ANACONDA - Anaconda parents say children were hurt and one girl went to the ER when a crowd rushed for money dropped by a helicopter at a cash giveaway event.
On Friday, Aug. 9, the Anaconda Days event at a local grocery store included giveaways of candy and real cash in $1, $5 and $10 bills, according to parents who spoke with ABC FOX Montana. In previous years, the event has been known as Anaconda Kid Days.
Parents say this year, organizers brought in a helicopter to drop cash for awaiting children. But the event quickly turned frantic as older teens and adults trampled younger children in a dash to grab money as it was dropped from the helicopter.
Photos and videos posted to social media show kids with bruises and scrapes resulting from the crowd rushing for money falling from a helicopter.
Herb Selvidge says an ambulance responded to take his 11-year-old daughter to the emergency room. He says she suffered a badly sprained knee and scrapes when she was knocked over in the crowd.
"It was mayhem," he says. "I've never seen such a thing around here. They were knocking kids to the ground, punching kids, taking money out of their hands."
He says the Anaconda Kids Days event has happened before but never with a helicopter dropping cash. He says he's trying to contact the event organizer, as well as the grocery store to get surveillance to find out who is responsible for hurting his child.
"It wasn't thought out at all," he says of the event. "It endangered all kinds of people."
Mom Shawna Wood says a teenager stepped on her three-year-old son, but she pulled him out in time and he wasn't hurt. Wood says she doesn't fault the event organizer, but she's very disappointed with people's behavior.
Mallory Rautio-Gustafson says the event was a fun idea, but needs some improvements for safety.
"I like the idea of including adults, but I think next year it should be in age groups for everyone's safety," she said in a message to ABC FOX Montana. "I was too busy making sure people around me weren't getting hurt."