It may have seemed like armageddon but it wasn’t. It was only Black Friday. Yes, Thanksgiving shopping into Black Friday certainly was hectic, but fortunately we only had a minimal amount of bad conduct from shoppers. Certainly not as bad as some of the headlines about other states, and their Black Friday problems.
On Thanksgiving night, a male shopper at one of our big box stores, began taking one of the “Door Buster” bargains off the shrink wrapped pallet, prior to the sale time. When a store employee stopped him, he was belligerent with her and she quickly alerted one of many Hammond Police officers that were working the Black Friday sales (paid for, entirely by the store). The shopper began arguing with the police officer, and was asked to leave the store several times. Our police officer informed the man that if he didn’t leave, he was going to have to spend the rest of his holiday in jail, and use all his Christmas money to pay his bail (Hey, that rhymes!) . The suspect refused and actually threatened to “mace” the officer. Additional officers responded and the subject was handcuffed and transported without incident. 46 year old Issac Holden, of Harvey Illinois was charged with disorderly conduct. When I checked today, Mr. Holden was still locked up in our facility so I’m guessing he didn’t get to enjoy turkey leftovers. Unfortunately our jail fare is pretty bland.
At another big box store, a frenzied shopper took a swan dive onto a pallet of “Doorbuster” specials as employees were removing the shrink wrap. He was so caught up in the excitement while trying to snatch a super discounted bargain he barely even noticed the police officers that quietly escorted him out of the store. No sports fans, he didn’t get to buy his treasured Christmas item. I personally got to see two women arguing over a big screen TV, that each had grabbed simultaneously. They quickly worked it out and neither was arrested or ejected.
Our local stores had many police officers on hand to keep the peace during the hectic hours, and fortunately there are no further incidents to report. I’m actually glad that they had the foresight to hire so much security. I’m sure it stopped potential problems in the stores and the parking lots.
Black Wednesday (the night before Thanksgiving) is typically the busiest bar night of the year, besides New Year’s Eve. This one was no exception and unfortunately some drivers decided to forego a designated driver or cab and they ventured onto the streets of Hammond, driving drunk. Lieutenant Patrick Vicari was working a drunk driving grant and arrested 5 drunk drivers by himself. It’s an unofficial record and one I’m sure will never be beat. One of the female drivers arrested, had actually driven her car up the dirt berm that closes 165th street off at Cline Ave. Had she driven any faster and farther she would have actually driven into the underside of the bridge. Maybe she was lucky that a cop stopped her instead of some concrete. In my experience, bridges don’t have a lot of give to them when you hit em. I was patrolling that night and other than the drunk drivers, the night was pretty quiet.
On a lighter note, I took some time off and put up my Christmas decorations. As always, I way over did it, and when I turn on my lights, my tree is ten times brighter than the sun. I’m thinking about handing out welders masks to my holiday visitors. In our litigation happy society, I don’t want to incur any frivolous lawsuits for eye damage.
I wish you and your families a wonderful holiday season! Please remember if your going to drink, please don’t drive.
Chief Brian Miller