Bloomington man intends to sue Horseshoe Casino over fake bomb-t - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Bloomington man intends to sue Horseshoe Casino over fake bomb-threat

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A man from Bloomington, Indiana, is ready to sue after officers detained him during a bomb threat at Horseshoe Casino Southern Indiana.

The casino originally called the July 10 incident a hoax, but now says the bomb threat and hotel evacuation turned out to be a training exercise. The drill, says casino representatives, was executed by one of the casino's third party vendors based in the Philippines.

The man claims the hotel knew about the test and unnecessarily subjected him to humiliation and emotional trauma. Court documents claim he was paraded through the casino in handcuffs, and questioned for two hours. He was later released.

"There never should have been an opportunity for anyone to put my client in handcuffs, and parade him through the casino," said the man's lawyer Larry Wilder. "That shouldn't have happened if this was a training experiment."

According to court documents, a woman called the casino and said the man's room had a bomb in it. She said the room was wired to set off the bomb when the door opened.

Authorities say the man was playing poker at the time of the incident, and was hauled off for questioning. Harrison County Sheriff Rod Seelye said the man was very cooperative.

"We explained to him the times we live in, told him what the threat was, and he was very cooperative."

Wilder says his client's feelings changed the next day when he found out the threat was actually a drill. Court documents say the man felt lied to by casino management.

"He was accepting of a mistake, when he truly believed there was a potential for public safety issues," said Wilder. "But when he discovered that they were being disingenuous, had nothing to do with a true hoax, and we believe the evidence is going to show... Horseshoe knew this before they told anyone."

The Harrison County Sheriff says he is confident casino staff didn't know the threat was a drill.

"With 20 years of law enforcement, you usually can pick up on the subtle cues," said Seelye. "I don't believe anybody at Horseshoe Southern Indiana knew this was a drill."

In a statement, general manager John D. Smith apologized for any inconvenience to guests and said he was proud of the response by casino staff and local law enforcement.

"We are as surprised and disappointed as anyone that this occurred, but are very proud at the way the matter was handled. We are vigorously investigating the facts surrounding this occurrence and are reviewing our options with respect to the vendor who initiated this without notification. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused to any of our guests and team members and the law enforcement professionals who assisted with the threat."

Seelye said the county spent around $1,400 and 68 hours of manpower responding to the threat. He said put in the situation again, they would handle it exactly the same.

"You have to treat each one of these like the real thing, and from what we knew, we did just that."

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