A man apparently drunk inside the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem – he told police he spent around $600 at the casino’s Vision Bar – ended up on the floor struggling with two state troopers because the man refused to leave.
The incident involving Jose Antonio Rivera Jr., 38, of Allentown occurred early Sunday. About seven hours before, city police were called to the Sands and ended up arresting a Reading man for allegedly stealing a $40 bottle of fragrance from a casino store.
Court records in the Rivera case said police were alerted shortly before 2:30am about a disorderly person who refused to leave “after being asked … multiple times.” At one point, the records say, Rivera told security officials to “go ahead” and call police.
The case was handled by state police’s Sands gaming office. Trooper Jeffrey Kowalski wrote in a criminal complaint that as he tried to take Rivera into custody, the man said “do not touch me” and attempted to get away from the trooper.
Rivera, Kowalski and a second trooper ended up on the floor, with Rivera refusing to put his hands behind his back so troopers could handcuff him. And once the troopers succeeded, he refused to walk.
In a later interview with Kowalski, who notes at this point that Rivera smelled strongly of alcohol, the suspect said that before trying to enter the gaming floor, he spent around $600 in the Vision Bar.
Rivera, of 332 W. Lexington Ave. on Allentown’s south side, was charged with resisting arrest, criminal trespass, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness/similar misconduct. He was arraigned at 6am Sunday by on-duty District Judge Todd Strohe of Bangor and committed to Northampton County Prison in lieu of $5,000 bail.
In the earlier incident at the Sands, Stephen A. Liggs, 49, was accused of stealing a bottle of fragrance from Spritz Designer Fragrances.
City officer Jason Holschwander wrote in a criminal complaint that store employees saw Liggs take a $40 bottle of Franck Olivier Sun Java White fragrance from a shelf, conceal it and walk out, ignoring their requests to return the item.
Holschwander took Liggs into custody after the 7:45pm incident and found the bottle in one of the bags Liggs was carrying.
Liggs, whose address in Reading is listed as 1125 Meade St., was charged with retail theft. But because he has two prior retail theft convictions, the Sands charge rose to a level-three felony.
He was arraigned at 12:30am Sunday by Strohe and committed to county prison in lieu of $2,000 bail.