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Judges reinstate battery charges against drunken casino patron

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The Indiana Court of Appeals found a Switzerland Circuit Court had no grounds to dismiss the information against a man charged with misdemeanor battery after jabbing the shoulder of a pit boss at Belterra Casino.

Daniel Riley went to the casino in December 2011 to play blackjack at a specific seat. When he saw that seat was reserved, he got angry with pit boss Peggy Warfield after she refused to let him play, jabbing her in the shoulder. Security called Indiana Gaming Agent Audrey Smoot to take a complaint that Riley wanted to file. He then decided not to file charges, but Warfield wanted to press charges, so Smoot watched surveillance video of the incident.

She decided battery charges should be filed and Riley should be ejected. Because Riley was too intoxicated to leave and had a hotel room, she let him stay to sober up. When the state charged Riley with battery, Smoot was the affiant for the information, which was signed by the prosecutor. Riley sought to dismiss the charges, which Switzerland Circuit Judge W. Gregory Coy granted without prejudice.

“While there may be several possible grounds for dismissal of an information, we can find no support for the proposition that Smoot acting as affiant would be one of them. Nor has any other basis been alleged,” Chief Judge Margret Robb wrote. “While it may be more common to have a law enforcement officer or prosecutor affirm the information, it is not required by the plain language of the statute, nor by any case law that we can find or that the parties cite.”

As such, the trial court abused its discretion in granting the dismissal in State of Indiana v. Daniel E. Riley, 78A05-1206-CR-311.


 

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  1. I expressed my thought in the title, long as it was. I am shocked that there is ever immunity from accountability for ANY Government agency. That appears to violate every principle in the US Constitution, which exists to limit Government power and to ensure Government accountability. I don't know how many cases of legitimate child abuse exist, but in the few cases in which I knew the people involved, in every example an anonymous caller used DCS as their personal weapon to strike at innocent people over trivial disagreements that had no connection with any facts. Given that the system is vulnerable to abuse, and given the extreme harm any action by DCS causes to families, I would assume any degree of failure to comply with the smallest infraction of personal rights would result in mandatory review. Even one day of parent-child separation in the absence of reasonable cause for a felony arrest should result in severe penalties to those involved in the action. It appears to me, that like all bureaucracies, DCS is prone to interpret every case as legitimate. This is not an accusation against DCS. It is a statement about the nature of bureaucracies, and the need for ADDED scrutiny of all bureaucratic actions. Frankly, I question the constitutionality of bureaucracies in general, because their power is delegated, and therefore unaccountable. No Government action can be unaccountable if we want to avoid its eventual degeneration into irrelevance and lawlessness, and the law of the jungle. Our Constitution is the source of all Government power, and it is the contract that legitimizes all Government power. To the extent that its various protections against intrusion are set aside, so is the power afforded by that contract. Eventually overstepping the limits of power eliminates that power, as a law of nature. Even total tyranny eventually crumbles to nothing.

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