kohl’s in Chicago, the AP says. One officer had tried to confront them, and ended up being dragged along the road as the car took off. Neither the officer nor the driver suffered life-threatening injuries.
- A man was stabbed at a Virginia Walmart parking lot, WVVA.com says. He was reportedly fighting with another man over a parking space.
- A man was pepper-sprayed and arrested after allegedly arguing with a Walmart manager in New Jersey, NJ.com says.
It could have been worse. A sad website called BlackFridayDeathCount.com tracks deaths and injuries related to the shopping frenzy, with links to stories going back to 2006. There’s no way it could be a comprehensive accounting, but it says there have been at least four deaths and 74 injuries associated with Black Friday since then.
On the bright side, the Pizza Hut manager who said he was fired for refusing to make his employees open on Thanksgiving was reportedly offered his job back, according to the AP.
Did you avoid the mayhem? Comment below or on our Facebook page.