Riot police called to mall as crowd presses for LeBron NBA shoes -

Deputies in riot gear swarmed an Orlando mall Thursday night to corral an unruly crowd gathering for the release of $220 glow-in-the-dark basketball shoes tied in to the NBA All-Star game this weekend.

Among the galactic-themed shoes was one inspired by the Miami Heat's LeBron James: the Nike LeBron 9 "Big Bang."

The wild scene at the Florida Mall broke out just before 10 p.m. as hundred gathered in the parking lot to buy the shoes at midnight, according to a report in the Orlando Sentinel.

Braced for violence, more than 100 law enforcement officials on horseback, motorcycles and patrol cars arrived as a sheriff's chopper circled overhead. Witnesses say someone made a run toward a Foot Locker store even though the crowd was told to wait in the lot.

"I saw hundreds of people running toward me. I thought I was going to get trampled," Amanda Charles, 20, who was among a group of a half-dozen friends who drove from Jacksonville to try to buy the glow-in-the-dark Nikes, told the Sentinel.

"We were afraid of the cops and the horses," said Mario Torres, 22, of Orlando.

The deputies formed a line and used shields to push back the crowd, witnesses told the Sentinel.

"It was pandemonium," said Rico Gomez, 23, who flew to Orlando to New Haven with friends just to buy the new Nikes.

For the full story, click here.

Nike also released galaxy themed shoes for Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder and for Kobe Bryan of the Los Angeles Lakers.

The shoes sold out Thursday night at the Dadeland Mall in Kendall, according to WSVN.

24 Feb, 2012

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