Top 10 Worst Things Ever to Happen on Black Friday
VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Aaron Cameron.
Every Thanksgiving, crazy Black Friday sales mean there are even more insane Black Friday disasters. Whether it's shoppers trampling a Walmart employee to death, Target shoppers letting a man die or a marine getting stabbed at a Best Buy, Black Friday deals can lead to Black Friday deaths. WatchMojo counts down ten of the worst things ever to happen on Black Friday.
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Script written by Aaron Cameron.
Top 10 Worst Things Ever to Happen on Black Friday
Sometimes the cost is just too high – no matter how big the discount is. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 worst things ever to happen on Black Friday.
For this list, we’re looking at the most crazy, most terrifying and most tragic things to occur during Black Friday shopping madness – even if the incidents weren’t directly caused by Black Friday.
#10: Marine Stabbed at Best Buy (2010)
Cpl. Phillip Duggan – a U.S. Marine Corp. Reservist – was volunteering at a Toys for Tots stand outside a Georgia Best Buy when things went from festive to violent. Unbeknownst to him, Tracey Attaway had been found inside the store attempting to steal a Dell laptop. After giving up the computer, Attaway bolted, defending his exit by brandishing a knife and knocking over at least one employee. When the man ran out of the store, Cpl. Duggan clotheslined him, but in the resulting skirmish Attaway sliced the man’s back. Although the wound was not life threatening, Duggan was hospitalized, receiving three stitches, while Attaway was charged with aggravated assault, possession of a weapon and armed robbery. Owing to his 30 priors, Attaway eventually earned a life sentence.
#9: Walmart Brawl Sends Cop to Hospital (2013)
When a Walmart in California decided to open an hour earlier than planned on Thanksgiving night, mayhem followed. With as many as 5,000 people on the scene, customers got competitive and no fewer than three fistfights broke out. While two occurred inside the store over products, another kicked off outside, allegedly because someone cut in line. When one man got out of his car to throw down, police attempted to break up the brawl… which didn’t go so well for at least one cop. Raymond Rice, who was on parole, put up more of a fight than expected, resulting in a broken wrist for the would-be arresting officer. Police did manage to arrest Rice, while the officer required medical care.
#8: Police Tackle (Allegedly) Shoplifting Grandpa (2011)
Jerald Newman and his grandson Nicholas Nava were videogame shopping at an Arizona Walmart when they were pulled into a bout of Black Friday madness. According to Nicholas, customers were fighting over the games when Newman tucked one into his waistband for safekeeping, only to be questioned by police for the maneuver. Reports conflict about what happened next – police said the man resisted arrest; an on-scene CNN iReporter said he was fully co-operating – but all agree that Newman was then taken to the ground by a police-issued leg sweep. Out cold for 10 minutes, bloodied and handcuffed, Newman required four stitches to the face before being jailed for shoplifting and resisting arrest, while shoppers accused the police of using unnecessary force.
#7: Late Night Mugging & Shooting (2011)
San Leandro, California
The shopping high for cousins Christopher, Rafael, and Javier Murillo didn’t last long. After the cousins left a California Walmart, some baddies in a Buick rolled up and demanded they give up their haul. When one of the alleged muggers, Tony Phillips, tried to steal Rafael’s gold necklace, a fight broke out. Phillips’ accomplice, Detwone Watson, then fired a gun at Christopher, shooting him in the neck, just missing his carotid artery and leaving him in critical condition. Watson then fled in the Buick, leaving Phillips behind and subdued by the cousins. Phillips was arrested onsite, but Watson became the subject of a manhunt and was arrested two weeks later. Fortunately, Christopher survived the ordeal, while Phillips and Watson faced charges of armed robbery and attempted homicide.
#6: Pregnant Woman Trampled in Stampede (2005)
Grand Rapids, Michigan
If you’re pregnant, let’s just come right out and say it: Black Friday has just become too dangerous for you. Need proof? In 2005, an especially rowdy crowd in Grand Rapids, Michigan charged into Walmart when it opened at 5am and knocked a pregnant woman down. As seems to be a running theme on this list, customers continued to push through as she lay on the ground. Aside from the 13-year-old girl who was trampled and hospitalized for her troubles, it seems that no one else came to the woman’s aid. Nor did they help the poor lady who was also trampled and lost her wig in the melee.
