With the excitement over the release of the new Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C reaching a fever pitch Friday, a few overzealous customers may have crossed the line in Pasadena, Calif. Police arrested George Westbrook 23, of Compton, and Lamar Mitchell, 43, of Pasadena, for getting into a fistfight outside the Apple Store on West Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena, according to the Los Angeles Times. They were members of a crowd that waited overnight for the two new iPhone models.
The Associated Press reported police also detained a third person later in the morning: He was placed on a 72-hour mental-health hold. Pasadena Police Lt. Jason Clawson said the man was a member of a group of homeless people who had been hired to buy iPhones for other customers. When the store ran out of the new iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C, the homeless people didn’t get paid, and a fight broke out.
As ABC News noted, the practice of hiring people to stand in line during the launch of the latest Apple product is commonplace. “They came by, and they said they needed people to sit in line for the opening of the new i[Phone]5, and would we be willing to do it, and I just heard it, and I came down and said, ‘Sure, why not?’” Mickey, of downtown Los Angeles, told KABC.
It has been estimated there were between 80 and 100 people bused in to wait in line for the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C. As ABC News pointed out, it is unknown who hired them. There were around 200 people in all waiting in line outside the Pasadena store overnight.
There is a two-phone limit per person on the day of the launch of the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C.