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Gaming agents have full police power

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A gaming agent of the Indiana Gaming Commission constitutes a “law enforcement officer” for purposes of the offense of resisting law enforcement, the Indiana Court of Appeals decided today.

In William B. Jones v. State of Indiana, No. 73A01-0911-CR-532, William Jones argued he couldn’t be convicted of resisting law enforcement because the person he resisted was a gaming agent of the Gaming Commission. Jones was at a casino in Shelbyville when he got into an altercation. Gaming Agent Bradley Onskt identified himself as a police officer and inquired about the altercation. Jones continued to yell and resisted arrest by jerking away from Onskt, continuing to struggle after being handcuffed, and bumping into patrons.

Indiana statute says for purposes of riverboat gambling, a law enforcement agency includes gaming agents of the Indiana Gaming Commission, and gaming agents are vested with full police powers and duties to enforce Indiana Code Article 4-33.

“The plain language of Indiana Code Article 4-33 states unambiguously the General Assembly’s intent that gaming agents exercise full police power, including the power to arrest suspected offenders,” wrote Judge L. Mark Bailey. “It would be absurd to expect gaming agents to do so without the deterrence provided by the Resisting Law Enforcement statute.”


 

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