Anthony Gonzalez | Elkin Tribune
December 1, 2013
The Elkin Walmart made national headlines on Thursday evening when a video posted onto YouTube showed customers scuffle over televisions.
The YouTube video titled “Black Friday 2013: Walmart Kicked Me Out For THIS video” was captured by New York filmmaker and Bronx resident Brian Spain, who timed a scene of people screaming over the television grab.
In the video, one unidentified customer repeatedly shouts, “Oh my god.” The comment was repeated on several occasions with the audio levels often fluctuating.
It is unknown if the audio fluctuation was due to modifications of the track by the filmmaker.
Spain has not responded to questions pertaining the audio authenticity.
During the video, a good Samaritan is observed waiving toward authorities to assist a lady who had fallen onto the floor. An unidentified shopper started pushing people to help aid the woman who had fallen.
According to bystanders, employees at the Walmart on C.C. Camp Road started passing out televisions at 8 p.m. on Thursday. A previous sale of another television deal happened at 6 p.m. without incident.
“What I saw was a customer who slipped when trying to grab a television, or she may have been accidentally bumped,” said Joan Richardson who was in the store shopping. “A bunch of people were there. Things happened so fast. People were actually bending over to help off the floor the lady who had fallen.”
According to Richardson, a person with a television set who was heading toward the checkout line turned around and went to aid the unidentified lady who had fallen.
“He started to push people who were trying to aid the lady.” said Richardson. “I think they were related. When the lady who fell on the floor got up, she was arguing with another lady over the incident.”
The Elkin Police Department had two officers within steps of the scuffle, but with several dozen people obstructing the view of the incident, officers were unaware of a problem.
One bystander with a brown jacket in the video is observed waiving for police to aid. At that point, officers started moving closer, but the incident was over within seconds.
According to a released statement through Elkin’s central communications office, Elkin Chief Monroe Wagoner said officers had spoken with all customers involved.
“When the officers reached the area they observed people getting up off the floor. Some were upset with each other because of the pushing and shoving. The officers talked with the individuals involved. No one was injured in the incident. Everyone involved agreed there was no malicious intend for anyone to be harmed and all the individuals left the area,” said Wagoner in a release.
After the video was uploaded, news reports started surfacing throughout the national media about a fight breaking out in Elkin over the shopping spree. The incident went national with images of the Elkin frenzy being shown over the Internet and by news stations.
Spain’s video went viral.
The store manager of the Elkin Walmart declined comment and referred media questions to corporate headquarters.
Other employees who saw the Thursday video downplayed the incident stating the video presents a negative portrayal of Elkin compared to what actually happened.
Some employees said Walmart should’ve placed more employees at the section for orderly distribution of the items instead of allowing an uncoordinated grab.
Spain, who was in town for a visit to relatives, said that he was asked to leave Walmart after recording the video. Spain also stated to other news sources that he was seeking interviews of shoppers who opted to bargain hunt on the Thanksgiving holiday, a maneuver he opposes.
Spain posted a message for Walmart on Twitter: “@Walmart Here’s the video where your employee threatened to have me arrested for filming, but did nothing to the man.http://t.co/Ss8qWXfH6M.”
Walmart did not return calls seeking comment on the video snafu or incident.
Reach Anthony Gonzalez at 835-1513 or firstname.lastname@example.org