Black Friday Sales Incite Shopping Rage
Retailers brought in a record $52 billion this holiday weekend, but along with the eager shoppers came lots of drama. INSIDE EDITION reports on incidents of Black Friday shopping rage.
It was a terrifying incident when Black Friday shoppers were pepper-sprayed by a rival shopper as they literally battled for bargains.
The shocking video, seen around the world, was shot by Juan Castro in a Walmart store in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles.
"I could see through my video that there were people just covering their eyes, screaming; there's one girl in particular, she was screaming very loud and she was very close to me, she was saying, 'My eyes! My eyes!' She was really—she was tearing up," Castro told INSIDE EDITION's Jim Moret.
Police have identified a woman in the video as a suspect. She can be seen holding what may be a canister of pepper spray in her fist.
Just over thirty seconds later, she can be seen hurrying away from the crowd. Twenty Black Friday bargain shoppers were treated for pepper spray injuries.
"It was all mayhem?" Moret asked Castro.
"Oh, yeah, yeah, it was absolute mayhem!" Castro said.
"Did you think that people might get hurt in a crush?" Moret asked him.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah!" he said.
Over the weekend, the woman surrendered to police but she invoked her Fifth Amendment right not to answer questions and she was released without being placed under arrest. She may face criminal charges later.
Pepper spray is cheap, easily available online or even over the counter. It's been in the headlines recently due to authorities' now-infamous use of pepper spray on the UC Davis college campus.
There were other violent incidents as shoppers stormed malls across the nation looking for bargains and spent a record $52.4 billion.
A grandfather at a Walmart was body-slammed to the floor and bloodied by police, who suspected him of shoplifting.
54-year-old Jerald Allen says he wasn't shoplifting, just trying to protect his eight-year-old grandson from the crowds.
"There is a culture of competition and chaos that is developing, and that's spurred on by mayhem marketing," says Paul Wertheimer of Crowd Management Strategies.
Some experts believe violent episodes like these are caused by the frenzy whipped up around Black Friday by stores.
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