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iPhone homeless scheme leads to chaos in California

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 11:00 a.m. HST, Sep 21, 2013

PASADENA, Calif. » Things turned sour outside an Apple Store in Southern California when a man's plan to hire the homeless to wait in line for anxiously awaited new iPhones resulted in an angry and mostly unpaid mob.

Two men in a separate incident had already been arrested for fighting in the overnight line outside the Apple Store on Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena before the new gadgets were released on Friday, city police Lt. Jason Clawson said.

Police estimated that at least 200 people were on the sidewalk outside the store overnight. Some had been there for several days. The store hired two Pasadena police officers to control the crowd, Clawson said.

He said that dozens of people recruited at a downtown Los Angeles homeless shelter to buy the iPhones were left unpaid, and they mobbed the man who had hired them. He was taken away in a police car for his own safety as he clutched a bag stuffed with iPhones.

"It didn't go right. I stood out here all night," Dominoe Moody, 43, told the . He said he was promised $40, but neither he nor most of the 70 to 80 people driven from downtown by the vanload got paid.

Television news footage showed police breaking up several scuffles and calming down furious customers.

The man with the plan, whose name was not released by police and who refused to identify himself when confronted by TV cameras at the scene, did nothing illegal, and there would be no police investigation of the incident, Clawson said.

One of the homeless men was placed on a 72-hour mental health hold after running into the street in an enraged state, Clawson said.

Apple's new iPhone models, the 5S and 5C, were released worldwide Friday.

In the earlier fistfight, George Westbrook, 23, of Compton, and Lamar Mitchell, 43, of Pasadena, were cited for fighting in public, a misdemeanor, Clawson said.

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kailua000 wrote:
what a loser!! pay the homeless their money. I hope his name comes out. greedy
on September 21,2013 | 03:43AM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Why three zeroes?
on September 21,2013 | 05:16AM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
The new IOS 7.0 was also available for download upgrade yesterday. So if one already had the iPhone 5, there was no appreciable advantage of obtaining the 5S. The new IOS 7.0 looks great !!!
on September 21,2013 | 05:15AM
busterb wrote:
? The camera is wayyyy better and fingerprint.
on September 21,2013 | 07:03AM
Macadamiamac wrote:
The perp is a liar and a cheat. Pay those guys what you offered. If you don't, I predict someone is going to shove one or more of those new iPhones where the sun don't shine.
on September 21,2013 | 06:15AM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
This is crazy. A simple solution would be to have tickets handed out to customers at a designated time at an announced location (to prevent camping) and then on the day of the issue the store could call out the numbers and sell one phone to the ticket holder. If the ticket holder is a no show at that very time, the next number would be called. That way, if people want to sell their ticket, they can but buyers would be warned that if they buy a ticket, they run the risk of buying a fake one. Fake tickets would not be honored. That way there will be no long lines standing for a day or more which is asking for problems.
on September 21,2013 | 01:33PM
Hapa_Haole_Boy wrote:
Truly crazy. Just order it online and be done with it. Big deal if you don't get it in the very first hour of the very first day. You won't die.
on September 23,2013 | 11:39AM
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