By Sadef Ali Kully
After a dozen people got into a brawl at the World Resort Casino Friday night, leaving five people injured, shots were fired outside in the parking lot around 10:49 p.m. in South Ozone Park, police said.
Five people, including one police officer who had a hand injury and four security personnel, suffered minor injuries, sources said.
The chair-throwing, fist-flying brawl took place inside the food court on the line for FAT Tuesdays, a New Orleans daiquiri chain, and police responded to a call to control the crowd, according to numerous videos posted on the Web. It was the opening night for the FAT Tuesdays’ concession.
Three men were arrested in the brawl. Andrew Rivers, 23, from Brooklyn, was charged with disorderly conduct; Jovan Bovell, 23, was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest; and Marcus Stewart, 30, was issued two summonses for disorderly conduct and released, the NYPD said.
“On Friday evening, Resorts World security responded to an altercation in the food court area and worked to quickly bring the situation under control,” the company said in a prepared statement. “The safety of our patrons is Resorts World’s top priority, and there is absolutely no room for this kind of behavior at our facility. We are reviewing all aspects of this unfortunate event and are fully committed to taking steps to ensure similar acts do not take place ever again.”
The cause of the brawl was under investigation.
A spokesman from World Resorts Casino said security has been increased and the establishment is cooperating with police authorities in the investigation.
“This is an isolated incident for us,” he said. “ There is no pattern here of previous incidents.”
Ten minutes later, shots were fired in the parking lot of the Resorts World Casino on Rockaway Boulevard, according to authorities. Officers conducted a search of the parking lot, as well as all local hospitals, and found no victims with a gunshot wound, the NYPD said.
Surveillance video of the incident was discovered and detectives poured through additional video and were able to track a suspect back into the casino from before the shooting and capture his image.
The license plate reader determined that the suspect fled in a gray 2001 Acura with New York state plates, said police.
From the plate, detectives were able to ascertain a registered owner’s name and address, to two people who have been arrested in the past. Driver’s license photos of those two individuals, along with a surveillance photo of the suspect from inside the casino, were then taken to the NYPD’s Real Time Crime Center’s Facial Recognition Unit, according to police.
The Facial Recognition Unit then identified the suspect as 22-year-old Jaquan Roberts. Jaquan is a 22-year-old black man, 6-feet tall and weighing 180 pounds, who had been arrested in 2010 on charges of possessing a loaded .22 caliber American Arms revolver after he shot himself in the right leg, police said.
Robert was still being sought, they said.
Reach Reporter Sadef Ali Kully by e-mail at skull