Rome (WSYR-TV) - Laurie Underwood said Walmart in Rome was more like a zoo when the sales started just after midnight on Black Friday. She said she works for the third party security firm Staffworks in Rome, and was monitoring the electronics section of the store.
“I was shoved down, and in the process hurt my back, my hip, my ribs and I was kicked in the face,” Underwood described. “It was just like a stampede. All you heard was just like a herd of animals coming through there. People were everywhere.”
She showed NewsChannel 9 bruises on her arms, and cuts on her face and hands.
Underwood was taken to the hospital, as was Melinda Wishart of Rome, according to the Sheriff’s office.
She said shoppers were going after the $35 smart phones. She says she was warned about the dangerous crowd, but didn’t feel prepared to protect herself.
“The first time when I got knocked back I was able to catch my balance and pulled myself up,” Underwood said. “But then it was like the crowd just kept coming, and then I was down.”
She suggests people wait a few hours for shoppers to calm down so no one ends up in the hospital like her. Underwood said she'll do her holiday shopping from the computer at home.
Walmart Spokesperson Dianna Gee told News Channel 9 that the company is providing information and surveillance video to local police. They said across the country, at their 3,800 stores, there were only a few incidents reported, and they’ll continue to work on making Black Friday a safe shopping experience.
Robert C. Perry of Rome was arrested by sheriff's deputies for disorderly conduct after the incident.
Additional people may face charges, the sheriff's office says.