iBook Giveaway Sparks Stampede in VA
A sale of old Apple iBooks in Virginia turned chaotic Tuesday, as hoards of eager buyers stampeded through the gates of the Richmond International Raceway. People were pushed to the ground, hit with folding chairs, and one person even attempted to drive his car through the crowd.
Virginia's Henrico County school system was holding the sale to get rid of 1,000 antiquated iBooks, which were being offered at $50 a pop. However, an estimated 5,500 people showed up, with some camping out since 1am waiting for the 7am sale to begin.
The melee that ensued was branded "total, total chaos" by one witness. 17 people suffered minor injuries, according to the Associated Press, with 4 requiring hospital treatment. An elderly man was reported to have been thrown to the pavement.
"It's rather strange that we would have such a tremendous response for the purchase of a laptop computer — and laptop computers that probably have less-than- desirable attributes," Paul Proto, director of general services for Henrico County, told the AP.
"But I think that people tend to get caught up in the excitement of the event — it almost has an entertainment value."
One successful used iBook buyer, 20 year-old Jesse Sandler, said he used a folding chair to beat those who tried to cut in front of him. "I took my chair here and I threw it over my shoulder and I went, 'Bam,'" he acknowledged.
No arrests were made at the event, police said.