Crazed consumers fairly foaming at the mouth over a new release from Nike which was timed to celebrate the NBA All-Star Game in Orlando, had to be subdued by cops in riot gear at one Florida mall Thursday night. This isn’t the first time a shoe has stirred up such extreme reactions, of course, and we doubt it will be the last.
The glow-in-the-dark Nike Air Foamposite One Galaxy $220 limited edition shoe was so coveted, hundreds of people packed into a mall parking lot last night in advance of the shoe’s sale at midnight. Deputy sheriffs arrived ready for action as the numbers swelled, says the Orlando Sentinel.
People on the scene told the paper that everyone was told to wait across the street from the mall. A great plan, until one intrepid shoe fanatic broke free of the crowd and raced toward the Foot Locker. Like lemmings off a cliff, hundreds of fellow shoppers followed.
“I saw hundreds of people running toward me. I thought I was going to get trampled,” said one witness.
More cops showed up in riot gear, with some mounted on horses, on motorcycles or in patrol cars, and a helicopter flew over the scene. Deputies then formed a line with shields and pushed back the crowd, threatening to use pepper spray if they had to. Fortunately for those involved, they didn’t have to use it and no one was injured or arrested.
It took a few hours to disperse the crowd, as many shoppers stayed around in the hopes that the shoe sale would still happen. No such luck, folks! A deputy drove around the mall announcing over a loudspeaker that the mall was closed.
“Please leave the premises. This is an unlawful gathering. There is no shoe release tonight.”
Police in riot gear break up shoe melee at Florida Mall [Orlando Sentinel]