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Nike Sneaker Release Sparks Florida Mall Riot (VIDEO)

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By Stacey Eldridge , Christian Post Contributor
February 24, 2012|12:44 pm

Florida police cancelled the release of a limited edition Nike basketball sneaker Friday, after 100 sheriff's deputies in riot gear were forced to break up an out-of-control crowd.

The crowd was gathered in a parking lot waiting to buy the $220 basketball shoe, when things got out of hand.

According to reports by The Orlando Sentinel, police asked the crowd to wait across the street, before doors opened at midnight. One person however refused and started running toward the Foot Locker store, and the huge crowd following them.

"I saw hundreds of people running toward me. I thought I was going to get trampled," Amanda Charles, 20, told The Orlando Sentinel. Charles drove more than two hours with friends from Jacksonville to buy the glow-in-the-dark basketball shoes, timed to be released just ahead of the NBA All-Star Game in Orlando.

Two people were arrested and charged with trespassing. Orange County Sheriff Ginette Rodriguez has confirmed no one was injured. "It's unfortunate it happened over a shoe event," she said. "But we were proactive in our response and lucky it ended well."

Police at a mall in Hyattsville, Md., also arrested one person Friday for disorderly conduct as a huge crowd gathered to try and purchase the shoes.

Foot Locker have confirmed the riot has forced them to cancel other shoe release events at other Florida locations such as the Pembroke Mall, University Mall in Tampa, Southlake Mall and PG Plaza. "Our priority is the safety of the community," a spokesperson for the company said.

A re-release by Nike of Air Jordan XI late last year also caused pandemonium all over the country, when thousands lined up to be the first to own the $180 black and white "J's." Police were called to shopping centers in Indiana, Fla., Texas and Va., and a number of other states to control huge crowds who were becoming more and more unruly.

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