Dash for shoes injures APD officer




Posted on December 23, 2011 at 7:10 PM

Updated Friday, Dec 23 at 11:23 PM

AUSTIN -- Late Thursday night, there was nearly a riot at Highland Mall.

Security had to call in the Austin Police Department for backup after a crowd in the parking lot grew to more than 1,000 people.

Armed with pepper spray and with a helicopter overhead, police tried to keep control. It did not last long.

“They just started pushing and stuff and then they did the gas,” shopper Anthony Smith said. “It got in my throat and then I had to start pushing.”

“An officer was rushed by the crowd and injured,” said APD Assistant Chief Sean Mannix. “He was transported to the hospital and received treatment for an injured ankle, bumps and bruises.”

Police say the commotion was caused by new Air Jordan XI shoes going on sale. Across the country, their re-release caused frenzy among collectors and fanatics.

The shoes, which sell for $180 a pair, were set to go on sale at midnight at Foot Locker stores.

Police say the injured officer will be returning to work soon and they are looking to charge whoever injured him with assault.

In all, they say at least 3,000 people waited on Thursday to buy the shoes at stores in Highland, Lakeline and Barton Creek Malls. They say only 150 pairs were available at each location.

So far, no arrests have been made. Stores at Highland and Barton Creek malls canceled sales until early Friday morning when crowds had died down.