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The Black Friday Thread: Walmart Worker Trampled and Killed By Crowd

Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Communications expert for the millennial generationRegistered User regular
edited December 2008 in Debate and/or Discourse
This is the designated Black Friday thread.
Talk about the great deals you got!
Share your best horror stories.
Discuss the insanity of mobs!

Yikes.
A worker was killed in the crush Friday after a throng of shoppers eager for post-Thanksgiving bargains burst through the doors at a suburban Wal-Mart, authorities said.

At least four other people were injured, and the store in Valley Stream on Long Island was closed.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in Bentonville, Ark., called the incident a "tragic situation" and said the employee came from a temporary agency and was doing maintenance work at the store.

"He was bum-rushed by 200 people," co-worker Jimmy Overby, 43, told the Daily News. "They took the doors off the hinges. He was trampled and killed in front of me. They took me down too. ... I literally had to fight people off my back."

Nassau County police said the 34-year-old worker was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead at about 6 a.m. The man's name was not released and the cause of death was not immediately known.

A police statement said shortly after the store's 5 a.m. opening time, shoppers "physically broke down the doors, knocking (the worker) to the ground."

A metal portion of the door was crumpled like an accordion.

Shoppers around the country lined up early outside stores in the annual bargain hunting ritual known as Black Friday. Many stores open early and stay open late, and some of the most dramatic bargains are available in limited quantities.

Among the bargains offered by Wal-Mart for Friday were Samsung 50-inch high definition Plasma TVs for less than $800.

Witnesses told the Daily News that before the store was closed, eager shoppers streamed past emergency crews as they worked furiously to save the worker's life.

"They were working on him, but you could see he was dead," said Halcyon Alexander, 29. "People were still coming through."

A 28-year-old pregnant woman was taken to a hospital for observation, and she and the unborn baby were both reported to be OK, said Sgt. Anthony Repalone, a Nassau County police spokesman. Four or five other people suffered minor injuries, he said.

Ellen Davis, a spokeswoman at National Retail Federation, said the group knew of no other incident where a retail employee has died working on the day after Thanksgiving.

Wal-Mart is working closely with police, company spokesman Dan Fogleman said.

"The safety and security of our customers and associates is our top priority," Fogleman said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with them and their families at this difficult time."

It will be okay!
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Fuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud on
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Posts

  • MedopineMedopine __BANNED USERS
    edited November 2008
    That's generally fucked up.

    Nah, that's really fucked up.

    Ugh.

    Medopine on
  • ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Why does a sale turn people into complete and total fuck heads? :(

    Shadowfire on
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  • DasUberEdwardDasUberEdward Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    That is such an incredibly low price for a television.

    DasUberEdward on
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  • jungleroomxjungleroomx He is could be vampire. Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I worked at a Wal Mart doing truck unloading before entering the military (and yes, the two are related). The one black friday I worked there was a complete mess, we had to get trained on handcuffing people and I, by myself, broke up 3 fights. As a group, the unloaders broke up over a dozen fights and ended up handcuffing nearly ten people.

    It's ridiculous and almost shameful.

    jungleroomx on
    Bama wrote: »
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    complacency sucks.
    It's not so bad once you get used to it.
  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    This is why we can't have Boxing Day people.

    Quid on
  • DasUberEdwardDasUberEdward Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    From a more topical perspective. I just really want to see one news report that says that people tried to stop this person from being crushed. I need just a bit of hope in humanity.

    DasUberEdward on
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  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray the swamp, always the swampRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Why wouldn't they release the name of this man? He was killed by a crowd driven by greed, he deserves to be more than a faceless, nameless "employee".

    Aldo on
    Elendil wrote: »
    said Aldo hazily, before clop-clop-clopping out of the room
  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Aldo wrote: »
    Why wouldn't they release the name of this man? He was killed by a crowd driven by greed, he deserves to be more than a faceless, nameless "employee".
    Can't be done without the approval of next of kin.

    Quid on
  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray the swamp, always the swampRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Quid wrote: »
    Aldo wrote: »
    Why wouldn't they release the name of this man? He was killed by a crowd driven by greed, he deserves to be more than a faceless, nameless "employee".
    Can't be done without the approval of next of kin.
    Oh. Hmm. No point discussing that, then.

