Man Trampled In Target On Black Friday Thought He Was Going To Die

A man with a herniated disk who became trapped on the ground as shoppers raced into a Target on Black Friday says that while he lay there, he thought he was going to die. You can hear his pitched screams on the surveillance video.

He says that he waited outside for eight hours and then got pinned against a door and shoved to the ground when the doors burst open with eager consumers surging to snatch up Christmas bargains.

The man, who was given a CAT scan and painkillers at the hospital, told WIVB, “I don’t think it’s worth standing out there all night to get trampled, or trample somebody else.”

Target pledged to take care of the man’s medical bills and said its “crowd management tactics” will be “analyzed” and “improved.” Since the tactics shown in the video seem to solely consist of having one bean-pole worker telling people “don’t run, don’t run,” that shouldn’t be too hard to do.

Man was trampled in Buffalo Target on Black Friday [Syracuse] (Thanks to Michael!)


Edit Your Comment

  1. NumberSix says:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:

    “F*** Black Friday!”

    • kc2idf says:

      I’ll say it a few more times.

      C’mon, people, you’re getting played like a god-damned fiddle! They’re going to lengths to ramp up the excitement as much as they can so as to separate you from your reason, and thereby separate you from your money.

      Just stop! You stampede like cattle, because you have become cattle. Use the brain the gods gave you and be a freaking person!

      • AngryK9 says:

        I would say that sheep, rather than cattle, is more appropriate.

      • Excuse My Ambition Deficit Disorder says:

        So say we all!

        I miss BSG

      • netposer says:

        I agree. They make such a big deal over the sales as if you have to go that day and get there early. The problem I see is the “Door buster” deals are the bait that gets folks in the door only to realize there are only a handful of those deals to be had.

        Shoppers realize this so those who are able run/stamped to get to those 5 TV’s at the back of the store.

    • Quake 'n' Shake says:

      I’m with you. Other than supermarkets, I dread going near any shopping areas that day.
      The priest said it best at this Sunday’s homily: “Apparently, trampling over your fellow man to get a great deal at 5AM is what Christmas means to some people.”

      • dru_zod says:

        Speaking of supermarkets, seems like black Friday is the best day to get groceries. I went to do my weekly grocery shopping this black Friday and the place was practically deserted. The store usually has 8 or 9 cashiers working and that day they only had 2, and that was all they needed.

        • haggis for the soul says:

          It really is. Grocery shopping is now my Black Friday ritual. You pretty much have the store all to yourself.

      • obits3 says:

        Ahh… the 11th commandment:

        Thou shall not trample your fellow man. Stay classy, for I am classy.

    • shepd says:

      Feel (or Flog) Black Friday?

      Well, this guy sure did!

    • Southern says:

      It’s all fun and games until someone looses an eye!

      (or gets trampled to death).

  2. crabbygeek says:

    Play with the bull you get horns… you got to be fit for Black Friday…

    • FuzzyWillow says:

      How difficult is it for target to place a “Take A Number” thing at the door, then call people in ranges like they do to board an airport. There are probably even better ways to do this, this is just off the top of my head.

  3. SWBLOOPERS says:

    Doesn’t count. No one died yet.

    Not that I want that to happen. Just keeping track.

    • Paladin_11 says:

      Wrong. Someone was trampled to death at a WalMart on Long Island last year.

    • squirrel says:

      Join the ghoul pool they have over in Japan where the biggest news after New year’s is how many oldsters choke to death eating mochi during the week they celebrate New Year’s.

      You still have plenty of time.

  4. obits3 says:

    I blame the OP.

  5. Scurvythepirate says:

    Well he did go to the ghetto Target. I would never go to that one. A little to close to the hood for me.

  6. macoan says:

    For myself – my time is worth more then standing in a line for 8 hours – I would rather spend $50 more then stand in a line for 8 hours.

