The Press of Atlantic City reported today (November 26, 2005) that it took two entire police departments, Hamilton Township and Egg Harbor Township, to restore order at Wal-Mart and Circuit City in Hamilton Township (Mays Landing) on "Black Friday." At 5am, the Cirucuit City prepared to open its doors to a crowd that stretched about 500 feet. Some of these lunatics waited since 8pm the night before in 28 degree temperatures. These people were not to be denied! The Cirucuit City manager was apparently handing out maps and advertising circulars to customers at the front of the line, but those further back thought vouchers were being handed out for sale merchandise. Those individuals from the back rushed to the front of the line. Several shoppers were either trampled or pushed against the store doors. One woman was treated for rib injuries and another for other injuries. Both were taken to a local hospital. Police estimated that about 1,000 people also waited outside that Mays Landing Wal-Mart, where one woman burst through the crowd, shoving an older woman. Security and police eventually caught the over-zealous shopper and escorted her out. A half-hour later, police were called again for assistance in the electronics department, where the surging crowd began taking things off the shelves while others pushed to the front of the checkout lines. Police helped close the store to restore order, before it was re-opened. As the store re-0pened, Anthony Martinez, 25, Atlantic City, shoved an officer and was arrested for resisting arrest. The primary object of desire at Wal-Mart was a $398.00 HP Pavilion notebook computer. There were only 35 of them available.
I ventured out for some "Black Friday" shopping, but waited until about 2pm to head out. Other than a little traffic as I made my way to the Cherry Hill Mall, I encountered no bad experiences. Lines were a bit long, but nobody was pushing, shoving, or beating their way to the front of the lines. And guess what? The sales were still there in the afternoon. No, I was not about to even try to get one of 35 items available, no matter what the item! And I was not waiting at any store for hours to purchase anything. Believe me, there is nothing worth purchasing that bad.
If for no other reason, maybe US troops need to be brought home by next "Black Friday" to help keep the peace.