Holiday Shopping Can Be Hazardous To Your Health

Shoppers eager to take advantage of early Thanksgiving deals pushed and shoved late Thursday, and again on Black Friday -- a retail holiday that's become synonymous with brawls.

Police have reported violence from people pushing and shoving their way to what they see as the holiday's best deals on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, a retail holiday that's become synonymous with brawls. But why trample other shoppers when you can use a stun gun?

At the Franklin Mills Mall in Northeast Philadelphia:

"It started out, one couple was fighting with another couple. They had words, the guys got into a fight and then the girls," said Napolitano, who videotaped the melee. "One couple, they were like a family and all, with a young child in a stroller."

The video shows the two women punching each other and someone in the crowd yelling, "No, stop."

After the two hit the ground, fighting, you can hear the crackle of what sounds like a stun gun and see fluorescent-colored sparks.

Early Friday shoppers started arriving at a Chicago-area Kohl's store just hours after a police officer shot the driver of a car that was dragging another officer responding to a call of alleged shoplifting.

An officer chased a fleeing suspect to his car when "the car started to move as the officer was partially inside the car," Romeoville Police Chief Mark Turvey told NBC station WBCD. "The officer was dragged quite some distance." A backup officer then shot the driver of the car.

Both the driver and the dragged officer were taken to a hospital with minor injuries. Three people were arrested, police said.

A West Virginia man was slashed to the bone with a knife after threatening another man with a gun in an argument over a Wal-Mart parking spot, Tazewell County Sheriff Brian Hieatt told WVVA. Both faced charges after the incident that happened at 6:30 p.m. the station reported.

At least three people got into a fight in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart in Rialto, Calif., because shoppers were cutting in line, Sgt. Nicholas Borchard told NBC Southern California. Two were taken into custody after the fight, he added. One police officer suffered a minor unknown injury.

A shopper was charged with aggravated assault on a police officer after getting into an argument with a New Jersey Wal-Mart store manager about a television set, police told NBC New York. Police also charged the shopper with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, Garfield police told the station.

Rhode Island, Maine and Massachusetts have legislation that prohibits large supermarkets, big box stores and department stores from opening on Thanksgiving.

While some business groups have complained, many shoppers, workers and even retailers say they're satisfied with that one-day reprieve from work and holiday shopping.

About Diane Sweet

Diane Sweet's picture
Senior Editor, Lives in a gerrymandered district in Michigan.

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