What started as a sale turned into a mob scene as thousands of people pushed their way through the Richmond International Raceway gates to buy a $50 iBook laptop computer from Henrico County Schools Tuesday morning.
<table align="right" bgcolor="#ffffff" border="0" bordercolor="#000000" cellpadding="5" cellspacing="0" width="210"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <table border="1" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="200"> <tbody> <tr align="center"> <td>
</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> An estimated 5500 people were on hand when the gates were opened. What followed can only be described as chaos as dozens rushed to get to the head of the line. People were trampled, shoved and pushed. Starletta Wilson pointed to her childâ€™s broken stroller, â€œYeah, they pushed me, look at my child's stroller... they actually pushed me and stampeded over me. Those people who are down there now were behind us."
Dustin Coppinger, who attended the sale, said he saw an older man run over by anxious buyers, "An old man in a walker was trampled to the ground. Trampled to the ground... walked all over," he said.
Alice Jemerson was one victim who got trampled." Look at my knees. They ran on top of me. I just starting kicking the people," she said.
There were also heat problems as 17 people were treated for heat exhaustion. Four were taken to the hospital.
There were only 5 police on the scene when the gates were opened at 7 oâ€™clock. Seventy additional officers were called in including 20 in riot gear. Twenty-two firemen were also needed.
Despite the chaos, <st1 =""><st1 ="">Henrico</st1><st1 ="">County</st1></st1>officials insist there was "adequate planning." Paul Proto with Henrico County General Services says in preparing for the event, â€œall that was necessary was done. â€
Many who were there disagree. Steven Poor, who managed to get a laptop, said the problem was simple. â€œJust poor County management,â€ he said.
And a Henrico Police official told NBC12 News that Henrico General Services had been informed well in advance of the sale that the five off-duty officers that were retained wouldnâ€™t be enough.
In four hours, the 1000 surplus computers had been sold.
I know its a good deal but man this is crazy :doh: