About Frank Renzi

New Orleans Police Homicide Detective featured in Susan Fleet's New Orleans crime thriller series




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  Dumb Criminal Tricks  

July 22, 2012 11:33      

permalink   Beat the Slots and Boozy cows 

I was going to rant about the mass murder in the Colorado movie theater a few days ago, but I need some time to get my mind around what this vicious killer did. I also need time to figure out how it's possible to buy 6,000 rounds of ammo on the Internet and have it shipped to your house. But stay tuned. I'll get to it. For now, I hope these stories cheer you up a bit.

Beat the slots!

Business is booming at gambling casinos. There are more than 900 casinos in the U.S. that average upwards of 20,000 visitors a day. Even so, casinos are fairly safe places to be. For people, not the machines.

Owners used to worry about people cheating at cards or craps. Now? Not so much.

There's a bigger threat.

People are beating  slot machines. Literally. Miss a jackpot by one silly cherry? Slug the machine.

"It happens three or four times a week," said one security guard. "And that's only on my shift."

"I  lost $300 ... so I broke the machine," said a 56-year-old Brooklyn man after he punched a screen, "And I'd do it again!"

Machines don't fight back, but the results can be ugly.

Slot-machine rage is, well, raging all over the country. Stephen Troum, a hand surgeon, says, "I absolutely recommend against punching the machine."

But angry gamblers still punch and beat on machines that fail to spit out a jackpot, leaving incomplete rows of red cherries and number 7s beneath smashed glass.

Many suffer cuts and broken bones. How many?

Consider this: Las Vegas alone has more than 197,000 slots.

Big bucks for repairs

Many casinos no longer have old-fashioned slots with spinning wheels behind glass panels. They have switched to digital machines with multiple LCD or touch screens, and the damage can run into the thousands.

At Resorts World in Queens, NY, the baccarat tables get banged up the most.

Hunched over screens embedded in a tabletop, gamblers play against a digital dealer. As each card is dealt, some scream with joy. Others curse their luck and pound the video tabletop. Hard. And repairing a pulverized LCD or touch screen is expensive.

Scant punishment

Those who bash gambling machines receive scant punishment. One man lost $5,000, caused $2,000 damage when he punched a machine and received 70 hours of community service. The Brooklyn man quoted above pleaded guilty to criminal mischief and was sentenced to 90 days in jail. A woman from Queens caused $1,800 in damage to another machine. Her case is still pending.

In June 2012, the NY Lottery issued protocols for those who maim the machines. The basher is given the chance to pay for the damage. If she/he refuses, the police are called. But not all angry losers hit the machines. One frustrated loser unzipped his fly and pissed all over it.

Boozy Cows

Speaking of pissed, how would you like it if a bunch of cows crashed your party and drank all your beer?

That's what happened in Boxboro, MA. One fine day in May, Karen Spencer threw a party for her nursing school friends in the backyard .

When she went inside and told her father there were cows in the backyard, he said: "Stop the party, you've all been drinking too much."

Then he went outside, saw six large cows nosing beer cans on a table, and called police. Boxford police Lt. James Riter arrived.

By then the cows, to be specific six Belted Galloways, were lapping spilled beer off the table. They seemed to prefer Miller Lite over Bud Lite. One was foraging in the recycle bin hoping to find cans that still had a bit of good to the last drop beer. 

Boxboro police called Pat Cononica, who was hosting his son's cows at his farm in West Boxford. "They probably heard the voices," said Cononica. "They're very friendly." He and his friends rounded up the cows and herded them back to the barn. No breathalyzer, no perp walk.

"Never have they gone so far and seemed to enjoy themselves so much," Cononica said.


Riter, a 21-year veteran of the Boxford police force, drove by his farm the next morning. "They were all laying down," he said. "I don't know if they had a headache or what."

I can't imagine anyone giving me grief about this post, but hey, ya never know. Good or bad, leave me a comment, I'd love to hear from you. NOPD homicide detective Frank Renzi signing off.

Sources: Failing to Hit Jackpot, and Hitting Machine Instead, Sarah Maslin Nir, NYTimes, 7/13/2012

Beer-guzzling cows crash Boxford Party, Colin A. Young, Boston Globe, 5/24/2012

 Dumb Criminal Tricks   comments (2)

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[ Posted by Clarbojahn, July 24, 2012 8:38 ]
     LOL! That's so funny!
glad to see a sense of humor after the horrific news in Colorado. I guess it's time we saw a little lighter side. Still wish all the families of victims peace and healing. Our prayers are with them. :)

[ Posted by admin, July 24, 2012 8:44 ]
     Glad you enjoyed it. Sometimes we need to lighten up after a particularly horrific crime. Remember the victims ...


[ Posted by maryann, July 26, 2012 9:51 ]
     This was interesting. I can imagine what that party was like when the cows showed up. Hope they didn't leave a 'present.' LOL

[ Posted by admin, July 26, 2012 9:59 ]
     Thanks for the comment, Maryann. Glad you enjoyed the post. I guess the cows were pretty friendly. Don't know if they left a present or not.


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