Air Jordans spark fights, vandalism and pepper spray incident (VIDEO)
Air Jordans went on sale Friday. Shoppers lined up all night to purchase the coveted sneakers, but in some states fights broke out and police made arrests.
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The Air Jordan has since been a consistent hit with sneaker fans, spawning a subculture of collectors willing to wait hours to buy the latest pair. Some collectors save the shoes for special occasions or never take them out of the box.Skip to next paragraph
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A new edition was launched each year, and release dates had to be moved to the weekends at some points to keep kids from skipping school to get a pair.
But the uproar over the shoe had died down in recent years. These latest incidents seem to be part of trend of increasing acts of violence at retailers this holiday shopping season, such as the shopper who pepper-sprayed others at a Wal-Mart in Los Angeles on Black Friday and crowds looting a clothing store in New York.
Nike issued a statement in response to the violence that said: "Consumer safety and security is of paramount importance. We encourage anyone wishing to purchase our product to do so in a respectful and safe manner."
The retro version of the Air Jordan 11 was a highly sought-after shoe because of the design and the fact that the original was released in 1996 when Jordan and the Bulls were at the height of their dominance.
Pulver said they were a "defining shoe in Jordan's career."
In Taylor, Michigan, about 100 people forced their way into a shopping center around 5:30 a.m., damaging decorations and overturning benches. Police say a 21-year-old man was arrested.
In Stockton, Detective Joe Silva said a person was taken into custody at Weberstown Mall on suspicion of making criminal threats involving the shoes. Police also were investigating an attempted robbery in the mall's parking lot. The victim was wrongly believed to have just purchased Air Jordans.
In Tukwila, Officer Murphy said the crowd was on the verge of a riot and would have gotten even more out of hand if the police hadn't intervened.
About 25 officers from Tukwila and surrounding areas responded. Murphy said police smelled marijuana and found alcohol containers at the scene.
"It was not a nice, orderly group of shoppers," Murphy said. "There were a lot of hostile and disorderly people."
The Southcenter mall's stores sold out of the Air Jordans, and all but about 50 people got a pair, Murphy said.
Shoppers described the scene as chaotic and at times dangerous.
Carlisa Williams said she joined the crowd at the Southcenter for the experience and ended up buying two pairs of shoes, one for her and one for her brother. But she said she'll never do anything like it again.
"I don't understand why they're so important to people," Williams told KING-TV. "They're just shoes at the end of the day. It's not worth risking your life over."
IN PICTURES: Take the ridiculous with the stylish