Police reinforcements are being called in to guard McDonald's outlets today after the stampede for Snoopy toys triggered violence. One irate customer was arrested for punching a McDonald's manager in Tuen Mun in a row over queue-jumping and police were called to a Tai Po store yesterday to settle another heated dispute. Queues are expected to lengthen today with the release of China Snoopy for National Day.
Crowds have been growing since the controversial campaign to sell a different Snoopy every day at $6 each with Big Value Meals began three weeks ago. McDonald's said yesterday it had alerted the police so that officers could help to keep order.
A 37-year-old customer was arrested after allegedly landing a blow on the 27-year-old manager at Tuen Mun's Leung Tak Street outlet. The manager, who was taken to hospital with chest pains, had failed to act against queue-jumpers, the arrested man told police.
In another incident yesterday, a photographer taking pictures of queueing customers was chased and police had to be called to calm the situation.
A McDonald's spokesman said restaurant managers had been told to allocate more staff to watching queues and traffic flow. ''We've alerted the police stations of different districts to see if they can be of help in situations where there are large crowds,'' she said.
A "last-minute plan" by managers would allow buyers to order some Snoopies through McDonald's outlets from October 9 to 20.