Concord Shoes Cause Serious Crowd Problem At Westfield Annapolis And Arundel Mills

| December 23, 2011 | 2 Comments

UPDATE 03:55 PM 12/23/2011: Contrary to their earlier report, the Anne Arundel County Police Department has released the following update which offers more details of the incident at Westfield Annapolis this morning. This update advises of three arrests, at least one injury and that the incident required a response  from, not only the  AACoPD, but also the Anne Arundel County Sheriff’s Office, Annapolis City Police, and the Maryland State Police.  According to Lt. J.D. Batten Jr., “large crowds also formed at the Arundel Mills Mall in reference to the same shoes being sold.  Two arrests were made at Arundel Mills Mall, but no information is available at this time on the suspects or charges.” Eye On Annapolis was first to report these incidents at both the Westfield Annapolis mall and the Arundel Mills Mall.

Anne Arundel County police officers remained on-site at the Westfield Mall to assist with crowd control near stores where the in-demand shoes were being sold. More than one store in the mall was scheduled to sell the shoes, and large crowds continued to form in the mall before the stores opened. The size of the crowds required additional police resources from the Annapolis City Police Department, the Anne Arundel County Sheriff’s Department and the Maryland State Police to facilitate crowd control and patron safety. No estimate on the number of officers required is available at this time.

Outside the Foot Locker store, officers used barricades near the store front to channel waiting patrons and keep lines intact. Despite these efforts, some persons in the crowd remained unruly, and there was minor and intermittent pushing and shoving among the waiting patrons.

One male approached the barricades in an attempt to move to the front of the line. Officers manning the barricades knew a large-scale fight was likely to erupt and hundreds of persons could be injured if the male successfully moved ahead of other awaiting shoppers. Officers instructed the male patron to step away from the barricade, and although he initially complied, the male returned twice more in an attempt to cut in line. On the third approach, the patron refused officers’ instructions to step away. The officers’ orders were given to prevent a large disturbance inside the mall, and officers attempted to arrest the male for his failure to obey their lawful order. As they attempted to take the suspect into custody, the suspect used both hands to push one officer in the chest. The suspect was taken into custody without injury to him or the officers.

Suspect:

Sean Maurice Turner, 32, 1727 S Street SE, Washington DC was charged with Failure to Obey a Lawful Order, Disorderly Conduct and 2nd Degree Assault.

In a separate Westfield Mall incident on December 23, 2011, approximately 0743 hours, an officer was summonsed to the area of the Lids Store at approximately 0745 hours for a trespassing complaint. Mall security personnel advised they had repeatedly directed a 19-year-old female to leave the mall for disorderly behavior. The female refused to comply with their instructions and continued walking through the mall.

The responding Anne Arundel County Police officer additionally instructed the female multiple times to leave the mall or face arrest for trespassing. The female refused and resisted arrest when the officer attempted to take her into custody. As the officer unsuccessfully struggled to handcuff the resistant female, a male who was later identified as her boyfriend, tried to interfere with the arrest. The officer was able to push the male away and maintain his grasp of female long enough for other officers to arrive and assist. Both suspects were taken into custody.

Suspects:

Leah Danielle Garrison, 19, 1909 W. Nedro Avenue, Philadelphia, PA was charged with Trespassing. Garrision later complained of pain in her right side; she was transported to Anne Arundel Medical Center for treatment.

Cameron Demarco Gilbert, 19, 9647 Oxbridge Way, Mitchellville, MD was charged with Obstructing/Hindering and Resisting Arrest.

UPDATE 10:15 AM 12/23/2011:  The following was just released from the Anne Arundel County Police Department. However, we are still hearing from mall merchants that there are still problems.  Stay tuned.

 On December 23, 2011, at approximately 0430 hours, security personnel at the Westfield Annapolis Mall requested police assistance in reference to a large crowd.  Officers from Southern District arrived and learned several retailers had planned a pre-sale of Air Jordan shoes later in the day.  A large crowd of patrons assembled to await the sale, and Mall security requested these customers remain in their vehicles until the stores officially opened at 0600 hours.  The original crowd of approximately 200 refused to cooperate with directions, and the crowd size grew to approximately 500 persons by 0530 hours.   

Numerous Anne Arundel County officers and several Annapolis City Police officers responded to provide crown control.  Westfield Annapolis Management consulted with the stores selling the shoes and the pre-sale was cancelled.  The crowd was disbanded without incident and patrons were told to return during regular business hours. 

As of this writing, Anne Arundel County police officers remain on-site at the Westfield Mall for as stores open to assist with crowd control. No further information is available at this time.

UPDATE 10:04 AM 12/23/2011: The Baltimore Sun (paywalled) is reporting that the pre-sale for the shoes was canceled and the crowd disbanded and left without incident. We have heard from an employee who works at the mall that there were indeed arrests made. We will update as more information becomes available.

The release of the Nike Air Jordan XI “Concord” sneakers has caused serious problems for Anne Arundel County Police at the popular Westfield Annapolis Mall two days before Christmas.  We have also heard of similar reports at the Arundel Mills Mall as well as malls around the country. In Seattle, police had to use pepper spray to control the crowd. Locally, crowd control issues popped up at Potomac Mills, Manassas, Wheaton, Montgomery, Lake Forest Malls. In the Carolina Place Mall, fights broke out.

 

With a limited number of shoes available, people began lining up overnight for an early morning opening. Police were reportedly out in force. From unconfirmed reports, police were prepared to deal with the unruly crowd and deploy tasers and batons and several arrests have been made.  The Anne Arundel County Police have not returned our call at this time.

Following are some tweets that have been sent about the incident. Some of the language in the tweets may be offensive.

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/_TlovesU/status/150215164363407361″]

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/Ms_PrettyRed1/status/150211972493877248″]

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/Wirelessnhealth/status/150202802596098049″]

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/BossHogGangsta/status/150201387802820612″]

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/cernamwmx4/status/150199462243999745″]

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/NaeSoSassy/status/150199416366702592″]

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/jes_sully/status/150198431779004416″]

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/QreaminPete/status/150198243865796608″]

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/nMyZnE/status/150196203764723712″]

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/lovaboi605/status/150189768209215488″]

We will update this story as soon as we receive a response from the Anne Arundel County Police.

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