    I like Black Friday – and did 90% of the holiday shopping on-line

    My wife likes to go shopping out on Black Friday – She takes a friend, and it is like a “game” to try to find all the items on the list and find good deals. She brings along walky-talkies and usually one will go stand in a long check out lane while the other looks for something – or each will take one side of a store looking for certain items – again, there to have “fun”. She will try to hit the stores soon after they first open, but does not stand outside waiting in a line.

  7. stock2mal says:

    They need to attempt to find everyone who rushed into the store over top of him and make them pay for his medical bills + pain and suffering. The wannabe big baller thug talking about gettin him a flat screen (probably Apex, you go balla) should be at the top of the list.

    • Winteridge2 says:

      make the store pay. they know that people are stupid enough to do this, and they give the jolly shoppers that opportunity.

      • Griking says:

        Yeah God forbid that the people that actually trampled this man be held accountable. Lets go after the store instead because they have big pockets even though they really weren’t the ones at fault.

        It’s amazing, even when the proof is in video in front of their eyes people on this site still would rather blame corporations over the customers

        • Framling says:

          Yes, that’s why we don’t have laws against inciting a riot. We just carefully prosecute everyone who did any rioting. Human beings are all perfectly rational at all times, and it is entirely reasonable to expect them to be.

        • Southern says:

          Weren’t the ones at fault?!?

          “Hurry hurry hurry – free HDTV’s to the first 5 customers who can reach the back of the store first!”

          How is the store NOT at fault? Hell, let’s make it REALLY difficult and put an American Gladiators style obstacle couse in the middle of the store, complete with someone shooting tennis balls at you, while you race like a complete lunatic to the rear of the store just to save $100 or whatever) while you’ve only got one scrawny little kid at the door yelling “Don’t Run! Don’t Run!”

          They need to either provide enough product to prevent people from acting like speed racer to be one of the “lucky 5”, or at 4:55am pass out the 5-10 vouchers (or however many you have), or even hold a lottery to determine who gets the vouchers (although this one would be the one most vulnerable to fraud)..

          So yes, I find the store almost COMPLETELY at fault, for promoting the whole “Black Friday” mentality. You don’t see this at the GROCERY stores on Black Friday.

          If this were to go to court in a lawsuit, I would fine Target the entire days profit from Black Friday, just like the one jury did with McDonalds in the infamous coffee lawsuit by fining the company 2 days profit from all their coffee sales).

          As long as these stores continue to hold the “quantities limited!!!” mad-rush-fests, people are going to do whatever they can to be one of the lucky 5 or 10 that gets their grubby paws on whatever hunk of junk the store is hawking.

          As for me, I’ll continue to avoid Black Friday completely and do my shopping online.

    • Brie says:

      I have HealthNet and absolutely every time my kids (now teenagers) had an accident resulting in an ER visit, you could be damn sure we’d be getting a letter asking Whom else can we blame? On whose property did this incident occur? Please provide names and addresses and send this back.


      I’m damn sure this poor guy’s insurer, if he has one, will go after Target even if they have to pave a paper trail first.

  8. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    I was actually getting worried there wasn’t a trampling this year. If Black Friday gets civilized, I don’t know what I would think of the world.

  9. octowussy says:

    Another Consumerist article placing blame on the company rather than the out-of-control savages looking to save $10 on a Kindle.

    • Mom says:

      They had $10 off on Kindles? Damn. I missed out.

      • SerenityDan says:

        With tax that’s still more than buying it full price from amazon (unless you live somewhere with low or no sales tax)

    • dadelus says:

      How would someone get trampled while shopping

      • dolemite says:

        Maybe there was a crowd at the doors of the internet cafe.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        As no one else has pointed out the obvious, I guess I will. Amazon isn’t the only place where you can get a Kindle. Target sells them as well, and that was the gist of octowussy’s post.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      You can blame individuals all you want, but even the bad mothers and bad fathers have the Department of Child Services to hold them accountable. You have authorities for a reason. In this case, Target was responsible for keeping these people in line, and should have known full well that people get irrationally idiotic during Black Friday doorbusters.

