PlayStation mayhem in the US

A shooting. A stabbing. A beating.
A hold-up. Friday’s release of the new PlayStation 3 gaming console led to several violent incidents across the United States.

In Connecticut, two armed men tried to rob a line of people waiting to buy the console early on Friday and shot one who refused to give up the money, authorities said.

In Indiana, a man was in critical condition after emergency surgery for a stab wound after he and a friend tried to rob two men of consoles they waited 36 hours in line to buy, police said.

Nationwide, short supplies and strong demand led to long lines for the consoles, which sell for about $500 to $600. In California, two people were arrested after a crowd trampled people in a parking lot.

The events started early. On Friday morning, two men confronted 15 to 20 people in line outside a Wal-Mart retail store in Connecticut and demanded money, said Lieutenant J Paul Vance, a spokesperson for the state police.

“One of the patrons resisted. That patron was shot,” Vance said.

Michael Penkala (21) was taken to University of Massachusetts Medical Centre in Worcester with gunshots in the chest and shoulder. He was in stable condition.

In nearby Manchester, another shopper was beaten by five men and robbed of his new PlayStation 3 just minutes after he bought it, police said. One attacker was pushed out of the getaway car, and the 17-year-old was charged with robbery, larceny, assault and breach of peace.

In Indiana, Andrew Templeton (20) and David Wiggins (28) were assaulted by two teens carrying a chain and a tire iron and demanding their consoles, police said. Templeton and Wiggins had waited 36 hours for their purchase.

Wiggins’s nose was broken, and he stabbed one of the attackers, Dylan Moss (19), police said. Moss was in critical condition after surgery, officials said.

In Ohio, two men wearing black ski masks and sunglasses took five consoles after holding two employees at gunpoint at a video game store on Thursday night, police said.

And a Pennsylvania teenager was robbed of his new PlayStation by a man who tapped on his car window with a handgun in Allentown, police said.

In Lexington, Kentucky, someone fired bullets from a toy gun from a passing vehicle at people waiting outside a Best Buy store, according to TV station WKYT, whose reporter said she was among four people grazed.

A Best Buy store in Boston, aware it had only 140 of the consoles, got smart—its employees gave out tickets to the first 140 people in line so everyone could go home.—Sapa-AP

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