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Nike frenzy strikes again

The arrival of Nike’s new Air Jordan 11 Retro Concords in stores just in time for Christmas brought pandemonium all over the country.

Thousands lined up across the country to shell out $180 for the black and white “J’s” that went on sale at midnight.

Police were called to shopping centers in Indiana, Florida, Texas and Virginia among other states to control crowds of hundreds lining up for the shoes.

“I don’t remember anything like this in the recent past at all, definitely not with the iPhone or anything like that,” Linda Jackson, a spokeswoman for the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, told

Indiana police were called to three malls to help control “hectic” scenes of hundreds of shoppers, including many teenagers and children.

“It was pretty much a surprise for us,” Jackson said. “I imagine the malls knew, but I don’t know that they were prepared for the response.”

Frantic shoppers even tried to break down a door at one of the Indiana malls.

“There was a door that was damaged, but I don’t believe they were able to gain access,” Jackson said. “It sounded like these are the need-to-have item of the season, for some reason.”

In Atlanta, at least four people were arrested in a mob scene at a suburban mall, according to the Associated Press. Twenty police cars responded and the crowd broke down a door to enter the mall before it opened.

Police had to smash the windows of a car to get two toddlers out after a woman had left them there to go buy the shoes. She was taken into custody when she returned, according to the AP.

Florida police used pepper spray on unruly shoe seekers and fights were reported in Kentucky; glass was shattered at stores in North Carolina.

Within hours, hundreds of pairs of the shoes were on sale on eBay, some for more than $500. Many of the pairs already had dozens of bidders.

After Christmas Melee

50-strong brawl turns to melee at Mall of America

Officials says a moving melee involving scores of juveniles at the Mall of America took police and security officers over an hour to control as shoppers packed the sprawling shopping center the day after Christmas.

Mall spokeswoman Bridget Jewell says about 50 young people were involved in a fight at a food court Monday afternoon and that dozens of them then swarmed through the Minnesota mall as bystanders ran into stores to get out of the way.

Fifteen-year-old Makenzie Shofner tells the Star Tribune ( ) that some of the mob grabbed items from shoppers and kiosks.

Police brought the melee under control after about an hour.

Mall officials say they did not lock down the mall, that no weapons were involved and no serious injuries were reported in the disturbance.

NEW NFL Fan Violence

Brutal fan violence breaks out in New Jersey and Miami

By Kristian Dyer, 12/14/11

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — It’s becoming an epidemic around the NFL as fan violence becomes a growing concern. This past weekend in both Miami and East Rutherford, N.J., fans were beaten badly at NFL venues.

28-year-old New York Jets fan James Mohr was hospitalized and had to undergo surgery following a brutal beating by several Kansas City Chiefs fans who attended the game at MetLife Stadium. The assault on Mohr, a physical education teacher in New York City, came after the Jets’ 37-10 win.

According to one report, Mohr was responding to a group of Chiefs fans telling him that “You all deserved what happened on 9/11,” and screaming obscenities about New York in general. Mohr’s sister Anna said that her brother was compelled to respond because “our other brother is a fireman, and my father is retired FDNY, so you can understand why a 9/11 comment would especially irk him. He was shocked anyone would actually say something like that.”

Mohr’s response that the comments were “disrespectful” apparently triggered the beating. He suffered a fractured jaw, cheekbone and eye socket, as well as bleeding on the brain.

A team spokesman told Yahoo! Sports in a statement that “We have reached out to James to wish him a speedy and full recovery. Our organization works hard to provide fans with a safe and secure environment and there is no place for this type of behavior. We are working with the stadium and New Jersey State Police to be certain that any and all perpetrators are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

The Jets are promising support for Mohr, much like they did when Rob Formola was beaten in the wake of the AFC Championship Game two years ago in Indianapolis.
“I just found out about it today,” Jets head coach Rex Ryan said. “I’ll reach out once the young man is feeling better. I’ll say this about our organization, I’m sure we’ll do something for him when he’s feeling better.”

Mohr was reported as being in fair condition Wednesday at Hackensack University Medical Center. One suspect, thirty-five-year-old Merle Lee of Newton, is free on bond and has been charged with aggravated assault.

An altercation in the parking lot following the Miami Dolphins loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday afternoon left a Dolphins fan laid out, his head hitting the asphalt with a sickening thud. A fight seemed to be brewing between the two fans, who verbally went at it with a couple failed swipes taken between the two. Then a third person entered the fray with a punch to the head.

This is far from the first weekend of fan violence in the NFL this year. Tn August, two San Francisco 49ers fans were shot following a preseason game against the Oakland Raiders.