    • Scuba Steve says:

      I’m sorry but when you only give out good deals to the people to stay up till 4AM, then you’re going to face a crowd of desperate, hungry, tired, and cold people.

      The Target should have given out Vouchers for the TVs. Period. They should be held at least liable for any of the shenanigans that happens at these Black Friday trampelings

    • Excuse My Ambition Deficit Disorder says:

      It’s all their faults…the company has more than enough money to provide adequate security measures so this doesn’t happen, but I’m sure they are under money allotments that their corporate office only gives them a certain amount cause we don’t want to cut into profits. The people that trampled this man need to be found and dealt with by a court of law.

      By the way, all the people that did this and didn’t even bother to help him or the others…you suck and need to trade in your human race card for the P.O.S. card.

  10. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    If you watch the video, it’s clear that a bunch of jerks started pushing forward, while a few people held back and walked forward briskly, but in no way did they start running – it seems that it was a few people behind the initial “surge” that started to trample. And one guy (the bald guy) walked back to help the guy up.

    I’m going to point out the jerk of a lady running off camera at 1:08 who did a lot of damage because she started pushing people out of the way. She was on the fringe of the doorway, and pushed her way through. The guy was already down, but it’s people with that kind of mentality that make it dangerous for everyone else.

    I don’t think it was the OP’s fault that he was trampled – not at all. But I don’t go to any Black Friday doorbuster-type openings because I know these kinds of things can happen anywhere, to anyone. He’s right; it’s not worth getting trampled on and it’s not worth trampling people – if everyone else understood that as well, we wouldn’t have these kinds of stupid things happening.

  11. mythago says:

    Good on Target for stepping up and taking responsibility. Of course they should have had crowd management in place, but at least they aren’t forcing the guy to lawyer up before he can get his medical bills taken care of.

    • jojo319 says:

      I wouldn’t rule out the lawyer just yet. I would bet Target will require him to sign a waiver before paying his bills and the article states that Target has pledged to take care of his bills. Nowhere does it say he has accepted their offer. I’m sure the lawyers are clamoring to “help him get what is rightfully his”.

      • mythago says:

        If they are, they’re probably in trouble with their state licensing boards. That aside, he may or may not get a lawyer, but Target isn’t stalling him with ‘our crowd control methods are acceptable’ or OP-blaming – they’re acknowledging they need to do better and offering to make it right.

        That is how you put lawyers out of business.

  12. PSUSkier says:

    Where the hell was the brother in all this? Man I hate humanity sometimes.

    • Rachacha says:

      Hey Kevin, I have an idea. When these doors open, there is sure to be a mob, so I’ll fall to the ground and get trampled, that will stop the flow of people into the store. IN the mean time, you run back to the TV section and pick up that TV we wanted.
      Wow, Keith, that is a great idea, you always were the smart one!

      Seriously, I hope the guy is OK, and remember kids, no one was ever trampled while shopping on the interwebs.

  13. Cyniconvention says:

    Saw this on Friday…and saw how the man’s brother said he called his voicemail “and he didn’t answer!”

    And after he gets up, clutches his chest, and staggers about, still, no one goes to his aid.

    • TheFingerOfGod says:

      True! But what I really love about it is that he said something like: “I stumbled over to the counter and hunched over. I could not find my brother. I stumbled over to the TV section looking for him.” I have to admit that at that point I let out a loud laugh!

  14. Rachacha says:

    So did he get the TV he was waiting in line for?

  15. Scoobatz says:

    Something tells me that many people in that crowd could have scored a better deal had they bought the merchandise at full price and paid off their credit card.

  16. Red Cat Linux says:

    Article linkage is borked.

  17. Ed says:

    Well, at least he managed to stumble back to the TV section. What a trooper!

  18. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Amazing. There’s a mass of people stuck right at the entrance, which is a choke point, and most people’s instict was that they should push harder to get through, not that there might be an actual obstruction…. potentially one of the numberous human bodies trying to pass through?

