Police apprehended two suspects who allegedly held two people at gunpoint during an attempted abduction in the parking lot of Wheeling Island casino in West Virginia on Jan. 17.
At around 6:45 p.m. on that Tuesday night, the two suspects, identified as Duwan Malik Groover, 43, and Susan Irene Coryell, 37, allegedly broke into the couple’s car. They allegedly aimed the gun at the woman and the second victim, a man, outside the vehicle. Both victims fled and were uninjured.
The Wheeling Police Department says the suspects were also involved in an assault on another man and woman. That incident reportedly occurred on 15th Street in East Wheeling shortly after the Wheeling Island Casino incident.
Police obtained descriptions of the suspects and vehicle and then found them back at the casino’s parking lot, according to the Wheeling News-Register. Groover and Coryell were booked into the Northern Regional Jail and charged as follows:
- Groover: Two counts of robbery, two counts of first-degree sexual assault, one count of attempted abduction. Bail set at $300,000.
- Coryell: Two counts of accessory before the fact of robbery. Bail set at $50,000.
Both suspects reside in Wheeling. Additional charges could be pending.
Protecting yourself from casino crime
Casino crime happens, unfortunately, but it usually involves robberies or money laundering. Customers often carry cash into a casino and sometimes out — and criminals know that.
Casinos in West Virginia and nationwide have a vested interest in customer safety as well as their own. They may suffer reputation and economic damages, since criminal activities that happen on their properties get reported in the news and discussed among patrons.
So, to combat casino crime, most casinos have operational security. Security cameras with views all over the property are common. On-site security guards keep a lookout as well. If they notice these measures, some criminals may choose a different casino with laxer security.
According to www.hg.org, theft is the crime that occurs most often inside a casino. Most thefts involve taking wallets or monetary vouchers. A thief may also take items like a purse or leather coat.
Patrons are encouraged to do their part in keeping safe by maintaining situational awareness inside and outside a casino. Professorslots.com offers these casino safety tips:
- Check out. If possible, request your winnings as a check rather than in cash.
- Ask for help. Use the service button to request a slot attendant.
- Don’t go it alone. Request that security escort you to your car, especially if you are carrying winnings.
- Have a friend’s back. Go with a pal when you visit a casino. Slot players are especially vulnerable, as they play alone and facing forward. Friends can take turns watching each other’s backs.
And gamblingteachers.com advises people to never keep a wallet in a back pocket and to keep a purse “wrapped securely around your shoulder or on your lap covered by your arm, or keep it in your hands.”
Customers may also want to remain aware when driving home from a casino. There have been cases where winners were followed and forced off the road or robbed upon arriving home.