The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Investigators believe a bump with a shopping cart, not panic caused by the coronavirus, is to blame for a fight at a metro Atlanta Sam’s Club that is the subject of a viral video.
The video was uploaded to Twitter on Thursday night by a popular aggregated news account and has since been shared thousands of times. A caption on the video suggested the fight broke out over low supplies of water bottles at the warehouse store in Hiram.
“Despite rumors reportedly circulating (on) social media, there are no indications that this incident was related to an altercation over water, toilet paper, hand sanitizer or any other supplies being sought in connection to the concerns over COVID-19,” Hiram police Sgt. Edwin Ivey said Friday in a statement.
According to authorities, Paulding County sheriff’s deputies and Hiram police officers responded to the fight call at the Sam’s Club on Jimmy Lee Smith Parkway about 5:30 p.m. Thursday. They found two men with multiple cuts surrounded by a small crowd of onlookers.
After speaking with the injured men and other witnesses, investigators determined that a fight broke out when a man in a motorized shopping cart bumped into a couple’s cart. A woman confronted the man, struck him with her hand and accused him of ramming the cart, which was carrying their child, Ivey said.
The man in the scooter tried to back away, but the other man confronted him again, according to investigators. Ivey said both men at some point grabbed wine bottles and began hitting each other.
Cellphone video recorded inside the store appears to show what happened next. In the video, several people tussled on the floor of the wine aisle as an employee in a green vest tried to break them apart. Wine is spilled on the floor.
Onlookers gathered as the scene grew chaotic, and many can be heard screaming and voicing their disbelief.
In another video, a man was shown being wheeled out of the store on a stretcher while a deputy asked shoppers to move out of the way.
The videos were shared on Twitter via Everything Georgia, which has more than 1.5 million followers.
Both men involved in the fight were treated for injuries, according to police. Their names are not being released, but Ivey said criminal charges have been prepared for both, as well as the woman involved.
While the Hiram incident is not a result of low supplies, it comes as people were rushing to stores and stocking up on essentials to ride out the coronavirus outbreak at home.
Numerous metro Atlanta school districts have closed as the virus spreads, and state colleges and universities are turning to online classes. On Thursday, after the first death of a coronavirus patient in Georgia was announced, the state legislature suspended its session.
©2020 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Atlanta, Ga.)
Visit The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Atlanta, Ga.) at www.ajc.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.