“A rush to purchase $50 used laptops turned into a violent stampede Tuesday, with people getting thrown to the pavement, beaten with a folding chair and nearly driven over. One woman went so far to wet herself rather than surrender her place in line. ‘This is total, total chaos,’ said Latoya Jones, 19, who lost one of her flip-flops in the ordeal and later limped around on the sizzling blacktop with one foot bare,” Kristen Gelineau reports for The Associated Press.
According to the report, an estimated 5,500 people turned out at the Richmond International Raceway to score a 4-year-old Apple iBook for $50. “Officials opened the gates at 7 a.m., but some already had been waiting since 1 a.m. When the gates opened, it became a terrifying mob scene. People threw themselves forward, screaming and pushing each other. A little girl’s stroller was crushed in the stampede. Witnesses said an elderly man was thrown to the pavement, and someone in a car tried to drive his way through the crowd.”
“Seventeen people suffered minor injuries, with four requiring hospital treatment, Henrico County Battalion Chief Steve Wood said. There were no arrests. ‘It’s rather strange that we would have such a tremendous response for the purchase of a laptop computer and laptop computers that probably have less-than-desirable attributes,’ said Paul Proto, director of general services for Henrico County. ‘But I think that people tend to get caught up in the excitement of the event it almost has an entertainment value.’ Blandine Alexander, 33, said one woman standing in front of her was so desperate to retain her place in line that she urinated on herself,” Gelineau reports.
Full article here.
Video report (Windows Media Player 9 unfortunately required) here.
MacDailyNews Take: Oh, the humanity! Or lack thereof. You simply couldn’t make this stuff up if you tried! Urinating on oneself, beating each other with folding chairs, crushed strollers, seventeen injuries, and, worst of all, a lost flip flop!
Oh, and Mr. Proto, the “less-than-desirable” iBooks may be four-years-old and a bit beaten up by students, but they still come with Apple’s Mac OS X for only $50. If, in 2009, we hear of a woman urinating on herself for a four-year-old $50 Dell laptop running Windows XP SP2, we’ll switch to Windows Vista.
People couldn’t be crazier, Henrico County Public Schools officials couldn’t be stupider, and Apple couldn’t be happier. Think of the free publicity this will generate!
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Henrico citizens stampede for $50 Apple iBooks – August 16, 2005
Henrico closes $50 Apple iBook sale to general public; only Henrico residents can buy – August 03, 2005
Henrico moves $50 Apple iBook sale to Richmond International Raceway due overwhelming demand – July 28, 2005
Apple announces 30,000 iBooks deal with Florida’s Broward County Public Schools – July 27, 2005
Henrico residents object to public sale of Apple iBooks – July 26, 2005
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