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Police restore calm after Xbox melee

ELKTON, Md. (AP) — A crowd of shoppers sparked a melee in the rush for the new Xbox 360 video game console at a Wal-Mart Supercenter in northeast Maryland, and it took 10 police officers to restore order.

A crowd of about 300 people waited as much as 12 hours for the game, considered a must-have item this holiday season, to go on sale at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday. But an announcement from a store manager that the Xboxes would be sold on a first-come, first-served basis, instead of using a number system devised by customers, unleashed the mayhem.

"That's when all hell broke loose," said Ben DiSabatino IV, a 23-year-old Bear, Del., resident, who had been waiting in line since 4 p.m.

Some customers were knocked down and trampled, though there were no serious injuries, said Elkton Police Lt. Lawrence Waldridge.

Then Wal-Mart decided to cancel the sale and police ordered everyone to leave.