People cutting line at North Side toy giveaway turns

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Pittsburgh police said chaos ensued after parents began cutting in line at a toy giveaway at the North Side Salvation Army branch and two people reported that someone had a gun.

The armed man, who left before police arrived, did not point the gun at anyone and no one was injured, Pittsburgh police spokeswoman Diane Richard said in a news release.

Police were called to the branch at 100 West North Ave. about 11:30 a.m.

Witnesses told police they were standing in line for "a long period of time" when impatient people began cutting in line.

Officers reported "that when the door opened, people surged into the facility and things quickly turned chaotic," Ms. Richard wrote. "Officers were informed that there was not enough manpower at the facility to accommodate the number of people in the crowd for the distribution of the toys."

Ms. Richard said the Salvation Army ended the toy distribution at that branch for the remainder of the day and plans to reopen tomorrow with additional workers to help control the crowds.


Liz Navratil: lnavratil@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1438.

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