Parking Lot Security

In the wake of several parking lot assaults this year, including a stabbing and two assaults outside the main gate at Qualcomm Stadium, more people are looking at parking lot safety.  One strategy that has reduced parking lot issues in Oakland has been the positioning of Police by the parking lot flaggers so patrons see the police presence.  Police also patrol the lot in pairs using bikes, on foot, and using horses.  Part of the effort is to identify inappropriate conduct, but also to prevent binge drinking.  San Francisco has developed several strategies to encourage people to stop tailgating and enter the stadium including random distribution of vouchers, suite upgrades, and even pregame field passes so fans would not be tailgating into the middle of the game.

Fan Re-Training

NFL teams are allowing bad apples back into the stadiums.  With the increase in inappropriate behavior by some fans, several NFL teams such as the Jets, Patriots, Colts, and Falcons (along with the Bills, Browns, Eagles, Lions, and Packers who are trying to adopt similar programs) have started using a fan education program to allow expelled fans to once again return to the stadium.  The Internet based program takes four hours for alcohol violations and two hours for profanity based expulsions.  The teams are charging various amounts from $50 to over $100 for the course with a percentage of the money received going to various charities.  After taking the course and submitting a certificate of completion the expelled fan can be reinstated so they can attend a future event at the facility.  Of the fans ejected from Gillette stadium this year, 30-40% have completed the course.  Another 30% have taken the course but have yet to submit the certificate.

Britian Increases Security Spending for Olympics

In a major effort to change its image, British Olympic officials have doubled the amount of money dedicated to preventing terrorism at the 2012 games.  The new security budget is $1.6 billion.  The increased funding comes after several security reviews suggested the total number of 10,000 estimated security personnel would not be enough.  Now British soldiers and others will be added to the security plans.

Fans hurt during field rush in OK

STILLWATER, Oklahoma (AP) — Thousands of fans stormed the field and tore down goalposts after Oklahoma State’s 44-10 victory over archrival Oklahoma in a college football game, leaving at least 13 people injured, including two in critical condition, medical authorities said early Sunday.

Michael Authement, who heads the command post at emergency medical provider LifeNet EMS, told The Associated Press that a throng so big took to the field as the game ended that some fans were trampled and one person fell at least 15 feet (4.5 meters) onto concrete during a wild celebration by Oklahoma State fans.

No. 13 Oklahoma State routed the Sooners on Saturday night to win the Big 12 conference championship and make its case to play for the Bowl Championship Series college football national title. The Cowboys (11-1, 8-1 Big 12) snapped an eight-game losing streak in the intrastate rivalry and won their first outright conference title since 1948 in the three-team Missouri Valley.

“They won the game and stormed the field and ripped down the goalposts, and some were jumping off the stands and hit the field and others got trampled. It was a nasty deal,” Authement said.

He said the crowd was so big it took police at least 45 minutes to clear fans from the field at the university’s Boone Pickens Stadium, which has a capacity of more than 60,000 people, according to the school’s website.

“There were thousands of people. Thousands of people stormed the field. You couldn’t move there were so many people,” he added.

AP photographs showed fans climbing atop the yellow goalposts and tearing them apart amid a crush of people on the field. Scores of hands stretched out to pull down the goalposts during the celebration.

Authement said nine ambulances, including six from LifeNet, rushed 11 of the injured away and the two with critical injuries were flown to Oklahoma City hospitals. He said he knew of leg fractures but didn’t have any details on the extent of the injuries, though two of the 13 had minor injuries and were treated at the scene and released.

A spokeswoman for Integris Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City wouldn’t release details Sunday morning about patients being treated there. Phone messages and emails sent to several university and athletic department spokespeople weren’t immediately returned.

Lesser injuries included broken ankles, ankle sprains and back sprains, said Shyla Eggers, public relations director for Stillwater Medical Center. She told AP that her hospital received six of the injured in ambulances and two in private vehicles, and at least two of them have been admitted and would undergo surgery on broken ankles.

“Our staff that was on hand took care of it. They were just very busy,” Eggers said. “Game day is always busy.”

She had no immediate details on the more serious injuries.

An Oklahoma State University police central dispatcher said she had no immediate details to release when contacted by AP, and the public information officer did not immediately return messages seeking comment. Stillwater police said they had a handful of officers at the game, and the Oklahoma highway patrol had no immediate comment.

Authement said fans began storming the field with about 20 seconds left in the game. He said he had reports of people falling and being trampled in the surge.

Case against Mets fails

In Matthew Staudt v. Sterling Mets, LP (Supreme Court, Queens, NY, 2011) The plaintiff alleged that he sustained personal injuries during a fight with several individuals outside old Shea Stadium.  The Mets argued (through Carla Varriale, one of our esteemed board members) that the alleged assault was unexpected and unforeseeable.  They also argued that they did not own or control the area outside their stadium so they did not have a duty to monitor and protect those areas.  The plaintiff tried to argue that the Mets owed a duty to secure the stadium approach area.  The court disagreed with this analysis and held that the team was not responsible for providing security outside the stadium, especially when under the lease agreement the city operated the parking area.  The court also agreed that this was a sudden unforeseeable attack that the Mets could not have prevented.

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