The Los Angeles Police Department is searching for a woman who allegedly used pepper spray on at least 20 people at the store in what authorities said was a deliberate attempt to get more merchandise.
Police on Friday were trying to develop a description of the woman, who left the store after the incident.
One witness said screams erupted after about 100 people waiting in line to snag Xbox gaming consoles and Wii video games got into a shoving match.
Alejandra Seminario, 24, said she was waiting in line to grab some toys at the store around 9:55 p.m. when people the next aisle over started shouting and ripping at the plastic wrap encasing gaming consoles. The store was supposed to be opened at 10 p.m.
"People started screaming, pulling and pushing each other, and then the whole area filled up with pepper spray," the Sylmar resident said. "I guess what triggered it was people started pulling the plastic off the pallets and then shoving and bombarding the display of games. It started with people pushing and screaming because they were getting shoved onto the boxes."
The pepper spray wafted through the air, Seminario said, and she breathed some in and started coughing. Her face also started itching.
"This was customer-versus-customer 'shopping rage,' " said Los Angeles Police Lt. Abel Parga.
The Los Angeles Fire Department arrived to treat those who were hurt. Shoppers complained of minor skin and eye irritation and sore throats. None of the injuries were serious.
The woman used the spray in more than one area of the Wal-Mart "to gain preferred access to a variety of locations in the store," said Los Angeles Fire Capt. James Carson.
"She was competitive shopping," he said.
According to KTLA News, YouTube video taken inside the store shows customers jostling to access the merchandise.
Tl;dr: A woman goes through a wal-mart using pepper spray to get at whatever deals she wants.
Some witnesses told Fox 10 that the actions taken by a police officer during a fight at that Walmart were wrong, but Buckeye police have a different story.
Witnesses told Fox 10 Friday morning that a grandfather was with his grandson and wife looking at video games. They said that people were tearing the box of games apart, trying to get to the videos, and a woman ended up getting punched.
"You literally would have thought there was a cure for cancer in this box, people were going insane," said witness Skylar Stone, who saw the whole thing and called it 'uncalled for.'
The grandson was trampled on in all the mayhem -- even cutting his lip. His grandpa put the game in his waistband so that he could lift the boy out of the crowd, according to some witnesses.
Witnesses said that's when a police officer grabbed the man and slammed him to the ground – possibly thinking he was stealing the game.
On a cell phone video taken at the Walmart, blood can be seen streaming from the grandfather's face. But witnesses said police didn't believe anything was wrong until they turned the man over.
“They grabbed the guy, body planted him into the ground -- face shatters on concrete. That's a hard concrete floor inside Walmart.
“All of a sudden, you see this little boy run up and wailing and yelling, ‘Grandpa, Grandpa,’ and crying his eyes out,” Stone said.
Witnesses said the man had about $600 worth of electronics that he was purchasing and wasn't trying to steal anything. They said he was just trying to get his grandson out of harm's way.
But on Friday afternoon, Buckeye police told Fox 10 a vastly different story.
The Buckeye police chief said the officer’s actions were justified and that the cell phone video of the fight showed only the very end of it. They said the Walmart's surveillance cameras did not capture the beginning of the fight.
Police said when the officer asked Jerald Newman about the video game he put in his waistband, he began flailing his arms.
"As the officer put handcuffs on the suspect, he resisted arrest, flailing his arms and pulling away from the officer backing up," said Buckeye Police Asst. Chief Larry Hall.
A leg sweep was used on Newman, who hit his head when he fell and began bleeding, police said.
"There's nothing on the surface to indicate our officer did anything inappropriate. It's difficult to arrest an individual because you don't know how that individual is going to react."
Because force was used in the arrest, the incident is under investigation. The officer involved is still on the job.
54-year-old Jerald Newman, of Fontana, Calif., was arrested after he was treated at a local hospital. He faces charges of resisting arrest and shoplifting.
UPDATE: Newman was released from jail at 4:15 a.m. Saturday.
Tl;dr: an older man puts a computer game in his belt, cop arrests guy and plants his face into wal-marts concrete floor. Cop says: shoplifting resisting arrest. Shoppers say: picking up his grandson to avoid getting crushed.
Discussion value: Why do people act like savages on black friday...y'know, more than usual?
Also post more stories of black friday incidents here.