Police break up Nike shoe crowd at mall

Feb. 24, 2012 at 1:25 PM
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ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 24 (UPI) -- Police in riot gear quelled and dispersed a crowd of hundreds of people who turned out in Florida for the scheduled sale of a new limited-edition Nike shoe.

The crowd had been asked Thursday night to wait across the street from Florida Mall in Orlando, Fla., where the glow-in-the-dark Nikes were to be sold at a Foot Locker starting at midnight. But hundreds of people ran toward the store about 9:45 p.m., the Orlando Sentinel reported.

More than 100 law enforcement officers were continuing to disperse the crowd at midnight.

No one was hurt or arrested.

The sale, which had been timed to the NBA All-Star Game in Orlando, was canceled.

"Florida Mall is closed," a deputy driving around the perimeter of the mall announced on a loudspeaker. "Please leave the premises. This is an unlawful gathering. There is no shoe release tonight."

"I saw hundreds of people running toward me. I thought I was going to get trampled," said Amanda Charles, 20, who drove from Jacksonville with friends in hopes of buying the $220 shoes.

Similar shoe sales elsewhere have led to violence, injuries and arrests, the Sentinel said.

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