Another shopper was charged with aggravated assault on a police officer after getting into an argument with a New Jersey Walmart store manager about a television set, police told NBC New York. Officers arrived at the scene at 6:39 p.m. EST and once they had pacified the customer they also charged the shopper with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, Garfield police told the station.
Stores have braced themselves for the Black Friday rush despite a Consumer Reports poll this week that found 56 percent of Americans had no plans to shop at all this weekend.
(Read more: How retailers are spying on your Black Friday spree)
Because Thanksgiving fell on Nov. 28, the latest possible date, there are six fewer shopping days this holiday season than last. The most common reason — named by 70 percent of respondents — was a desire to avoid the crowds.
A Gallup poll this year found that 53 percent of Americans are very or somewhat likely to do their shopping online, the highest share since Gallup started asking the question in 1998.
However Wal-Mart President and CEO Bill Simon told TODAY that the company had a "terrific night" Thursday and expected a busy Black Friday, too.
(Read more: Black Friday Live:Sales strong at Wal-Mart, Target)
He also defended the decision to open on Thanksgiving.
"We've been opening since the '80s," he said. "We're in the service industry. We open when our customers want to shop."
—By Henry Austin, NBC News contributor. NBCNews.com's Patrick Rizzo and The Associated Press contributed to this report.