Photos from inside the Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati, scheduled to open March 4, 2013, in downtown Cincinnati. Kareem Elgazzar | WCPO Digital
CINCINNATI - A Centerville man who won a $2,000 jackpot at Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati last year is now suing the casino for false imprisonment and malicious prosecution after being detained on his way out the door.
Mark DiSalvo’s law firm has posted video of the March 11, 2013 incident on You Tube.
In an amended complaint, filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati, DiSalvo alleges he was improperly detained when he tried to leave the downtown Cincinnati casino. He also claims three Horseshoe employees later testified falsely about the incident in Hamilton County Municipal Court. The complaint was originally filed in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court in March, naming three Cincinnati Police officers as defendants.
Those defendants were removed recently when the city settled the complaint for $4,250.
"It was a nuisance settlement to avoid the cost of litigation," said Interim City Solicitor Terry Nestor. Horseshoe Casino declined to comment for this story.
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In an amended complaint filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati, DiSalvo alleges he was improperly detained when he tried to leave the downtown casino. He also claims three Horseshoe employees later testified falsely about the incident in Hamilton County Municipal Court. The complaint was originally filed in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court in March, naming three Cincinnati Police officers as defendants.
The federal complaint alleges the following: DiSalvo won a $2,000 jackpot playing video poker but couldn’t immediately claim his winnings because he left his identification at home. He was told paperwork would be brought to him enabling a later payout with proper ID. But casino employees didn’t bring the forms to him for roughly two hours, despite repeated requests. After he got the forms, DiSalvo “stopped to check the nametag of a particularly unhelpful Horseshoe employee” on his way out the door.
That, DiSalvo says, led to a confrontation with casino security officers, who detained DiSalvo, called Cincinnati police, falsely accused him of causing a disturbance at the property in a prior visit and falsely testified against DiSalvo in a criminal menacing case in which the retired school teacher was acquitted.
“Fortunately, a video exists of these events,” said the complaint. “The challenge in the video is to figure out what Mark DiSalvo did to be arrested. And how this could happen in America.”
The 47-minute video comes from casino security cameras and shows DiSalvo arguing with – and mock saluting - former Cincinnati Police Officer Charles Beebe, a Horseshoe Security Ambassador who told police DiSalvo threatened him, according to the lawsuit.
Beebe is one of six defendants named in the complaint. Others include Caesars Entertainment Corp., Rock Ohio Caesars LLC and Richard Janke, a former assistant police chief in Cincinnati and former director of security for the casino.
DiSalvo was later acquitted of the menacing charge, but spent $6,000 defending it, said Mark Painter, DiSalvo’s attorney.
“They never apologized to him,” Painter said. “They went to court and told the same story.”
Painter said DiSalvo offered to settle for $56,000 and Horseshoe countered with a $10,000 offer.