Man Jailed for Attack on Harrah’s Joliet Patrons Sues Casino for $10m, Alleges Racial Abuse

  • Darryl Allen has been in prison since police arrested him in 2018 for attacking two casino goers
  • His charges include attempted armed robbery, aggravated assault, and aggravated battery
  • Allen will represent himself in court to seek $10m and “a public apology” from Harrah’s
  • The defendant's court argument contends he was the victim, not the attacker in the incident
  • Police said Allen placed a knife to the woman’s throat and announced he was going to rob her
Welcome to Joliet road sign in Illinois
A man jailed in 2018 for attacking two casino patrons has filed a $10m lawsuit against Harrah’s Joliet Hotel and Casino, claiming he was the victim in the incident. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

In prison for almost three years

A man jailed in 2018 for an attack on two casino patrons has filed a $10m lawsuit against Harrah’s Joliet Hotel and Casino.

Police in Joliet, Illinois arrested Darryl Allen, who claims to be a former Marine Corps veteran, on March 24, 2018. Allen, now 59, has been living inside Will County Jail in Illinois ever since, unable to raise ten percent of his $150k bail.

charges include attempted armed robbery, aggravated assault, and aggravated battery

Allen filed his pro se civil lawsuit on January 6 in Illinois’s 12th Judicial Circuit Court. The date of the scheduled court review is March 12. His charges include attempted armed robbery, aggravated assault, and aggravated battery. He is now seeking $10m and “a public apology” from Harrah’s.

A pro se lawsuit is when litigants or parties represent themselves in court without help from a lawyer. As Illinois news site Patch reports, “practically all pro se civil lawsuits filed at the Will County Courthouse by convicted criminals or criminal defendants eventually get dismissed from the court docket by judges.”

Defendant alleges racial abuse

Described as being 6’ 3″ and weighing 210 lbs by Will County Sherrif’s Office inmate search, Allen contends in his court argument that he was the victim in the incident.

His lawsuit claims: “I observed a man and a woman coming out of the front door of the Harrah’s Joliet Casino and I said to the lady, ‘Did you have any luck tonight?’ The guy […] said to me, ‘That’s my wife your (sic) talking to (racial slur) and then he reached in his waist for what I thought was a weapon so I took a knife out to defend himself (sic).”

The Joliet local alleges that, instead of a weapon, the unnamed man pulled out a mobile phone. At this stage, Allen reportedly tried to get away from the man, who chased after him “hollering (racial slur) this and (racial slur) that.”

“I am a honorably discharged Marine Corps veteran. I did not deserved (sic) to be treated so bad”

After a casino security detail handcuffed him, Allen alleges that the pursuing man struck him on the head, knocking him out, and that a surveillance camera caught the incident. “I am a honorably discharged Marine Corps veteran. I did not deserved (sic) to be treated so bad,” the complaint states.

Police version of events contradicts claims

Allen told Will County judges that the assault on him caused injuries to his head, back, and knee. He also argues that he’s suffered mentally, requiring “psych medicine” as a result of the incident, for which he blames Harrah’s Joliet casino security.

“Security could have prevented me from getting hurt if they wanted. But I was just another (racial slur). You will see this when you see the DVD,” Allen told judges.

Shaw Media reported in 2018 that according to Joliet police, Allen approached the woman outside Harrah’s, placed a knife to her throat, and announced he was going to rob her. After the incident with Allen, the woman, identified as Gemma Cook, later sued Caesars Entertainment – which operates Harrah’s Joliet – for failing to provide adequate security on the premises. She reportedly suffered physical and psychological injuries as a result of the attack.