Man injured at Saginaw Walmart says scene was 'complete chaos'

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by TERESA WOODARD

WFAA

Posted on November 30, 2013 at 10:23 AM

Updated Saturday, Nov 30 at 10:40 AM

SAGINAW -- Within seconds of Black Friday blockbuster deals going on sale Thursday night, there was chaos inside the Saginaw Walmart.

"Just complete chaos," said the man caught in the center of it all. He did not want to be identified, but in a phone interview, he did provide a full account of what happened.

He said he arrived at 5:15 p.m. Thanksgiving night, hoping to buy brand name headphones that were on sale for $80 off the regular price. The longer he stood near the headphone display, the larger the crowd grew. And as it swelled, tempers flared, but no fights broke out.

The trouble really started when the sale began at 8 p.m.

"When they said go, I started to approach the pallet where the products were at, and as I was grabbing some of the products, the display gave way," he said. "I fell on top of the display and I had probably 10 or 15 people on top of me. The next thing I know, my wife is pulling people off, my brother's trying to get to me, the cops were pulling people off. After that it was just a blur."

The video shows workers ordering the crowd to back up as police officers moved in. Then, the man who was on the bottom of the pile can be seen being helped out of the store by his brother.

"I'm fine, I'm just real sore," he said Friday.

He explained he was in pain as he was leaving the store because he had shoulder surgery in September. EMTs looked at him in the parking lot, but he did not go to a hospital.

After watching the video himself, he was angry.

"Watching it, there were people jumping on the pile just to jump," he said. "There was no way they were going to get anything under them."

"I'm just glad the cops were there and Saginaw's police, their officers were there quick to pull people off me," he said, adding, "had they not gotten to me quick like they did, then it probably could've been worse."

Walmart said its events overall were safe. While they did say they had a few minor incidents, a vice president said the incidents were resolved quickly as independent security and local police officers stepped in.

E-mail twoodard@wfaa.com

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