A crowd waiting to get in Oglethorpe Mall to buy Air Jordans was pepper sprayed by mall security, according to Savannah-Chatham police, and two men were robbed of their new Air Jordans at Savannah Mall.
The Air Jordan 11 Retro “Concord” was released to the public overnight, selling for $180. The release brought crushing crowds across the country and multiple arrests.
Pepper spray used at Oglethorpe Mall
A metro police officer was hit when Oglethorpe Mall security pepper sprayed the crowd shortly before 7 a.m., according to police spokeswoman Gena Moore. The officer was treated on-scene and was back on duty by Friday afternoon, Moore said.
Scott Born — a spokesman for the company that provides Oglethorpe Mall’s security — said the mall’s security director, Howard Gilbert, sprayed the crowd after a maintenance man got his arm caught in a door he was trying to repair at one of the mall’s entrances.
Born said Gilbert repeatedly asked the crowd to stand back so the maintenance man could free his arm and warned that he’d use pepper spray if they didn’t. The crowd didn’t move, Born said.
Robbery at Savannah Mall
Just before 8 a.m., two men were leaving Savannah Mall with their new Air Jordans, police say, when they were robbed by four teens in a white Mazda Protege who demanded the shoes and said they had a gun.
Police say they spotted the Mazda minutes after the robbery, which happened outside Burlington Coat Factory. Tavontai Johnson, 19, allegedly jumped out of the car and ran toward Regal Cinemas but was caught by police. The three other suspects, 17-year-old James Johnson, 17-year-old Janard Coney and a 16-year-old juvenile stayed in the car, police say.
Officers allegedly found both pairs of shoes, a pistol and a magazine in the Mazda.
Police have charged James Johnson, Tavontai Johnson and Coney with robbery. The juvenile is not being charged at this time, police say, but their investigation is ongoing.
Problems across the country
Savannah is one of several cities where problems associated with the shoe release have been reported. The Associated Press reports that in suburban Seattle police used pepper spray on about 20 people who started fighting at Westfield Southcenter mall Friday.
DeKalb County police tell Fox 5 Atlanta that 20 police cars responded to the Mall at Stonecrest in Lithonia early Friday morning after a large crowd broke down a door to get to the shoes before a store opened.
Four people were arrested, and police say they had to break a window to get two toddlers out of a car after their mother left them to go buy shoes. She was arrested.
WSOC-TV reports that in Charlotte a door at the Northlake Mall was torn off its tracks as shoppers rushed inside.
According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, police were called to break up a fight in a large crowd at Jefferson Mall waiting to buy the new shoe early Friday morning.