Feeds

US iBook riot: a survivor's story

Eyewitness account of laptop stampede

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Our piece yesterday on the shocking iBook riot in Richmond, Virginia, which saw grown adults storming a $50 laptop sale like Somalis at an aid truck shocked and dismayed many readers.

And with good reason. Here's an eyewitness account of what is now known as "The Richmond International Raceway Apple Stampede", courtesy of Susan Lawson:

I am from Richmond, Virginia and I was one of the early birds having gotten into line for the iBook sale about 4:15’ish. I was about 150th in line. There were 2 police officers there.

A camaraderie formed with the “group” as the minutes ticked by, we joked, sang, played music and attempted to start the “wave” on a few occasions. Things went great until people started arriving around dawn. People attempted to cut into line or not get in line at all. When you get to know your neighbor and have been waiting, this started ticking people off. Many in our group were telling them to “get to the back of the line!” As the minutes went by more and more people came (total estimates of all individuals there were actually about 5 - 6,000) and didn’t want to get to the back of the line.

The police attempted to control them and tell them they had to get in line but they ignored them – there were only 5 police officers when the gates opened. When the gates opened at 7:00, all of the people that were not in line started to rush the gates. If you were there, you saw it and could see that once the people that weren’t in line started rushing the gates, the people that were in line started running too as they had been in line for hours. I saw the scene and said “this isn’t worth it!” I left.

I got a call a few minutes later on my cell phone from my friend Shirley asking me where I was. She said she had been shoved to the ground, lost her shoes, had no skin on her knees, was at the bottom of a pile at one point, but got back up and kept going. (I found out later in the day that she did in fact get an iBook.) At some point after the crowd reached the building, she told me that tickets were handed out. I am absolutely amazed that they didn’t have the foresight to hand these tickets out to those of us in line as the line formed. Had they done that, a lot of what happened could have been avoided. They could have been told that the tickets were gone and to go home.

This morning watching the news I saw that some were already on eBay and fetching $285+. Amazing. I have to say that I question the intelligence of not only the Henrico Board, but the Henrico Police Department. To say that “they didn’t expect that many people,” to me is dumbfounding. Just think – had the general public been able to participate this would have been even worse. I’m just amazed. What morons did we vote in that are supposed to be educating and setting the example to our children? Amazingly stupid apparently! However we all looked a bit ridiculous ourselves - mob mentality.

Shocking stuff indeed. We'll restrict comment to one further letter:

Hi,

Y'all wrote " the complete breakdown of law and order across the Pond."

Sorry, that's not correct. It wasn't a complete breakdown. It's like that here most of the time.

Regards,

Jerry Adamson

We fear for democracy, we really do. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
Space exploration is just so lame. NEW APPS are mankind's future
We feel obliged to point out the headline statement is total, utter cobblers
Down-under record: Australian gets $140k for pussy
'Tiffany' closes deal - 'it's more common to offer your wife', says agent
Internet finally ready to replace answering machine cassette tape
It's a simple message and I'm leaving out the whistles and bells
FedEx helps deliver THOUSANDS of spam messages DIRECT to its Blighty customers
Don't worry Wilson, I'll do all the paddling. You just hang on
The iPAD launch BEFORE it happened: SPECULATIVE GUFF ahead of actual event
Nerve-shattering run-up to the pre-planned known event
Win a year’s supply of chocolate (no tech knowledge required)
Over £200 worth of the good stuff up for grabs
STONER SHEEP get the MUNCHIES after feasting on £4k worth of cannabis plants
Baaaaaa! Fanny's Farm's woolly flock is high, maaaaaan
Adorkable overshare of words like photobomb in this year's dictionaries
And hipsters are finally defined as self-loathing. Sort of
Not a loyal follower of @BritishMonarchy? You missed The QUEEN*'s first Tweet
Her Maj opens 'Information Age' at the Science Museum
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.