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Huge Crowd Prompts Urgent Call for Police at Pentagon City Mall

by ARLnow.com December 23, 2011 at 11:39 am 8,132 43 Comments

Arlington has joined the list of locales around the country and around the region where the early morning release of a new pair of sneakers resulted in chaos.

The release of the retro, $180 Nike Air Jordan XI sneaker drew large crowds at malls from coast to coast. Early this morning, the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City was no exception.

A crowd of 500-600 people mobbed the mall in pursuit of the coveted shoes, according to Arlington County Police. We’re told the mall had only one security guard handling crowd control when police were first called to assist. When officers arrived, they encountered a chaotic scene. At about 5:00 a.m., an officer frantically declared a “signal one” — requesting urgent assistance from all available units.

Eventually police were able to restore order. A few officers stayed on the scene to assist in the distribution of the sneakers, we’re told.

Photo via Nike

  • Pablo

    How sad.

    • Southeast Jerome

      How awesome. Those shoes are legit.

      • ReallyReallyReally

        Are you kidding me?? You mean to tell me some fool got a good night sleep and a meal in jail all at the expense of US tax payers over some silly pair of shoes that will end up on TJ Maxx, Marshall and Ross shelves within 6 months??

  • Ballstonian

    We are the 99%!

    I’m sorry – I had to.

  • Facepalm

    “The men need shoes, Colonel…That boy ran off to find him some shoes, Colonel. He wants to fight. Same as the rest of us. More, even.”

    Pentagon City Mall as told by the movie, Glory.

    • ArlingtonPimp

      Excellent “Glory” reference.

  • Arlington Native

    Craziness over a pair of ugly, over-priced sneakers. I just don’t get it.

    • BlueLoom


      • CCity Rocks

        +11-1/2 wide

  • grump

    Trust that the retailers will be charged for this extra security cost right?

    • Frank Alfred

      They always are…landlords pass through every tiny cost.

  • yrb

    Welcome to Idiocracy

  • Joe hoya

    If Nike puts in iPhone in their next pair of sneakers, the riots could reduce Pentagon City to rubble.

  • John Fontain

    At first I was going to comment about how dumb this was, but then I realized it’s no different from yuppies lining up for I-phones/pads.

    Everyone likes their doo-dads.

    • stephanie


      • selxic

        Somehow the coverage and attention this has received has been very different than the release of any other “hot” Christmas item or popular limited release item. The shoes weren’t announced yesterday. The stores knew there would be a lot of anticipation. I was laughing at the scenes on television this morning of people waiting patiently only to be dispersed because of police intervention. It sounds like most of the problems have been from lack of planning or miscommunications.

    • OX4


    • Michael H.

      Except the “yuppies” tend not to cause riots.

      (Disclosure: I do not own an iPhone or an iPad, nor have I ever lined up in front of an Apple store.)

    • CommonCents

      True… while I also can’t understand why someone would wait in line for 2 days for an iphone/ipad, I’ve never heard of a riot, arrest, pepper-spraying, or injury in the iphone line.

    • drax

      Yuppies usually don’t start riots over them though.

  • Hattie McDaniel

    This also happened when I went to buy my latest red petticoat.

    • Tabby

      Can’t exactly borrow Miss Scarlett’s can you.

  • MB

    It’s gotta be the shoes.

    • rob


  • Lew

    12 posts and no one has blamed the police yet. C’mon, let’s get with it, people.

    • Mike

      I work for a store releasing the Jordans and to be honest the police could not have done anything better than what they did with this situation. There were robberies, break-ins, stabbings and shootings at other locations in the DC area and not one of these things happened at Pentagon City. Maybe you shouldn’t blame the cops if you weren’t there.

  • Crazy


  • charles

    Great story. What about a story on the OIL SPILL IN FOUR MILE RUN?

    • Facepalm

      What about scrolling down the Arlnow.com webpage and seeing that they already covered this story?

  • Sue

    Pumped up kicks!!!

  • MC

    Good thing this was so early that no ordinarily ordinary members of the public were in in danger. Since this was on private property, I don’t understand how the Arlington police was responsible for enforcing crowd control for commercial promotion stunt. If people got injured they could sue the businesses responsible.

    • SomeGuy

      You’ve never seen police respond to incidents that got out of control on private property?

      Maybe the mall deserves a citation for… disturbing the peace or something, but policing an out of control situation seems like exactly the sort of thing to fall within the job description of the police department.

    • CommonCents

      Are you kidding me? So cops also shouldn’t respond to bar fights on private property? The fire department shouldn’t go to a fire on private property? Public safety very often occurs on private property open to the public. Use your head.

  • billj
  • Vinh An Nguyen

    If you are someone who actually bought a pair of these, I would be careful walking around town in them. Some crazy people out there…

    • CCity Rocks

      especially paired with a North Face jacket and an Adidas skull cap. Oh, snap!

  • John Fontain
  • Tabby

    There’s a rumor (see the wapo) that a young DC man was killed. The report is unconfirmed.

  • Swag

    “A crowd of 500-600 people mobbed the mall in pursuit of the coveted shoes”


  • KEN

    Get real America and focus on the right stuff
    Ghetto mentality.

  • Tabby

    There was a young white guy wearing Chucks on TV who said he bought them just to put them on EBay for twice the price.

    Good luck with that.

  • Just Me

    I wonder how long it will be after school starts before one kid is killed or beat up for his shoes.

  • Alex

    How does ONE security guard make any sense at one of the nation’s busiest malls during this season? That is too cheap and sounds like not even an attempt to provide for reasonable security. No Thanks.


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