When Poker Players Attack

Police in Nitro are currently working on obtaining a battery warrant for a 61 year old man from Cross Lanes that is accused of choking a card dealer at the Tri State Racetrack and Gaming Center.  Lt. Joe Savilla said that the man became enraged shortly after midnight when the dealer advised him he couldn’t give another man his winnings at the table.

After he was told that he allegedly walked around the table and then grabbed hold of the card dealer around the neck, according to Savilla.  You might expect to hear a dealer getting assaulted because a player lost a big hand but to assault someone because you have to step away from the table for a minute?

So apparently after the man allegedly assaulted the dealer a floor boss came over an immediately separated the two and security at the track detained the suspect until Nitro officers arrived.  They had to let the suspect go however after they questioned him and he was identified because the crime didn’t occur in the presence of law enforcement.

Police haven’t released the names of the alleged victim or the suspect at the time but Lt. Savilla has described the victim as being a 44 year old man from Chesapeake, Ohio.  He also said that this incident is the first violent one officers can recall happening at the track.

The main reason for this is there is great quality surveillance equipment all around the track and gaming center and it usually deters people from such behavior but apparently not one player who’s bad behavior was captured on their surveillance.  “If you commit a crime at that dog track, their video equipment is going to catch you,” Savilla said.

Now police in Nitro are waiting for a magistrate from Kanawha County to sign off on an arrest warrant and that could happen as soon as tonight, Savilla said.

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