Police "body-planted" a man at a Buckeye Walmart's Black Friday event after the man put a video game in his waistband while helping a grandson who was being jostled in a crowd.
The take-down, which left the man bloody, was one of several violent acts reported across the country related to America's annual orgasm of retail sales.
This year's Black Friday has spurred robberies in California and South Carolina, and a mischievous pepper-spray attack on shoppers in Porter Ranch, California, that hurt 20 people.
The Buckeye incident is catching national attention this morning.
According to news reports, a crowd of fired-up shoppers at the Walmart were clawing at a box of videos games when a little boy was "trampled" and cut his lip. The boy's grandfather then tried to lift the kid, first sticking a video game he was holding in his waistband. The guy reportedly had $600 worth of other merchandise with him he intended to buy -- not exactly the shoplifter type.
One witness of the incident quoted by Channel 10 news (KSAZ-TV) seems to indicate that police wildly over-reacted:
"You would have thought there was a cure for cancer in this box," said shopper Skyler Stone. "I mean people were literally going insane.
"They grabbed the guy, body planted him into the ground -- face shatters on concrete. That's a hard concrete floor inside Walmart.
"All of a sudden, you see this little boy run up and wailing and yelling, 'Grandpa, Grandpa,' and crying his eyes out," Stone said.
Bystanders, naturally, grabbed their camera-phones and started recording. Here's a video of the aftermath someone put on YouTube:
We left a message for Buckeye PD, and we'll let you know if they call back.
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Shopper surveys show this year's Black Friday is expected to be a biggie, despite the country's ongoing economic gumminess. The number of consumers who planned to shop on the day after Thanksgiving and during the long weekend is way up.
Shopping madness isn't just a metaphor, sometimes. While not as bad as the stampedes of Mecca pilgrims or British soccer fans, the frenzy over discounted merchandise has in recent years spawned fights, gunfire, tramplings and other beastly behavior.
At least most people save their violence till they get home, acting it out vicariously in the video games they bought for half-off.