Retailers called the Loudoun County Sheriff’s deputies to the Dulles Town Center early Friday morning after shoppers seeking a deal on Nike shoes became unruly.
Shortly after midnight Dec. 23, shoppers, some from as far away as Richmond, began to gather in the parking lot on the north side of the mall near the Cheesecake Factory, according to a report from the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office. Finish Line and Foot Locker were among sports outlets running a sale on Nike Air Jordan shoes and were expected to open at 3 a.m.
A few people who had gathered entered the shopping center as members of mall security attempted to disperse a crowd of more than 250 near the entrance. At that point, security personnel called the LCSO for assistance.
The crowd overwhelmed the deputies who responded, pushing them up against the walls and glass doors, according to the LCSO report. More deputies were dispatched to the scene, including the Civil Disturbance Unit. Assistance from outside jurisdictions was unavailable because of similar instances. The Virginia State Police sent 11 units.
The officers eventually brought the crowd under control without serious incident and assisted the retailers with a lottery to allow shoppers to enter the mall and make their purchases.
The Mall, which was closed for the duration of the incident, opened for regular business at 7:30 a.m.
Arrests were not made and charges are not expected. A woman who suffered a leg injury during the original melee was treated and released by rescue personnel; she then completed her purchase. Deputies also took one report of a wallet lost to a pickpocket.