Shoe shoppers get sprayed with mace at Hulen Mall

Posted Friday, Dec. 21, 2012  Print Reprints

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FORT WORTH -- A rush for limited-edition tennis shoes sparked a near riot Friday morning at Hulen Mall.

Sgt. Pedro Criado, a Fort Worth police spokesman, said a mall security officer and an off-duty Fort Worth police officer working security at the mall used mace during the incident after the crowd pushed through barricades and security guards, knocking down one off-duty police officer and pressing against the mall's glass doors.

"When that occurred, the security guard sprayed a short burst of mace into the crowd," Criado said. "When the officer got knocked down, he was going to get trampled so he sprayed some mace -- a short burst -- in the crowd."

Criado said the crowd quickly dispersed and additional officers were called to the scene to maintain crowd control. He said no serious injures were reported and no arrests were made.

The crowd, estimated to be as large as 350 to 400 people, had apparently flocked to the mall to purchase retro Air Jordan sneakers, a re-release of the famous red and black Michael Jordan shoes.

The popular shoes retail for between $150 and $200.

"All the shoe stores in the mall basically utilize a voucher system to avoid this, however one store did not," Criado said. "They did a first come, first served that caused a large crowd to gather at the main entrance of the mall."

A call to the store, identified in call details as Shoe Palace, went unanswered Friday morning.

Deanna Boyd, (817) 390-7655

Twitter: @deannaboyd