First Toy Store Melee Reported In Connecticut

The crowd waiting at the doors of the Toys R Us in Manchester, Conn., burning up with Black Friday fever, grew impatient. Shortly before the store opened at midnight, a group of people tried to jump the line and get through the doors. The store didn’t open until nearly an hour later–and after twenty police officers got the crowd under control.

Outside Manchester’s Toys R Us just before midnight, a large crowd tried to jump the line and rush the door at the scheduled opening. When a police officer told them to stop, they taunted him.

Eventually, 20 officers from Manchester, South Windsor, East Hartford and the state police managed the line. Police made sure managers did not open the Toys R Us store until the crowd formed into orderly lines — at 12:55 a.m.

No actual violence ensued. This time.

Midnight Scene At Toys R Us: Parents Overcome Hardship, Police Control Crowds [Hartford Courant] (Thanks, Dennis!)

(Photo: Kevin Michael Dwyer)


Edit Your Comment

  1. meadandale says:

    I’ve never understood the behaviour or mindset of people that line up to get stuff on black friday. Seems that these are the last people I’d want to be stuck in a crowd with. No ‘deal’ is worth the aggravation of dealing with these kinds of people. I’d rather just pay the normal price.

    • madanthony says:

      I haven’t done Black Friday in a couple years – the deals haven’t been worth it to me – but I did do it for a number of years, and I take issue with the use of “these people”. Most of the people I stood in line with were pretty cool – they talked, shared snacks and fliers, ect. The problem is that there are a small number of jerks who do things like try to jump the line – which doesn’t make people who have been standing in line for several hours too happy.

      • working class Zer0 says:

        Some people seem to think that Black Friday means “no rules for me, anything goes”. The majority of people in line that have no problem abiding by the rules of proper behavior end up getting screwed by these morons.

  2. Starfury says:

    How to deal with a rabid Black Friday Crowd: Tear gas and Tasers.

    Or just the threat would probably work.

  3. Crazytree says:
  4. Tim says:

    Stores call Black Friday sales “doorbusters” and wonder why people become violent …

  5. PsiCop says:

    And here I had thought that we Nutmeggers had a reputation for being sedate and orderly.* This kinda blows that reputation right out of the water.

    * Except when behind the wheel; everyone knows Connecticut drivers are among the worst in the country (see e.g. this article).

    • theblackdog says:

      Well that’s okay, CT is still so boring that the only thing it’s good for is f******.

      Google “Connecticut’s for F******” and listen to the song.

  6. roguemarvel says:

    I was thinking something like this was bound to happen when I drove past my local toy r us. My husband and I went out with a friend to get late night thanksgiving snack at ihop (we went to someones house for dinner so we didn’t have left overs to munch on). For grins and giggles we drove by all the local stores to see the line. Bust buy had about 20 people at 12:30, old navy 15, staples made me laugh with two people parked in chairs. But It was Toys r Us that was insane. There must have been at lest 300 people in line and that might be underestimating it. And they weren’t camped out in tents and chairs like some stores. They were standing packed together in a line around the building. We could not believe it. When we got home we had to look up the deals online to see what in the world could be worth that line

    • StanTheManDean says:


      Best, simplest answer. Not knocking the store, just the mindset that the price today is so much better than the price tomorrow.

  7. JennQPublic says:

    I actually find this kind of sad. I think a lot of people are facing rough financial times right now, but they still want their kids to have an awesome Christmas. This is what they’re willing to put themselves through to make that happen.

  8. mbd says:

    I think people forget that their time has value. In most cases, the bargain they are getting is more than offset by the time waiting in lines.

    Put the $ back in $mas.

  9. varro says:

    Toys R Us riot in Portland, OR – Oregonian article here.

  10. ElizabethD says:

    I was waiting for this.

    Son and I were at Bob’s Store today (New England chain; clothing etc.) during Friday doorbuster hours when a 30% off coupon applied until 1 pm. At 12:52 am, a voice on the loudspeaker informed everyone that “special coupon and purchase hours have been extended.”

    A floor staff person next to us wondered why, and her colleague said: “to prevent rioting at the cash registers.” There were lines at each register snaking back through the store, with people all trying to use their coupons in time. Better safe than sorry, I say. Plus, I was glad to be able to use that coupon on my son’s Sauconys. :-)

    • larrymac thinks testing should have occurred says:

      I haven’t lived in New England for awhile, but I always liked Bob’s, even when there was just the one li’l store in Middletown, CT, more years ago than I can count on all my fingers and toes. I’m sure somebody could dig up some bad stories about them, but they always did OK by me.

  11. Wireless Joe says:

    Good. They should have just shut the whole thing down until regular opening time. I can’t imagine it would have hurt the store’s sales, they’re going to sell out of their crap one way or the other.

  12. Keep talking...I'm listening says:
  13. humphrmi says:

    The unruly crowd “taunted” the police? Did they fart in his general direction?

  14. inadequatewife says:

    I’m enjoying my Black Friday – sitting at home, watching recorded stuff on the PVR, reading articles on Consumerist about idiot shoppers.

    I don’t understand these people who think saving $20 is worth standing in line, fighting over merchandise, and spending the afternoon in traffic jams. The economy may be poor, and people may have less to spend, but savvy online shopping will net the same result in many cases. I’ll just wait for the UPS driver to pull up and chuck the package on my porch.

  15. SexCpotatoes says:

    You see, people. This is why we can’t have nice things.

    These types of situations are the ONLY justifiable use of those ‘less lethal’ crowd control measures such as microwaving brains and such. They shouldn’t be allowed to use those methods on idealistic protesting citizens (which they will, I’m sure), only on those unruly rioters who don’t actually have any better cause than “I didn’t get a _______ that I wanted in the exact moment when I wanted it.”

  16. Keep talking...I'm listening says:

    When will retailers learn that passing out kool-aid and valium is the only way to go on Black Friday?

  17. Winteridge2 says:

    I heard one Black Friday shopper being interviewed say that she spent MORE than she had intended because there were so many great sales that she couldn’t pass up. Does that make any sense?

  18. XISMZERO says:

    I have a picture of this Toys “R” Us you could have used. Could I be green lit twice in one week :)

  19. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    i figure it this way: if there’s something someone really wants and it’s enough of a savings to cover any medical bills i might have to pay for an injury, THEN it’s worth waiting for.
    so far, nothing ever has been

  20. ninjatoddler says:

    The cops should’ve pulled out a few of the mockers from the crowd to demonstrate the use of tasers on unfriendly objects. Instant order would’ve been restored.

  21. dvdchris says:

    inadequate wife said: “I don’t understand these people who think saving $20 is worth standing in line, fighting over merchandise, and spending the afternoon in traffic jams. The economy may be poor, and people may have less to spend, but savvy online shopping will net the same result in many cases. I’ll just wait for the UPS driver to pull up and chuck the package on my porch.”

    I am convinced a significant portion of these BF shoppers do not shop online. I continue to meet people that have never purchased anything from Amazon. My sister in law’s parents don’t even have a credit or debit card, so never shop online.