Posted on December 24, 2010

Towne East Mall Shoppers Maced at Chaotic Air Jordan Sneaker Sale

Kevin Boie, KDFW-TV (Dallas), December 23, 2010

Mesquite police early Thursday used pepper spray to control an unruly crowd of sneaker shoppers. The incident happened at Towne East Mall, where dozens of people had lined up top buy Nike’s new Air Jordan 11 Retro, which went on sale at 6 a.m. Sisters Laurie and Lorraine Martinez, who said they had been in line since 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, described the scene as frightening and chaotic.

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“At 4:30 the people at the back of line decided to bum rush and run to the doors . . . As much as we tried to tell people to move, they wouldn’t. So [police] started macing,” Laurie Martinez said.

She also said some people in the crowd were able to force open a door to the shoe store and get inside, although the sisters were not able to enter.

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The sisters blame the mall and the store for the melee, calling the event disorganized. They said customers should have received numbers securing their places in line.

“So that this doesn’t happen. And this store, they just let everyone bum rush and act like crazy animals. And then everybody has to pay,” Lauire Martinez said.

The women said despite the trouble, the sneakers sold out in a half-hour.

A pair of Air Jordan 11 Retro sneakers retails for $175.

MORE TROUBLE IN TEXAS

The craze over the Air Jordan 11 Retro sneaker also caused problems at other Texas malls. Throngs of people flooded Houston-area malls and shopping centers on Thursday morning, prompting police action.

Humble police said a fight broke out as some people were pushing and shoving each other to get to the front of the line at Deerbrook Mall.

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