Unlawful arrest cases at Atlantic City casino find for the plaintiffs
By Bob Garcia
Two individuals wrongfully detained by police at the Golden Nugget have been vindicated
In late 2017, there had been reported arrests at the Atlantic City casino, which were part of much controversy due to how unfair the case appeared to be. Today, just over four years later, it is reported that two men were able to win a court case against the New Jersey State Police.
The Golden Nugget Atlantic City casino resort was the scene of illegal arrests involving Lawrence Mills and Daniel Chun. Both were visiting the resort in November 2017 in order to have a good time. At that time, Chun reportedly made separate cash deposits of $1,000 at the casino’s cashier for his newly created Golden Nugget iGaming account.
After this activity was a bit suspicious to a compliance officer, he proceeded to notify state regulators. Shortly after that, that alert was responded to by the State Police Casino Gaming Bureau, which decided to send three troopers. Detective Sgts. Richard Wheeler, Carl Smallwood and Lance Moorhouse later arrested Mills and Chun.
Through their legal complaint, the plaintiffs alleged that they were abruptly stopped as they were walking back to their car in the casino parking lot. In fact, the lawsuit claims that the two were “slammed from behind against the car door,” and there really wasn’t a sufficient reason for the officers to react in this manner.
State police records state that both subjects were arrested for allegedly engaging in “some type of scam.” Federal Judge Harvey Bartle in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania ruled in a summary judgment dated December 20 that their arrests really had no clear justification. “The searches of Mills and Chun incident to their unlawful arrests were therefore also violations of their Fourth Amendment rights,” the judge wrote in his December 20 ruling. Bartle added that the suspects were “put on the ground in handcuffs without explanation.”
Both the phone and laptop that were seized at the time were not sufficient evidence of any criminal activity. Determining that there was no probable cause, Bartle entered summary judgment in favor of Mills and Chun.