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Crazy Casino Crime Capers


Some people handle losing better than others, and December saw a couple of bizarre cases where casino guests probably should have done some things differently. In Pennsylvania, a 45-year-old Harrisburg man was rescued by firefighters after becoming trapped in an elevator at the Hollywood Casino in Grantville. Authorities allege that the predicament was one of his own making.

“An investigation revealed the guest was angry as a result of betting losses and repeatedly kicked the elevator’s inside door, ‘critically disabling the elevator and entrapping him just between casino floors,’” WHTM noted.


Those casino losses may now be compounded with possible criminal charges. Pennsylvania State Police were still investigating the incident. This wasn’t the only interesting incident that came to light in December. In California, Fresno County Sheriff’s Deputies officers arrested Matthew Ebner, of Dos Palos, for numerous acts of vandalism against visitors to Table Mountain Casino.

Deputies reported that numerous cars received flattened tires over the last few months as part of an alleged “feud” Ebner had with the casino.

“During a three-month-long investigation, detectives discovered at least 35 vehicle owners experienced flat tires while driving through the parking lots of Table Mountain Casino and on nearby Millerton Road,” the department noted in a news release. “The victims all discovered they had driven over caltrops (homemade metal spikes), which got stuck in their tires. The damages totaled thousands of dollars.” 

The bizarre string of crimes came after police allege Ebner wanted some sort of revenge for a grievance against the property. Deputies worked with Table Mountain police and eventually identified Ebner’s pickup truck that was believed to be involved in the crimes.

A search of his home produced evidence in the case, according to the department, including caltrops. The small metal devices date back centuries and feature four prongs that can easily damage tires. Caltrops are built so that no matter how they hit the ground, one sharp prong points upward. The booby traps have been used to slow advancing armies  and chariots, and to pierce auto and airplane tires. Caltrops were used extensively in both world wars, where they could be scattered easily over a large area to slow enemies’ progress

But at a casino? This may be a first. After his arrest, Ebner now faces numerous charges of vandalism and had bail set at $25,000. His exact grudge against the casino isn’t yet known, but Ebner’s means of payback was certainly unique.


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