A family of three from South Florida visited Atlantic City for a few days of fun—but they left with broken bones, bruises, and traumatic memories.
Professional poker player John Binns, his wife Renee, and his daughter Andrea were wrestled to the ground, beaten, and humiliated by security personnel at the popular Harrah’s Resort and Casino in Atlantic City.
“It was miserable. It was absolutely miserable,” Renee said.
In August of 2012, John Binns had been staying at the hotel for a few nights with his wife and 17-year-old-daughter. According to several reports, John had repeated issues with the hotel room keys during his stay; after his card was again deactivated, he went to the front desk to seek out a manager.
“I explained to him how many times this has happened. He mentioned that he spoke to my wife and tried to correct the problem. I told him it was a recurring problem and it hasn’t corrected itself yet,” John told WINK News, describing his conversation at the front desk. “He was getting agitated with me, I was getting agitated with him. He just came to the point and said, ‘I’ve had enough of you guys, you’re outta here.’”
According to WINK News, John asked that Atlantic City police officers escort the family to get their belongings, rather than Harrah’s security personnel. Security officers began to surround John as they waited for police to arrive.
In the security footage, which is available online, John can be seen talking to Harrah’s employees before he is brutally taken down to the ground. Several security officers remain on top of him, roughing him up and restraining him. John is escorted away, struggling to walk.
After John is taken away, Renee and Andrea walk toward the elevator to go up to their room and gather their belongings. But before they make it to the elevator, security surrounds them again. Renee’s arms are held behind her back and she is forcibly dragged away as 17-year-old Andrea is slammed to the marble floor.
Andrea suffered a broken nose during the assault, and John is seen cradling his elbow on the security tapes.
Harrah’s Casino filed a disorderly conduct report against John Binns, but co-counsel Paul D’Amato fails to see how any of Binns’ words could lead to such a vicious assault.
“No sane person can explain the conduct that we see in those videos,” said attorney Paul D’Amato. “This is the United States of America. The last time I saw or heard, we don’t beat people up for raising their voices or getting upset.”
Michael Maggiano is part of the legal team representing the Binns family, as well as several other victims of assaults at Harrah’s Casino.
“This is not due to some rogue guy in security,” Maggiano told Philly.com. “We believe this is happening over and over again due to reckless cost-cutting and lax management of security. You can look at these guards and tell they were empowered to do this.”
Unfortunately, members of the Binns family are not the only victims of assault by security guards at Harrah’s. Sean Oaks, a student at the University of Pennsylvania, and Rob Coney, an accountant from Philadelphia, were assaulted on two separate occasions at the Pool After Dark nightclub at Harrah’s. Two taxi drivers were pulled from their vehicles and assaulted outside Harrah’s in 2011, and 36-year-old Anthony Flora was beaten by security guards in September 2012.
“The violent behavior is not random,” Maggiano said. “It is planned, calculated, brutal, and it appears that they take pleasure in doing what they do.”
Click here to see the report featured on ABC’s 20/20 “Holiday From Hell? Atlantic City Vacationers Describe Being Roughed Up by Harrah’s Security”