    Anyway: wtf humanity. D:

    Aldo on
    Elendil wrote: »
    said Aldo hazily, before clop-clop-clopping out of the room
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    A gunman opened fire at a Toys R Us store in Palm Desert, killing two and causing shoppers at the busy store to scramble for cover.

    Palm Desert Councilman Bob Spiegel told The Times that based on early reports, two rival groups shopping at the store had some kind of argument and then shots were fired. Two men were killed in the exchange of gunfire, he said.

    [strike]Also the pregnant woman who was partly trampled at Wal~Mart miscarried.[/strike] So today's black friday death count is at 3, and it's only the afternoon.

    Who holds some of the blame here, and what can be done? This has been generations in the making, after all, and won't get fixed overnight. But still, it is beyond a travesty. And this year's sales aren't even good. Would there be even more casualties had the TV's been an additional 10% off?

    moniker on
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  • ElkiElki learned nothing, and forgotten nothing Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited November 2008
    Sad.

    Will this stop news outlets from reporting on store rush-ins like something that's totally funny and not something that'll obviously get someone killed?

    Elki on
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  • Ziac45Ziac45 Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Honestly I blame the stupid door busters, Get rid of those things and I think the rushes will be a lot less.

    Ziac45 on
  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray the swamp, always the swampRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    moniker wrote: »
    [strike]Also the pregnant woman who was partly trampled at Wal~Mart miscarried.[/strike] So today's black friday death count is at 3, and it's only the afternoon.

    Who holds some of the blame here, and what can be done? This has been generations in the making, after all, and won't get fixed overnight. But still, it is beyond a travesty. And this year's sales aren't even good. Would there be even more casualties had the TV's been an additional 10% off?
    I'm fully placing the blame with people so god damned greedy that they completely lose it the moment someone tells them there's cheap stuff to be found. However, it is impossible to change these people on a personal level. Maybe shops should stop hyping Black Friday? Maybe if these people weren't so full of adrenaline they would be less likely to gun down or trample others?

    The only other solution I can think of right now is hiring a Korean Starcraft champion and let him deal with these Zerg-rushes.

    Aldo on
    Elendil wrote: »
    said Aldo hazily, before clop-clop-clopping out of the room
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Ziac45 wrote: »
    Honestly I blame the stupid door busters, Get rid of those things and I think the rushes will be a lot less.

    The rushes are due to limited quantities. So unless you can come up with a bag of holding in the backroom you'll still have people camping out, and you'll still have rushes.

    I wonder if the Wal~Mart death would qualify under lynching laws, as it was a mob killing.

    moniker on
    tea-1.jpg
  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Aldo wrote: »
    However, it is impossible to change these people on a personal level. Maybe shops should stop hyping Black Friday?
    This is pretty much the only solution I can think of, though it isn't likely since no company wants to miss out on that many customers. Likely won't see any change without much worse casualties.

    Quid on
  • GoodOmensGoodOmens Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I worked at a Wal Mart doing truck unloading before entering the military (and yes, the two are related). The one black friday I worked there was a complete mess, we had to get trained on handcuffing people and I, by myself, broke up 3 fights. As a group, the unloaders broke up over a dozen fights and ended up handcuffing nearly ten people.

    It's ridiculous and almost shameful.

    You misspelled "completely and utterly." And what really makes my blood boil about the Walmart worker is that nobody will get charged, nobody will get justice, and the whole fucked up thing will happen again next year.

    GoodOmens on
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  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray the swamp, always the swampRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Quid wrote: »
    Aldo wrote: »
    However, it is impossible to change these people on a personal level. Maybe shops should stop hyping Black Friday?
    This is pretty much the only solution I can think of, though it isn't likely since no company wants to miss out on that many customers. Likely won't see any change without much worse casualties.

    Oh well. I - for one - am glad civilians don't carry guns over here. We have had some shit going on during big sales, but I can't remember anyone ever getting killed...let alone shot.

    *edit: whoops, didn't want to turn this into a gun laws discussion. Consider this post an off-hand comment, please.

