A 30-person brawl that included parents and kids broke out at Walmart on Sunday evening, according to authorities. The incident occurred at a store in Gates, New York, located in the Rochester area. See footage embedded below.
Apparently, the massive melee started when two teens allegedly ridiculed a dress worn by a 24-year-old woman in the store, and then things escalated into a WWE-style rumble.
Some of the fighters allegedly headed to the sporting goods department to help themselves to baseball bats to use in the confrontation, although responding cops reportedly prevented any bat attacks."In the middle of the brawl, Nykia Brooks, 17, of Chili, allegedly threw a can of food at a 52-year-old man and struck him in the head, causing bleeding," the Democrat & Chronicle reported.
Brooks faces several charges, including second-degree assault and disorderly conduct, and is due back in court on July 14. Cops also charged three others with disorderly conduct.Flying trash cans were also part of the free-for-all at the store.
The Walmart outlet has since increased security, and detectives are reviewing surveillance video with the possibility of making further arrests.
"It was in total chaos when officers got there, it's just disgusting to see that kind of behavior happening right here...The adults jumped right in with the kids and this is what it turned into," Gates Police Chief James VanBrederode told Rochester's News 10 WHEC.
"It's a holiday weekend, people should be out enjoying themselves, having fun with family and friends. Instead, they're here in Walmart fighting with people they don't even know over something really stupid," another Gates police official told ABC affiliate WHAM in Rochester.Unfortunately, this is not the first time that Walmart has been the scene of violent outbursts of various kinds.
In a frantic incident captured on cell phone video by a customer about a year ago, for example, a co-ed punching-and-kicking melee erupted in Charlotte, North Carolina, when two Walmart loss prevention officers (i.e. store security) reportedly tried to stop a teen from shoplifting a $7 T-shirt, and others jumped in.
In an incident that made national headlines over last summer, two Indiana women, one of whom appeared to be assisted by her 6-year-old son, got into a violent altercation in the Walmart shampoo aisle. In a separate encounter, a brawl broke out when a large man wearing track pants appeared to be assisting a police officer in taking a non-compliant woman into custody outside a Walmart in Columbus, Ohio.
Commenting on this latest incident at upstate New York Walmart store located in Monroe County, Gates town supervisor Mark Assini said, "They are going to beef up security patrols within the Walmart, but I will tell you that is very difficult to address human behavior which is inappropriate which quite frankly doesn't fit into society. It's got to start somewhere with parents, who brought these kids into the world."
Then there are the traditional fisticuffs that often break out between bargain hunters during Black Friday sales on the day after Thanksgiving.
In an unrelated incident at the same western New York store earlier that same day, a man in the parking lot allegedly stabbed another man in the neck.
With about 11,000 stores in 28 countries, family-owned Walmart is said to be the biggest private employer in the world as well as the world's largest company by revenue.
Against the backdrop of scuffles that occur at fast-food eateries as well as retail stores, the fundamental question is again raised as to whether this kind of violence is occurring with more frequency and intensity across America or, in the alternative, we just happen to find out about it more often and faster by way of the immediacy of social media.
[Photo by Jeff Chiu/AP Images]