Man plans legal action after being detained during bomb threat at Ind. casino


by Renee Murphy

Posted on July 22, 2014 at 2:15 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 22 at 2:49 PM

ELIZABETH, Ind. (WHAS11) -- The Indiana Gaming Commission is investigating a bomb threat that came into the Horseshoe Casino in Elizabeth, Ind. July 10.

A WHAS11 I-Team investigation uncovered much more about the so-called threat and a man who was publicly lead away in handcuffs that same night.

The bomb threat, turns out,  was only a test and local law enforcement officers weren’t told about it.

“He was placed in handcuffs," local attorney Larry Wilder said. "He was taken through the casino gaming area."

Wilder represents Kenneth Surface. Surface has filed notice that he plans to take legal action against the casino.

During the test call, the caller stated a bomb was in the room where Surface was staying.

“He spent the next two hours being interrogated as though he was a terrorist,” Wilder said.

Harrison County sheriff Rodney Seelye said Surface didn't do anything wrong and the bomb threat was just a test.

“We have talked to Horseshoe management at Horseshoe and they are taking action to make sure nothing like this happens again,” Seelye said.

The test call came all the way from the Philippines from a company called Teleperformance and police were not told it was a test.

“We had about 68 man hours tied up in this incident,” Seelye said.

It cost taxpayers about $1,300 dollars.

The general manager of Horseshoe Casino, John Smith,  would not do an on-camera interview, but did release a written statement. In the statement Smith said as soon as the threat came in, they called law enforcement immediately.

The report from the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office shows something different. According to the report, the test call came into the casino at 9:08 p.m. and the call for police didn't come into the sheriff's department until 10:40 p.m.

“They are a multi-million dollar corporation with a multi-million dollar security system that failed miserably,” Wilder said.

It’s unclear at this time who exactly knew this was a test call or, if officials at Horseshoe thought this was real, why it took an hour and a half before police were notified.

"We did not learn until the following day that the threat was a test conducted by a third party vendor, which had failed to notify Horseshoe Southern Indiana or our Corporate Call Center that the threat was a test,” the written release from Horseshoe Casino stated.

WHAS11's i-Team contacted the Indiana Gaming Commission, but it would not give specifics about the investigation.