Two Men Win Unlawful Arrest Case Involving Golden Nugget
Two men who were arrested at the Golden Nugget in late 2017 have won a case involving unlawful detainment.
When visiting a casino, one expects to have a good time, not to get arrested. For two men from Maryland, that is exactly what happened back in November 2017. Daniel Chun and Lawrence Mills were visiting the Golden Nugget casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey when they were considered to be acting suspiciously. The two men were arrested later that night and eventually won a case against the casino for the unlawful arrest.
The two men were at the casino when Chun decided to make a few cash deposits of $1,000 at the casino cage. He had just registered for an online gaming account with the Golden Nugget. A compliance officer for the casino felt that the deposits were suspicious, so state gaming regulators were alerted.
State police responded to the alert and sent three state troopers to the casino. After arriving on the scene, the officers assessed the situation and both men were eventually arrested. The two men later filed a complaint, stating they were detained in a violent manner while walking to their car to leave.
Apparently, the police records indicate that the men were arrested because they were suspected of being involved with a scam. Chun reportedly told police that he was at the venue to make money from the casino.
Mills stated that he loaned money to Chun so that he could gamble online. Once a ruling was made on the case this month, Federal Judge Harvey Bartle ruled that the arrests were not warranted. The judge ruled that the arrests were a violation of the men’s Fourth Amendment rights and pointed out the men were put in handcuffs on the ground with no explanation as to why that was done.
During the arrest, a laptop and cellphone were seized by police. These two devices did not show any criminal activity, further vindicating the men. The judge ruled that the officers did not have probable cause to apprehend the two men. The judge also pointed out that most people walk into a casino with the hopes of making money no matter how unlucky they end up.
The Casino’s Role
Judge Bartle focused on the casino in the case and provided details as to how the venue acted regarding the two men. The casino reported financial activity that was suspicious to officials in the state. Virginia Carr, the casino surveillance manager, sent in a suspicious report on November 2, 2017.
Carr said that within a six-hour period, the men deposited $1,000 six times, each in cash. After the filing, Carr did not speak with police officers or the Division of Gaming Enforcement members. According to the judge, it is up to the officer on dusty to decide if the alert should be followed up with a visit to the casino or a telephone call.
The Judge said the officer decided to follow up and saw the two men playing online via the Wine & WiFi Lounge of the casino. The officers then followed the two players to their vehicle outside and arrested them there.
It is unclear if the officers talked to the men at all or if they were just arrested on the spot. It seems that they should have at least spoken to the men to talk about the alert and ask what they were doing. To the average person, the men were just playing online and probably lost their money, so they kept adding more, simple as that. Hopefully, the regulators in the state will make changes so that arrests like this do not happen to people who are simply enjoying online gaming inside the casino facility.