'Lottery Winner' Causes Riot at Ohio Coat Store

October 15, 2009 - 11:07 AM
Police say an Ohio woman being driven around in a limousine announced at a coat store she'd won the lottery and would pay for everyone's purchases but ended up causing a riot when customers realized it was a hoax. Columbus police Lt. Michael Deakins says the woman announced Tuesday she'd spend $500 on everyone at a Burlington Coat Factory, prompting customers to gather at registers and call relatives.
Columbus, Ohio (AP) - Police say an Ohio woman being driven around in a limousine announced at a coat store she'd won the lottery and would pay for everyone's purchases but ended up causing a riot when customers realized it was a hoax. Columbus police Lt. Michael Deakins says the woman announced Tuesday she'd spend $500 on everyone at a Burlington Coat Factory, prompting customers to gather at registers and call relatives.
 
When police arrived, 500 people filled the store and another 1,000 were outside.
 
Cashiers rang up sales before discovering the woman had no money. Angry customers grabbed clothes without paying.
 
The limo driver turned the woman in.
 
Police say she was arrested on three outstanding warrants but wasn't charged for the coat store chaos pending a mental health evaluation.
 
A spokeswoman for the Burlington, N.J.-based coat store had no comment.