Holiday shoppers across the state came out in droves on Black Friday, including an unruly crowd at a toy store that drew 20 police officers and delayed the midnight opening by nearly an hour.
Manchester police told the Journal Inquirer that nearly 1,000 people waited hours to get into Toys R Us. A riot nearly developed when the store was preparing to open at midnight Thursday, police said, and a large group of people tried to bypass others in line to get inside.
The store opened at about 12:45 a.m. after 20 officers from Manchester, East Hartford, South Windsor and state police quelled the argument and sorted out who had been waiting in line. No one was arrested.
Meanwhile, authorities in Trumbull are looking for a man who robbed four teenagers at gunpoint at around 4:15 a.m. while they were waiting for stores at the Westfield Trumbull mall to open. The man made off with the teens' wallets, cell phones and other valuables, police said.
Across town in Trumbull, hundreds lined up for the 5 a.m. opening of the Best Buy store at Hawley Lane Plaza, the Connecticut Post reported. Shoppers rushed into the store as employees and security guards stood guard.
"We're here for laptops, toys and video games," Aman Deep Singh of Seymour told the Post. He and his friends had set up camp in front of the store Thursday. "We had a huge tent."
Black Friday is the traditional start of the holiday shopping season, with retailers offering deep discounts on toys, clothes and electronics in hopes of getting consumers to open their wallets at a time of high unemployment and tight credit.
While many stores opened early Friday, others like Wal-Mart, Old Navy and Kmart began offering discounts Thursday.
Shopping center parking lots across Connecticut were packed Friday morning, and a traffic jam was reported on Interstate 95 near outlet stores in Westbrook before dawn.