    Aldo on
    Elendil wrote: »
    said Aldo hazily, before clop-clop-clopping out of the room
  • Robos A Go GoRobos A Go Go Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Quid wrote: »
    Aldo wrote: »
    However, it is impossible to change these people on a personal level. Maybe shops should stop hyping Black Friday?
    This is pretty much the only solution I can think of, though it isn't likely since no company wants to miss out on that many customers. Likely won't see any change without much worse casualties.

    Alternatively, they could move all the sales online.

    Just look at the thread in G&T. Half the people got their deals online and were damn happy about it. If people knew they weren't missing out by staying home, they'd gladly abandon the Black Friday tradition altogether.

    Robos A Go Go on
  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Quid wrote: »
    Aldo wrote: »
    However, it is impossible to change these people on a personal level. Maybe shops should stop hyping Black Friday?
    This is pretty much the only solution I can think of, though it isn't likely since no company wants to miss out on that many customers. Likely won't see any change without much worse casualties.

    Alternatively, they could move all the sales online.

    Just look at the thread in G&T. Half the people got their deals online and were damn happy about it. If people knew they weren't missing out by staying home, they'd gladly abandon the Black Friday tradition altogether.
    This too. Though I'd be happy if they just sort of strung out the sales over the holidays rather than put them all in one day.

    Quid on
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Aldo wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    [strike]Also the pregnant woman who was partly trampled at Wal~Mart miscarried.[/strike] So today's black friday death count is at 3, and it's only the afternoon.

    Who holds some of the blame here, and what can be done? This has been generations in the making, after all, and won't get fixed overnight. But still, it is beyond a travesty. And this year's sales aren't even good. Would there be even more casualties had the TV's been an additional 10% off?
    I'm fully placing the blame with people so god damned greedy that they completely lose it the moment someone tells them there's cheap stuff to be found. However, it is impossible to change these people on a personal level. Maybe shops should stop hyping Black Friday?

    The reason it is called Black Friday is because it is --or was-- the day that stores finally came back into the black for the entire year. November 25 they were still in debt due to payroll, inventory, maintenance, keeping the lights on, &c. for the rest of the year and then 24 hours of insanity brings them across the finish line to profitability. Then all of December pays for restarting for next year, bonuses, and dividends. It could still likely be improved while maintaining the massive profits that are garnered, but you'd be insane to expect a store to pretend that making $400k in sales in one day --which is what my podunk Target made in the 4th largest Chicago suburb-- doesn't have a major draw to it.
    Maybe if these people weren't so full of adrenaline they would be less likely to gun down or trample others?

    The idiots at Toys 'R' Us, sure, but the trampling death is also partly a function of crowds/mobs. You simply can't stop a wall of people. The ones in the back who are pushing don't realize that they need to stop, and the ones in the front can't repel the collective pushing of dozens of other people.

    moniker on
    tea-1.jpg
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Quid wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    Aldo wrote: »
    However, it is impossible to change these people on a personal level. Maybe shops should stop hyping Black Friday?
    This is pretty much the only solution I can think of, though it isn't likely since no company wants to miss out on that many customers. Likely won't see any change without much worse casualties.

    Alternatively, they could move all the sales online.

    Just look at the thread in G&T. Half the people got their deals online and were damn happy about it. If people knew they weren't missing out by staying home, they'd gladly abandon the Black Friday tradition altogether.
    This too. Though I'd be happy if they just sort of strung out the sales over the holidays rather than put them all in one day.

    They do, but people either don't realize it or don't care because zomg black friday!!! gotta have it now!!!

    moniker on
    tea-1.jpg
  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray the swamp, always the swampRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    moniker wrote: »
    The reason it is called Black Friday is because it is --or was-- the day that stores finally came back into the black for the entire year. November 25 they were still in debt due to payroll, inventory, maintenance, keeping the lights on, &c. for the rest of the year and then 24 hours of insanity brings them across the finish line to profitability. Then all of December pays for restarting for next year, bonuses, and dividends. It could still likely be improved while maintaining the massive profits that are garnered, but you'd be insane to expect a store to pretend that making $400k in sales in one day --which is what my podunk Target made in the 4th largest Chicago suburb-- doesn't have a major draw to it.



