The launch of an expensive new basketball shoe — timed to Orlando’s hosting of the NBA All-Star Game— triggered a melee Thursday night at Florida Mall that was quelled by deputies in riot gear.

The wild scene erupted about 9:45 p.m. as hundreds of people packed the mall’s parking lot, hoping to buy the new shoe at midnight. As the crowd grew, a large contingent of Orange County deputy sheriffs arrived, braced for problems.

The Orlando Sentinel reported that the crowd was asked to wait across the street when the mall closed. But one person ran toward the Foot Locker and others followed. Authorities formed a line and used shields to push back the crowd. reported that even after Orange County Sheriff’s Office deputies announced there would be no shoe release at the Foot Locker store on Friday, the crowd remained. They waited in parking lots throughout the night.

Source: MSNBC; Susan Jacobson for the Orlando Sentinel.

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