World’s Strangest

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Black Friday Bloodshed

Doing some Black Friday shopping? Make sure you get your caffeine, have plenty of cash and checks on hand, and program your doctor’s office on your speed dial. As the day and the deals have gotten more hyped up over the past several years, stampedes and fights have broken out in the frenzy, resulting in injuries and even death. Here are a few of those incidents.

Death at Walmart

walmartJust last year, a “greeter” at Walmart in Valley Stream, New York, was killed when the crowd of 2,000+ people trampled over him when the doors opened on Black Friday. Jdimytai Damour was 6’4” and 270 pounds and was trying to hold back shoppers who were pressed up against the sliding glass doors. The doors shattered from the pressure, Damour was thrown to the floor, and shoppers rushed over him in a craze to get to their bargains. The official ruling was that he died of asphyxiation. Although other shoppers were injured in the stampede, Damour was the only fatality – the other four injured people were treated and released from the hospital, including a woman who was eight months pregnant. There were reports that she had miscarried, but they were false. Damour’s family has filed a lawsuit against Walmart, citing that the company “engaged in specific marketing and advertising techniques to specifically attract a large crowd and create an environment of frenzy and mayhem and was otherwise careless, reckless and negligent.” Photo from FoxNews.com.

No Cutting in Line

In 2005, it wasn’t a stampede to get to items that caused trouble at Walmart – it was a single line-cutter. People were waiting in an orderly line at an Orlando store to get a heavily discounted computer when one man jumped ahead in the line. The assembled crowd wasn’t really appreciative of this – they ended up wrestling him to the ground.

Gang Shootout at Toys “R” Us

toysrusLast year was definitely a bad year for Black Friday shoppers. On the same day, but a different coast, two men were shot and killed after an argument at a Toys “R” Us in Palm Desert, California. The women they were with were arguing – even coming to blows, according to the Huffington Post – and the fight escalated when the men discovered that they belonged to rival gangs. They ended up shooting only each other – no other injuries were reported. Photo from LAist.com.

Disabled for Deals

Another computer was the source of a riot at the same retailer in 2005. When a laptop went on sale for $100 off the normal price, Cecelia Brannon of Jacksonville, Fla., was second in line because she wanted to get one for her daughter in college. When the doors opened, she got pushed under the rushing crowd and ended up suffering from a concussion and continuing back and neck problems. “This is America’s version of the running of the bulls,” her husband said. As of 2007, Cecelia was still walking with a cane as a result of her Black Friday injuries and still had to take a slew of prescription medications. “I saved 100 on that computer,” she said. “I’ve spent probably $100,000 on medical bills.”

P.S. – I didn’t intend to hate on Walmart, but a vast majority of the Black Friday incidents happened there! If you’re headed to score some deals tomorrow, be extra careful. What’s your opinion – should the onus be on the retailer for not providing enough security, or should people be responsible for their own actions?


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