Disturbing footage has emerged on social media showing fights breaking out in stores across the country as panicked Americans rush to stock up on supplies amid the national coronavirus emergency.
Two separate videos were posted from New York and Georgia on Thursday which showed intense and brutal fights erupting between tense customers battling through the crowds flooding into stores.
A brawl erupted in a Georgia Sam’s Club packed with shoppers during which two feuding men slashed each other with broken wine bottles.
A second incident in a Costco in Brooklyn saw an employee pleading with two women to calm down after a screaming match began when carts collided in the mobbed store.
Video from a Brooklyn Costco on Thursday morning shows shoppers screaming at each other on line after carts collide and an employee begs for calm among the panicked shoppers
A brawl in a Sam’s Club in Georgia saw one man stretchered from the store on Thursday
In a video posted to Twitter on Thursday evening, a violent fight in a Sam’s Club in Hiram, Georgia was captured by another shopper.
The incident took place at around 5.30pm at the Sam’s Club location on Jimmy Lee Smith Parkway, which was crowded with people.
According to a statement from the City of Hiram, police officers responded to the store for reports of an assault in progress and came upon two men suffering from multiple cuts.
Two men came to blows and slashed each other with broken wine bottles inside a crowded Sam;s Club store in Hiram, Georgia, on Thursday
According to the local police, the fight was ignited after one of the men bumped a shopping cart carrying a child with his motorized cart. As the situation escalated, he grabbed a bottle of wine to defend himself from the child’s parents
Based on statements from the injured men and multiple witnesses, investigators have concluded that the dispute ignited when two people bumped shopping carts.
One of them, a man using a motorized shopping cart because of a leg injury, reportedly slammed into a family’s cart carrying a child as the shoppers were trying to get to the same aisle.
The child’s mother confronted the man with the motorized cart and allegedly hit him.
The man tried to back away from the confrontation, but the woman and her male partner followed him and escalated the dispute, according to the police.
That is when the man with the motorized cart grabbed a wine bottle, purportedly to defend himself.
Cellphone video shows one of the fighters being taken away on a stretcher swaddled in bandages after suffering lacerations during the scuffle
This man and his opponent suffered non-life-threatening injuries. Charges will be filed against all three people linked to the clash after a violent argument erupted in a Georgia store
The other man followed suit and the two proceeded to hit one another with the wine bottles until they broke, then continued slashing each other with glass shards, inflicting lacerations.
Cellphone video that has been widely circulated on Twitter and Facebook caught the end of the scuffle, showing the brawling shoppers tussling on the floor slick with spilled wine and littered with broken glass.
According to police, bystanders, including Sam’s Club staff, helped separate the parties until cops arrived.
The now-viral video of the altercation shows a heavily bandaged man being wheeled out of the store on a gurney.
The two men were treated for non-life-threatening injuries sustained during the clash. Both of them, along with the woman who allegedly sparked the altercation over the bumped shopping cart, are facing criminal charges.
While it has been suggested on social media that the fight started over a pack of water, the local police department stated that was not the case.
‘Despite rumors reportedly circulating social media, there are no indications that this incident was related to an altercation over water, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, or any other supplies being sought in connection to the concerns over COVID-19 (Coronavirus),’ the statement read.
‘No traditional weapons (firearms or knives) were involved in this incident.’
This woman in a face mask screams at fellow customers and at an employee in a Costco in Sunset Park in Brooklyn on Thursday morning before a state of emergency was declared
A woman in a face mask and another unidentified woman are heard screaming at an employee. Pictured left a woman in a face mask demands an employee stop another customer from touching her with her cart. Picture right more confused shoppers look on
In a Costco in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, on Thursday morning a screaming match between several women, one of whom was wearing a face mask, caused an employee to intervene as they were waiting in line.
As other confused shoppers looked on, one woman can be heard demanding that the Costco employee didn’t ‘let her touch me with that cart’.
The male employee is then heard pleading with the women to calm down as rushed shoppers collide in on top of the commotion.
‘As human beings, we’ve got to come together at a time like this’, he begs the crowd.
‘As human beings, we’ve got to get together.’
The employee shown in a red vest on the right hand side of the picture begged customers to calm down as they began to scream about carts bumping into each other on the line
‘I don’t suggest going to Costco right now,’ said the video poster.
Both shoppers are shown with packed carts just hours before a state of emergency was declared in New York, sparking a further frenzy among residents who cleared shelves of supplies.
The same Costco was later that day forced to close its main gates as the number of unnerved residents scouring for supplies became too heavy.
Inside the store, customers waited 40 minutes in line to check out with their carts piled high.