The release of the new Nike sneaker at a Florida mall ahead of the NBA All-Star Weekend was canceled Friday after riot police were forced to break up fights among the crowd outside an Orlando store.
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Hundreds of people were dispersed from the Foot Locker House of Hoops store after trouble broke out Thursday night in the countdown to the doors opening at midnight, WOFL-TV reported.
Orange County Sheriff deputies on horseback and dressed in riot gear with helmets and plastic shields moved in around 9:45pm local time when things got out of control.
Two people were arrested on a charge of trespassing after being warned to leave the site.
Ginette Rodriguez, from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, confirmed no one was hurt.
"It’s unfortunate it happened over a shoe event," she said. "But we were proactive in our response and lucky it ended well."
Foot Locker confirmed the rowdy scenes forced it to cancel similar shoe release events at Pembroke Mall, University Mall in Tampa, Southlake Mall and PG Plaza, due to safety concerns, adding, "Our priority is the safety of the community."
The trouble came amid heightened hoops fever across Orlando, which is playing host to the NBA All-Star Weekend.
Twitter users earlier tweeted pictures of large crowds behind security barriers outside the Florida Mall store ahead of the release of the Foamposite One Galaxy shoe, which was being rolled out across the US.
The shoes cost $220 and on Craigslist, someone offered a car — a 1996 Cavalier — for a pair, with others prepared to pay $2,400.
A re-release by Nike of Air Jordan XI late last year sparked a US-wide shopping frenzy which led to fights, vandalism and arrests as desperate shoppers scrambled to buy the limited edition shoes.