Two men beat a 45-year-old Brookfield man and his 71-year-old mother and robbed them of $613 after apparently following them from a Casino in Hammond, Indiana, at about 3 a.m. on Jan. 2.
The two victims had just driven back to the son’s home in the 3800 block of Arthur Avenue from the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, where they’d been gambling since about 5 p.m. on Jan. 1. As the son fumbled with the key to a side door in the gangway, two men wearing ski masks approached them from the street.
One of the men, described as standing about 6 feet tall and wearing a dark hooded jacket, pushed past the elderly woman and struck her son on the head with a hard object. The other man, described as standing about 5-foot-9 with a thin build, struck the woman as she lay on the ground.
As the male victim got back up to defend his mother, the first offender reportedly struck him over the head and yelled, “Give me the cash from the casino!” The other offender demanded cash from the woman, but she’d left it in the car in her purse. When she said it was in the car, the offender seemed confused and said, “What? No, give me the cash from the casino.”
The woman’s son threw his wallet on the ground and told the men to take it. One of them grabbed it and the two fled on foot toward the street.
The male victim tried calling police on his cellphone, but it was covered in blood and he couldn’t get it to work immediately. After a time, he was able to dial 911 and police and paramedics responded to the scene.
The two victims were taken to Loyola University Medical Center for treatment of their head injuries.
Both victims told police they hadn’t noticed anyone following to their vehicle in the casino parking lot when they left sometime after 2 a.m., though the woman said that at one point a man sat next to her at a slot machine but didn’t play, which she said seemed suspicious.
As the woman and her son were leaving, she stopped at a ticket exchange machine near the lobby to cash in a $350 slot machine ticket. The woman’s son told police he’d taken $1,000 with him to the casino but left with $613, the amount stolen by the two masked offenders.
His mother told police she also remembered two male subjects standing by the elevator as she and her son were leaving, but the men didn’t get on the elevator with them.
Police continue to investigate the robbery. Chief James Episcopo offered a reminder to people visiting casinos that they can attract people looking to prey on people they know are carrying large amounts of cash.
“Any time you are carrying cash, please have a healthy awareness of your surroundings,” Episcopo said. “Crimes of opportunity like this can happen anywhere. If you feel you’re being followed or that something is not quite right, call 911 or drive to a police station.”