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The Globe and Mail

Settle, shoppers: Pepper spray, arrests after Nike releases new shoe

A shopper displays the new Air Jordans at the Nike Store at Union Square Friday, Dec. 23, 2011 in San Francisco. The release of Nike's retro Air Jordans caused a frenzy at stores across the nation early Friday, with hundreds of people lining up for a chance to buy the classic basketball shoes and rowdy crowds breaking down doors and starting fights in at least two cities.

Marcio Jose Sanchez/(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

There's nothing like a good sale or hot item to make people go a little crazy.

The U.S. release of Nike's news Air Jordan shoes was met with fights, pepper spraying, and arrests.

Police pepper-sprayed a group of customers who were fighting as they lined up at stories in pursuit of the shoes. An 18-year-old man was arrested after allegedly punching a police officer.

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Police officer Mike Murphy said people suffered cuts and scrapes from fights, but reported no major injuries. Aggressive shoppers did break down two doors, and one 18-year-old man was arrested for assault after authorities say he punched an officer.

"He did not get his shoes; he went to jail," Officer Murphy said.

Instead of lining up in the wee hours of the morning to buy a coveted gift item, some Manhattan customers turned to less orthodox ways of shopping. The Huffington Post reported that parents desperate to get their kids a hard-to-find LeapPad toy were buying the learning tablets from toy scalpers, who noticed the demand and bought the toys with the intention to resell.

With big sales kicking off today at stores across North America, expect the retail frenzy to continue. ShopperTrak, a retail traffic research company, predicts that today will be the third-busiest shopping day of the year in the U.S.

What do you think: Is a gift - even a boxing day gift for yourself - ever worth lining up at midnight, or braving giant, crazy crowds for?

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