#5: Sleep Deprived Father Crashes Car, Daughters Killed (2012)
Palo Alto, California
Black Friday 2012 was blacker than most for the Tandel family. Driving home from shopping and operating on three hours of sleep, Arvind Tandel nodded off just before 7AM, crashing his Lexus SUV and rolling it multiple times. Tandel survived with injuries, as did his wife and two of his daughters; however, daughters Nisha and Sheetal were thrown from the vehicle and killed. Neither had been wearing a seatbelt and all four daughters had been crammed into seating for three as the SUV was packed with their purchases. Meanwhile, a police officer was roadside helping some folks change a tire when the Lexus struck his car, injuring the officer and causing the cruiser to hit one of the motorists, bringing the total to 2 dead, 6 injured and earning Tandel two charges of vehicular manslaughter.
#4: LA Walmart Pepper Spray Incident (2011)
Porter Ranch, California
If you’re going to bargain hunt, come prepared. One 32-year-old woman did just that when she hit up the Porter Ranch Walmart in Los Angeles in 2011. Armed with pepper spray, the shopper let loose on her fellow customers when a crate of videogames was being unwrapped. As many as 20 people were sprayed, and other minor injuries occurred due to the ensuing panic and confusion. Stranger still, amid a crowd fighting for half-off games, Wiis and Xboxes, the woman managed to pay for her purchases and slip out of the store unnoticed, eventually turning herself in a day later. While police didn’t necessarily accept her self-defense claim, they also didn’t have enough evidence to charge her and so she was free to walk and spray again.
#3: Shootout at Toys “R” Us (2008)
Palm Desert, California
You never expect a trip to Toys “R” Us to end in a shootout. Things in Palm Desert, California began around 11:30am when two female customers got into a verbal spat that soon became a physical conflict. When one of the women drew blood, the men they were with drew handguns with one man firing into the air and then at the other man. The two chased each other through the store, with a reported five or six shots fired in the process. When the pair reached the checkout, the showdown ended with both men killing the other. Although the store was packed, no one really knows what set the two couples off, but it was reportedly that it was not the result of competitive shopping.
#2: Stampede Kills Walmart Employee (2008)
Valley Steam, New York
Shortly before a Long Island, NY Walmart was set to open for Black Friday ‘08, customers – lined up in the hopes of scoring deeply discounted flat screen TVs – began hitting, shoulder checking, and pushing at the store’s glass doors. Employees tried to contain the situation but the crowd burst in, taking down seasonal worker Jdimytai “Jimmy” Damour in the process. Hundreds trampled Damour and even pushed through the police and paramedics tending to him. Within an hour, Damour had died, but shoppers were not deterred. Additionally, four other people – including a heavily pregnant woman – were also injured, with police calling the whole situation “utter chaos.” As a result of the tragedy, Walmart promised better crowd control in the future but, as we’ve seen from today’s list, that hasn’t always panned out.
Before we unveil our top pick here is an honorable or, in this case, dishonorable mention:
- Urban Outfitters Crowd Battle (2011)
Thousand Oaks, California
#1: Target Shoppers Let a Man Die (2011)
South Charleston, West Virginia
By all accounts, West Virginian Walter Vance was a well-loved, compassionate man, but that compassion was not returned in Vance’s final moments. A 61-year-old pharmacist with a history of heart problems, Vance ventured out into the excitement of Black Friday 2011 shortly after Target’s midnight opening to buy more Christmas decorations for his store. Sometime soon after, however, Vance collapsed while the herded masses of shoppers not only passed by but stepped over him as he lay dying. An off-duty paramedic was an exception, as was a nurse who attempted to give him CPR, but for everyone else Vance was little more than an obstacle standing in the way of cheap merchandise.
Do you agree with our list? What’s the worst Black Friday story you’ve heard? For more terrifying Top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.