    You stay classy, humanity.

    • obits3 says:

      That makes me think of Kevin James’ skit on people who lift the door handle while you are trying to unlock the car:

      Let go of the damn door!

  19. skylar.sutton says:

    lol @ the fact that his own brother didn’t stop to help him and just kept heading to the TV section

  20. leprechaunshawn says:

    It’s pretty well documented that Black Friday sales get out of hand. If you have medical issues, you do not belong at the store when they open the doors.

    • AlxFherMana says:

      100% agree. Even if there had never been Black Friday tramplings before, it’s well known that going shopping that day means you will be in crowded places. Herniated disk + crazed crowds = not good.

      • PKRipper11 says:

        Even if I wanted to go to a door buster sale (I don’t…..ever), I couldn’t imagine going with a ruptured disk. I ruptured a disk on 3-1-10 and almost fell to the ground (VERY wobbly knees). At that point, I could barely walk. My boss told me to go to the chiro (I didn’t realize I had a ruptured disk yet). I had never been to one and decided to go. That didn’t work out so well. After the 3rd “treatment”, I had to use crutches when I got home. By the time I went to a back specialist, I was in a wheel chair. An hour after laying down on the operating table, I walked out of the hospital normally. 100X the worst pain I’ve ever felt. Depending on how bad this guy’s disk is, it can be easily and quickly fixed.

  21. DanRydell says:

    They ought to lay out a bunch of tires on the floor like you use for football practice. That’ll slow them down.

  22. TehQ says:

    Stay with your brother and if one goes down help him up. If people keep pushing start throwing punches that will clear them out fast.

  23. swarrior216 says:

    You open one set of doors, what do you expect?

  24. brianisthegreatest says:

    Wow, I guess you can get a good deal on electronics, but it does not look worth it to me. Neither does supporting any of this at all.

    I’ve already told a lot of people in my family that they need to find what they want on the internet and I will take it from there. Holiday shopping in stores sounds like 1999.

  25. brit2380 says:

    What’s the point of standing in line for hours, to then run into the store looking for a few items that are a little cheaper than normal? I feel sorry for the poor guy. It’s not Target’s fault that people are idiots.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      And yet, Target created the situation.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        I’d argue that the people created the situation. A store can have a doorbuster deal, but if only five people partake of it, you wouldn’t get the kind of chaos you got here. The fact was, a crapload of people decided to descend on one store and create a panic. The store facilitated the people’s frenzy and is responsible for keeping the peace, but the people all by themselves decided to rush ahead.

  26. exconsumer says:

    Well, I see that they have pretty good looking footage. Identify and arrest everyone involved. The way to keep someone from getting trampled is not to trample, and these folks were to sick not to do that. Jail time for assault.

    All of them.

  27. CalicoGal says:

    How’s about we just cut this “Black Friday” shit out altogether.
    On that day, open at regular Friday time, regular or normal sorts of “sale” prices…
    Act like it is any other Friday…none of this nonsense.

    I bet the stores *still* come out ahead.

    I won’t be in any mall-type atmosphere til January. All hail Amazon Prime!

  28. Verdant Pine Trees says:

    It appears another guy got knocked to the floor – the guy in the yellow jacket. The longer video in the link here was instructive.

    • varro says:

      There’s a third guy knocked to the floor – a guy in baggy pants, who you see later doubled over on the shopping carts on the right.

  29. Winteridge2 says:

    the chances you have to take to maybe save $50 on a chinese tv.

    • Groanan says:

      What is wrong with it being made in China?
      This isn’t something your kid will be liking (hopefully) so there is no lead paint worry.
      You can get reviews of the electronics online from customers that have used them and know if they have defects.

      I can see worrying about children’s toys or baby formula, cookingware and food, but electronics?

      That just sounds like ignorance. China probably manufactured parts to many of the electronics you currently own which are in good working order.

  30. Buckus says:

    It’s all fun and games until someone gets shot to death in the parking lot over a big-screen TV.

