Harrah’s Joliet Casino Parking Lot Is Where Hidden Weapons Are, Cops Reveal

Published on: January 19, 2023, 04:22 am.

Last updated: 19 January 2023, 04:22.

A convicted felon last week hid a firearm in the parking lot of Harrah’s Joliet Casino & Hotel in Illinois, police said. The incident took place after he allegedly assaulted his girlfriend and then ran to the parking lot.

Harrah's Joliet Casino & Hotel in Illinois
Harrah’s Joliet Casino & Hotel in Illinois, pictured above. A man allegedly hid a gun on the casino’s parking deck. (Image: Kayak)

Rashad Owens, 33, of Joliet, was located by police and taken into custody for the Jan. 12 attack.

A few hours later, casino security found the loaded .38 caliber handgun on the deck, Patch reported. The serial number on the firearm was tampered with, police said.

He was also seen on casino surveillance video hiding the gun on the deck, authorities said.

The incident began on January 11. Police received a report of a domestic dispute at a residence.

Owens allegedly attacked his girlfriend’s face. During an argument, Owens hit her with a bag filled with various items, police said.

He then allegedly ran from the residence and hid on the parking deck.

He was later found by the police. Officers searched his clothes. Five bullets were recovered, police said.

A few hours later, the firearm was located on the parking deck. Owens was taken to the Will County Adult Detention Center. It was booked on January 12th.

He remained in custody at the jail as of midday Thursday this week. Bail was set at $5,300, according to online jail records.

He was charged with domestic assault, unlawful possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, unlawful possession of ammunition, defacing identification marks on a firearm and no firearm owner’s identification card.

He was also found to have an outstanding warrant out of DuPage County.

The firearm and bullets were seized by Joliet police, the Herald-Newsa Joliet newspaper reported.

Pending murder case

In an unrelated incident, Robert Watson faces trial for first degree murder for the violent murder of Harriet Joliet.

His criminal trial begins in Will County court on February 6.

He remains in custody. Bail was set at $5 million.

The victim was Emanuel “Sam” Burgarino, 76, of Wisconsin. He was stabbed 26 times and robbed.

It took place in March 2019 in a lobby on the fifth floor of the hotel.

Lawsuit

In March, U.S. District Judge Manish Shah denied Caesars Entertainment’s motion to dismiss a $6 million civil lawsuit filed by Watson.

The judge ruled that Denise Dixon, Burgarino’s fiancee, can sue the casino’s owner, Caesars Entertainment, for negligence.

“Watson suspiciously stalked and followed customers on Harrah’s property for hours — in full view of hotel staff — without checking in, gambling or purchasing anything,” Shah explained in his ruling.

“Harrah’s cameras repeatedly recorded him doing this, and Harrah’s did nothing to investigate its presence or prevent the attack on Burgarino.”

Dixon sued the casino operator in February 2021. The judge granted Caesars’ motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress.

According to Dixon, the basis of this complaint was that Harrah’s employees neglected to inform her of the assault and stopped her from going to the fifth floor when she discovered something was wrong.

Burgarino and Dixon had been gambling at the Joliet casino before the stabbing.

Poisoned food?

Since his arrest, Watson claims that the food served to him in prison has been poisoned. So, he opted to buy Honey Buns. They are individually wrapped.

He also repeatedly refused to appear in court for preliminary hearings.

Watson’s lawyers have argued that he suffers from schizophrenia. They claim he was mentally incompetent at the time of the murder.

Psychiatrists disagreed about his competency. But jurors ultimately determined he was fit to stand trial.

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