The release of a new pair of shoes led to a mob scene Sunday at Francis Scott Key Mall as local law enforcement was called in to control what witnesses said became an unruly crowd.
The crowd -- many of whom had camped out overnight -- converged on the Foot Locker to buy vouchers for Nike's new Air Jordan sneakers, and employees of neighboring stores said things started to get out of hand, with people pushing and shoving to improve their spot in line.
"Everyone was kind of rowdy," said Daniel Macon, an employee at Zumiez, located next to Foot Locker. "It was very chaotic. And people were just kind of freaking out and wondering what was going on."
Witnesses said the crowd began rattling the gate in front of the store when it was closed to form a line. The line was eventually moved outside to the back of the store, causing the crowd to run through the mall.
"It was about a hundred people or more," said Shoe Dept. employee Christian Dwyer. "They were all just standing there waiting to bum-rush the place. There was like three officers, and they had to push the crowd back. They were like, 'We're not opening the doors, step back.' I was thinking, 'I don't know what the big deal is. It's only shoes.'"
Employees of Auntie Anne's pretzels said they had a difficult time forming their line, which blended in with the rowdy crowd in front of the shoe store.
"I was like, 'wow, you guys are crazy,'" said Katie Bell. "I could never get that ridiculous about shoes."
Cpl. Greg Santangelo of the Frederick County Sheriff's Office said deputies and Maryland State Police troopers were able to get things under control without any major incidents.
"It sounds like the crowd just got a little unruly," Santangelo said. "But nobody got locked up or anything like that." ___