  31. nXt says:

    I can’t believe there are still idiot store management who are stupid enough to just open their doors and let people stampede over each other.
    All the stores in my area (Target including) were civilized, lines queues, tickets, crowd control, security,

  32. ITDEFX says:

    Crowd Management Tactics analyzed and improved………….what? This shit happens every fucking year….again retailers do not give a fuck about customer safety. All you see is one manager going to open the main door when he sees tons of people waiting to burst in. Honestly that second inner door should have only had 1 door open to control the flow of traffic better. Single file lines with barriers to slow people down would help a lot.

    • clickito says:

      That isn’t true for all stores. Where I work, there were two police officers would would let in only thirty people at a time. The crowd, as a whole, was very calm–I saw only one woman run the whole morning.

  33. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    I am so sad that the world has come to doing physical harm and acting like animals to score a deal. If you are so broke that you have to wait in line for hours to save a few bucks on stupid crap, and then people get hurt as a result, maybe you should skip the “deals” and start a savings account to help get you ahead.

  34. balthisar says:

    The yearly sacrifice to the gods of human indignity.

  35. BradenR says:

    Just proves the old adage: Bad luck comes from stupid choices. I hope the injured party is the only one paying for that choice.

  36. Mike says:

    Seriously, seeing stuff like this makes me glad I don’t celebrate Christmas.

  37. nocturnaljames says:

    But it was totally worth it to save $20 on crap he doesn’t need and doesn’t have cash for…

  38. framitz says:

    If he had a herniated disk, why the heck did he stand around for 8 hours waiting for a silly sale?
    IMHO this wreaks of idiocy.

  39. MacUser1986 says:

    People in this country are sick, they care about a Black Friday sale over a human beings life.

  40. exkon says:

    This is the consumerist right?

    I’m sorry, but why should a store have to police it’s consumers? Shouldn’t it be people’s job not act like ruthless people during a black Friday sale?

    I mean if people aren’t going to listen to a recepiet checker, why on Earth would they listen to someone telling them not to rush the door?

  41. u1itn0w2day says:

    I’ve seen that video several times and am still amazed but not surprised. I don’t know wether those rushing in have to use the bathroom or they really want something that much. Or these are resellers and ebayers rioting for BF door busters.

    Fracking animals over a ‘deal’.

    I saw a thing on Headline News where one of the commentators thinks Target opened themselves up to a lawsuit because of the fanatical shopper/exercise lady preparing for the BF sale. I hope he wins.

    So much for Walmart’s slap on the wrist after a DEATH.

  42. RyansChestHair says:

    Oh yea, ok. I feel “really bad” for him-NOT! He claims he’s in so much pain and thought he was going to die that he immediately walks away to presumably shop. What an asshole!

    • bill793 says:

      ^ this.
      While it doesn’t lessen the fact that these people are acting like animals, if this guy was in so much pain, why did he continue to shop before seeking medical attention?

      • u1itn0w2day says:

        It makes you wonder about his pain and reaction to being run over but I guess after waiting in line for 8 hours (which was his choice) I guess unless I was incapacitated I would want to get what I came for after 8 hours in line in the cold.

    • c_c says:

      Actually if you watch the video he stumbled into the store to find his brother who was in the tv section (big surprise, gotta get those flat screens), who was already in the store. When he found him he basically collapsed and that’s when he got medical help…

  43. DowneMixedBoi says:

    Target, Walmart… Same difference

  44. jerrycomo says:

    I guess there good points to being a broke man like me on holidays…

  45. human_shield says:

    Sorry, but the video should be reviewed and EVERYONE in that line should be prosecuted.

  46. nybiker says:

    The the longer video that someone in the comments referenced had an ad in front of it and the video up top has an ad in front of it as well, so I canceled the playing of it.
    Very annoying. /just saying.

    I watched the longer video and it just confirms my belief that shopping in a real brick & mortar store to save a dollar or two is not worth it. I did my shopping online yesterday so I know I will be receiving exactly what I asked for.