    The idiots at Toys 'R' Us, sure, but the trampling death is also partly a function of crowds/mobs. You simply can't stop a wall of people. The ones in the back who are pushing don't realize that they need to stop, and the ones in the front can't repel the collective pushing of dozens of other people.
    The people in the back are pushing because they're freaking out. I also understand why a shop would want to hype it up, but if they're going to spend all night cleaning up trampled corpses then maybe they should stop acting like a bunch of fucking morons.

    Aldo on
    Elendil wrote: »
    said Aldo hazily, before clop-clop-clopping out of the room
  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    moniker wrote: »
    They do, but people either don't realize it or don't care because zomg black friday!!! gotta have it now!!!
    Well then, Wal Mart sells guns. They know what to do.

    Quid on
  • CokomonCokomon Our butts are worth fighting for! Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Aldo wrote: »
    The only other solution I can think of right now is hiring a Korean Starcraft champion and let him deal with these Zerg-rushes.

    They should set up some turrets for when people come running in.

    Cokomon on
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  • AzioAzio Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Stories like this make me want to firebomb the nearest Walmart

    Azio on
  • KalTorakKalTorak Way up inside your butthole, Morty. WAAAAY up inside there.Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Cokomon wrote: »
    Aldo wrote: »
    The only other solution I can think of right now is hiring a Korean Starcraft champion and let him deal with these Zerg-rushes.

    They should set up some turrets for when people come running in.

    Lurkers, man. Only way to deal with crowds.

    KalTorak on
  • Knuckle DraggerKnuckle Dragger Explosive Ovine Disposal Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    moniker wrote: »
    A gunman opened fire at a Toys R Us store in Palm Desert, killing two and causing shoppers at the busy store to scramble for cover.

    Palm Desert Councilman Bob Spiegel told The Times that based on early reports, two rival groups shopping at the store had some kind of argument and then shots were fired. Two men were killed in the exchange of gunfire, he said.


    [strike]Also the pregnant woman who was partly trampled at Wal~Mart miscarried.[/strike] So today's black friday death count is at 3, and it's only the afternoon.

    Who holds some of the blame here, and what can be done? This has been generations in the making, after all, and won't get fixed overnight. But still, it is beyond a travesty. And this year's sales aren't even good. Would there be even more casualties had the TV's been an additional 10% off?

    I've been looking for more information on this because I lived in Palm Desert until about a year ago, and my father and grandfather still live down there; that store is a few blocks from my old house, and I used to walk past it on a daily basis. From what I have been able to piece together from my family, the shooting wasn't shopping related (or at least not totally), the two dead guys shot eachother and one of them had initially tried to walk away. Not sure on anything else, but it is really strange, because Palm Desert typically has very low violent crime, and I imagine there were cops all over the place today because that shopping center is very close to El Paseo and the local mall.

    Knuckle Dragger on
  • ElldrenElldren Is a woman dammit I'm a good person yes it's trueRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I think about 200 manslaughter charges would be nice.

    Elldren on
    fuck gendered marketing
  • MedopineMedopine __BANNED USERS
    edited November 2008
    Elldren wrote: »
    I think about 200 manslaughter charges would be nice.

    Just about impossible to get a conviction on that, let alone identify the defendants

    A civil suit by his family against WalMart might succeed though

    Medopine on
  • HozHoz Cool Cat Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I live in Palm Desert. Great to see it get national attention.

    Hoz on
  • ElldrenElldren Is a woman dammit I'm a good person yes it's trueRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Medopine wrote: »
    Elldren wrote: »
    I think about 200 manslaughter charges would be nice.

    Just about impossible to get a conviction on that, let alone identify the defendants

    A civil suit by his family against WalMart might succeed though

    I know. I think just charging them all would send the message.

    Be pretty wasteful, perhaps.

    Elldren on
    fuck gendered marketing
  • MorskittarMorskittar Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Elldren wrote: »
    Medopine wrote: »
    Elldren wrote: »
    I think about 200 manslaughter charges would be nice.

    Just about impossible to get a conviction on that, let alone identify the defendants

    A civil suit by his family against WalMart might succeed though

    I know. I think just charging them all would send the message.

    Be pretty wasteful, perhaps.

    I wonder how people who were toward the front of the line feel, or will feel, when they see this report and make the connection.

