A 29-year-old Chicago woman is facing multiple charges after she allegedly scratched and assaulted a police officer in the eyes and face at the recently-opened Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana. She refused to leave the Gary, Ind. gaming property and the officer was trying to handcuff her when she repeatedly assaulted him, police said.
During the struggle, Tiara S. Johnson allegedly struck and scratched the officer with her nails. He suffered many cuts to his face and eyes.
He had subconjunctival bleeding in his left eye, The Times of Northwest Indiana, a regional newspaper, reported based on police and court documents. It was unknown if the officer received medical treatment for the injuries. His name was not immediately available.
Johnson Faces Four Charges
Last Friday, Johnson apparently did not enter her own plea to charges while in Indiana court. So, a magistrate judge entered not guilty pleas for Johnson.
She is charged with battery resulting in bodily injury to a public safety official, resisting law enforcement, criminal trespass, and disorderly conduct, the Times said. If found guilty, she could be imprisoned for several years.
Last week’s incident at the Hard Rock occurred after Johnson and a friend lost their tempers after casino staff would not let the friend enter the casino.
The two allegedly lashed out at police. Then, Johnson pushed the officer in the chest, police said. The struggle escalated when the officer tried to arrest her.
The Hard Rock Casino opened last month. The casino is a joint venture between Spectacle Entertainment and Hard Rock International.
Indiana Gaming License Controversy Continues
In another gambling-related event in the state, last week the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) decided not to renew a license for a company that was to operate a casino in Vigo County.
Lucy Luck Gaming LLC had been awarded the license. But now, the IGC will once again put the license out to bid.
In 2019, the license was awarded to Spectacle Jack. It is a subsidiary of Spectacle Entertainment.
After a series of controversies, the license was transferred to Lucy Luck Gaming.
Previously, Spectacle Entertainment founder Rod Ratcliff sold his stake in Spectacle Jack to Greg Gibson, a Terre Haute, Ind.-based businessman and Spectacle co-founder. That company eventually became Lucy Luck.
Also, the Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana recently won a court victory over a small section of the gaming property’s parking lot.
Earlier this month, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a lower court ruling that the casino did not own the disputed property, the Times reported.
The parcel measures 10-feet wide by 165-feet deep. In the unanimous decision, the appeals judges said an entity called “Windy City Acquisitions LLC” basically complied with requirements for a tax sale, and the casino’s parent company is entitled to the 0.04-acre property, the Times added.
Gary is about 30 miles southeast of Chicago.
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