  47. buttcat says:

    Fat man in a little coat.

  48. Intheknow says:

    I think stores should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law – and sued for damages – for injuries sustained by customers during these door-buster sales. I think the stores do it particularly for the commotion and interest – and the possibility of free advertising when getting into the news because someone got hurt or trampled during an “event.”

    That said, if the guy KNEW he had an injury of that type and KNOWINGLY went into the fray, then I have little pity for him.

  49. Jane_Gage says:

    Pants drenched in urine, check. Spine broken in half, check. Humiliated on television, check. And no television!

  50. JANSCHOLL says:

    I saw this video online and he leaned up against the trash can, caught his breath and winced a bit and then proceeded into the store for whatever he was shopping for I assume. I would have stayed at the front of the store. But then I am not so stupid to even be there in the first place. Black Friday is an aberration. I no longer participate in anything related to Christmas because of incidents like this. Greed is not good.

  51. Jane_Gage says:

    People should be encouraged to bring firearms to BF. That way they can shoot their way out if they start to get trampled.

    • SixOfOne says:

      Yeah, but when you get a lunatic with a gun who wants a cheap flatscreen, that sounds like not such a good idea. I’m for law enforcement using their firearms to make people slow the fuck down though.

  52. yessongs says:

    Knowing Target they would slap the wrong price tag on him, then mark the guy down.

  53. DragonThermo says:

    Gee! Normally stories like this happen at Walmart every year. Maybe I haven’t read down far enough in the RSS feed.

    Target was definitely in a lose-lose situation. If they open all the doors, there will be a mad rush and someone will get trampled to death. If they open only one or two doors, and control the flow of incoming traffic, people will push hard and someone is going to be crushed to death against a locked door.

    I know blaming the OP is verboten here, but these pre-dawn Black Friday rush events are the American version of the running of the bulls in Pamploma, Spain. When someone there is trampled or gored by a bull, do people blame the city for not controlling their livestock or do people blame the victim for being foolish enough to stand in front of a couple thousand pounds of angry hamburger on the hoof?

    When someone gets in the middle of a rushing, surging mob, at what point does one think to themselves, “This is not safe nor sane. Screw it! I’m going to shop online.” Hopefully it is *before* dozens of people stomp on your head and spine.

  54. Southern says:

    It’s all fun and games until someone looses an eye!

    (or gets trampled to death).

  55. cassiopia1177 says:

    Funny, our local Target stores (Little Rock, AR) didn’t have a problem. This sounds like an isolated incident. I was at my local store, and it was busy but not insane like this.

  56. Lolotehe says:

    OK, is it just me or do this year’s “ornament” stickers look like the COBRA logo? I went to my local Target (to play coupon fairy) and I had to really stop and think about what the stickers on the doors were supposed to be. Whoever had put them up placed them in a very corporate way.

    It makes it look like evil headquarters.

  57. MarvinMar says:

    What did he expect from a Target that is clearly under the control of the Cobra Command?

  58. PingPongDarts says:

    Target has had notoriously dismal management of their Black Friday crowds for as long as I can recall. Almost no semblance of an orderly line or actual line control which leads to dozens of people cutting in line at the last minute. This leads to everyone who waited in line getting pissed off and wanting to get in the door even quicker than before. Of course, there’s more to blame than line cutters, but not much more.

  59. sopmodm14 says:

    how easy is it for retailers to let in 10 ppl at a time, single file

  60. baristabrawl says:

    If you can’t take the heat…

  61. Lowcifur says:

    Once again, I see a situation that could be drastically improved with the addition of a few hornet nests.

    Seriously, what the the blue hell is wrong with people? Everyone who hopped over the guy should have the choice between paying a $1000 fine, or having both their middle fingers broken. I’m willing to bet they’d take the latter since money is obviously so critically important to them.

  62. jaredwilliams says:

    Black Friday is so retarded half the time the deals aren’t even special they just let you think they are. Clearance deals are much better.