NEW BERN - Shoppers eager to take advantage of Black Friday deals at the New Bern Walmart Thursday night saw no space at the store's parking lot. But when they tried to park at the nearby Blockbuster, their cars were towed.
Blockbuster's manager said the store tried to warn customers in Walmart who were taking up space in the parking lot. Witnesses said tow trucks began circling the area on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. at about 10:00 p.m. Thursday.
NewsChannel 12 was there when upset shoppers confronted people in defense of Blockbuster over the towing. We saw a cardboard, handwritten sign taped to a wall of the video store, warning drivers to park at their own risk.
One witness said at least 15 cars were towed from the Blockbuster parking lot. But the video store's manager said only six vehicles were towed.
The Blockbuster manager said the parking lot was overflowing with cars. The rental store's closing time was 11:00 p.m. She said for employees to leave the store, the parking lot had to be empty, citing a company policy for employee safety.
"We showed up here at 7:30, there was no parking spots. Me and the wife were coming in here to exchange videos," said David Stockman, the man in the video who came to the defense of the Blockbuster employees.
"Walmart gave numerous, numerous announcements over the intercom telling people to if they are parked over here, they need to move," Stockman said.
Stockman said there were so many cars at the Blockbuster lot, some shoppers were parking on the grass surrounding the property.
However, Walmart shoppers said having cars towed from Blockbuster was a little harsh.
"They should've let them park there if they weren't busy," Black Friday shopper Shannon Barkley said.