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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Hit Bravo
Rush to buy new sneakers leads to arrests
     2011-December-28  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

Oh, the joys of holiday shopping: the eve of Christmas Eve, Air Jordans and the sting of pepper spray in the eye.

When retailers around the United States put the new retro Nike Air Jordan basketball shoe on sale on Friday, they were hoping for a modest last-minute boost two days before Christmas. What they got instead was a surge of shoppers so intent on buying a pair of the US$180 shoes that in at least a dozen cities the police had to be summoned, and in a few cases, arrests were made.

In Charlotte, North Carolina, shoppers smashed glass doors to get to the sneakers. In suburban Atlanta, the police made four arrests when a crowd broke down a door to get into a store before it opened. In Richmond, California, a man fired a single gunshot in the air just after a mall opened. In Louisville, officers had to stop fights that popped up among a crowd of waiting shoppers. And in a suburb of Seattle, the police used pepper spray.

It wasn't just any sneaker they were after, but the Air Jordan 11 Retro Concord, a version of the shoe Michael Jordan first wore in 1995 and was promptly fined by the National Basketball Association of the United States for failing to conform to the league's dress-code rules. Once the model was made available to the public, it became a big seller, its black-and-white tuxedo design sometimes substituted for dress shoes.

Early Friday morning, however, police departments unaware of the shoe's provenance were caught flat footed.

In Tukwila, Washington, south of Seattle, sneaker aficionados started showing up at the Westfield Southcenter Mall before midnight to wait for the shoes to go on sale at 4 a.m.

Mall officials had told the authorities that they expected a crowd of no more than 400 and would need only two police officers to help with security.

But within a couple of hours, 2,000 people were waiting, rather impatiently, said Mike Murphy, a spokesman for the Tukwila Police Department. Some, he said, were smoking marijuana and drinking.

"It was not a nice, orderly group of shoppers," he said.

The city of 19,000 had only nine other officers available, Murphy said. All were called to the mall.

"Clearly that wasn't enough to control the crowds," Murphy said. "Fights started breaking out, so some pepper spray was used to disrupt the fighting. That stopped the fighting, but of course it agitated the crowd."

Twenty-five extra officers from around the area were brought in, and before long things quieted down without serious injury, Murphy said.

The police said people had broken two doors to get inside the mall and that an 18-year-old was arrested for punching a police officer. Another man was told to leave after he displayed what the authorities said were gang signs.

Murphy said that by 6 a.m., the four stores in the mall that had the shoes were sold out -- a total of about 1,500 pairs.

 

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