    Morskittar on
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  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Medopine wrote: »
    Elldren wrote: »
    I think about 200 manslaughter charges would be nice.

    Just about impossible to get a conviction on that, let alone identify the defendants

    A civil suit by his family against WalMart might succeed though

    Doesn't lynching laws cover mob/crowd killings?

    moniker on
    tea-1.jpg
  • MedopineMedopine __BANNED USERS
    edited November 2008
    Cursory wiki search brings me
    Many states now have specific anti-lynching statutes. California, for example, defines lynching, punishable by 2-4 years in prison, as "the taking by means of a riot of any person from the lawful custody of any peace officer," with the crime of "riot" defined as two or more people using violence or the threat of violence. A lyncher could thus be prosecuted for several crimes arising from the same action, e.g., riot, lynching, and murder. Although lynching in the historic sense is virtually nonexistent today, the lynching statutes are sometimes used in cases where several people try to wrest a suspect from the hands of police in order to help him escape, as alleged in a July 9, 2005, violent attack on a police officer in San Francisco.

    Medopine on
  • Salvation122Salvation122 Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Medopine wrote: »
    Elldren wrote: »
    I think about 200 manslaughter charges would be nice.

    Just about impossible to get a conviction on that, let alone identify the defendants

    A civil suit by his family against WalMart might succeed though

    Wal-Mart isn't really responsible for a crazed mob busting down the fucking doors.

    Salvation122 on
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  • MedopineMedopine __BANNED USERS
    edited November 2008
    Medopine wrote: »
    Elldren wrote: »
    I think about 200 manslaughter charges would be nice.

    Just about impossible to get a conviction on that, let alone identify the defendants

    A civil suit by his family against WalMart might succeed though

    Wal-Mart isn't really responsible for a crazed mob busting down the fucking doors.

    Their sale, their building, their security responsibility, their employee

    You could make a case

    Medopine on
  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    GoodOmens wrote: »
    I worked at a Wal Mart doing truck unloading before entering the military (and yes, the two are related). The one black friday I worked there was a complete mess, we had to get trained on handcuffing people and I, by myself, broke up 3 fights. As a group, the unloaders broke up over a dozen fights and ended up handcuffing nearly ten people.

    It's ridiculous and almost shameful.
    You misspelled "completely and utterly." And what really makes my blood boil about the Walmart worker is that nobody will get charged, nobody will get justice, and the whole fucked up thing will happen again next year.
    Wal-Mart will settle a wrongful death lawsuit with his family for at least a couple of million, I'm sure.

    Thanatos on
  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Medopine wrote: »
    Elldren wrote: »
    I think about 200 manslaughter charges would be nice.
    Just about impossible to get a conviction on that, let alone identify the defendants

    A civil suit by his family against WalMart might succeed though
    Wal-Mart isn't really responsible for a crazed mob busting down the fucking doors.
    Are you fucking shitting me?

    Wal-Mart isn't responsible for a random crazed mob walking down the street and breaking into their store. Wal-Mart is responsible for the crazed mob that they know shows up every Black Friday, that they advertise, pander to, and encourage. Wal-Mart created a situation where a trampling death was an easily foreseeable consequence, didn't have sufficient staff on hand to handle the rush, and are lucky that "beyond a reasonable doubt" would be very, very difficult to prove on this one, or their management would probably get charged with depraved indifference or criminally negligent homicide.

    Thanatos on
  • SlicerSlicer Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Medopine wrote: »
    Medopine wrote: »
    Elldren wrote: »
    I think about 200 manslaughter charges would be nice.

    Just about impossible to get a conviction on that, let alone identify the defendants

    A civil suit by his family against WalMart might succeed though

    Wal-Mart isn't really responsible for a crazed mob busting down the fucking doors.

    Their sale, their building, their security responsibility, their employee

    You could make a case

    It'd be better for some shoppers involved in the death to get prosecuted/sued if at all possible.

    Maybe some (but of course, not all) shoppers wouldn't be dicks on Black Friday if they knew they could get punished for acting like dicks.

    Slicer on
  • MedopineMedopine __BANNED USERS
    edited November 2008
    Criminal charges are out of the question here guys

    I know it would send a better message but in this situation unless someone actually admitted to trying to kill the dude it's not happening

    Medopine on
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