A Pennsylvania man accused of abducting an 84-year-old woman from the Wind Creek Bethlehem garage and later robbing and repeatedly striking her was sitting in a jail cell Friday. He was unable to post $1 million in bail, Northampton county officials said.
Hykeem Rasmeen Sessoms, 38, of Bethlehem, was charged with kidnapping, robbery, threat of serious bodily injury, terroristic threats, theft, receiving stolen property and simple assault, the local prosecutor’s office confirmed to Casino.org.
Following his arrest Wednesday, Sessoms appeared before Judge Joseph K. Barner in the Northampton County Magisterial District Court on Thursday. He was ordered by the judge to go to the Northampton County Jail.
The victim suffered leg injuries when Sessoms allegedly kicked her leg. He also allegedly repeatedly hit her in the head with his fist, according to WFMZ TV News.
She underwent treatment at a local hospital, the Morning Call said. Her injuries did not appear life-threatening.
The ordeal began when the victim was returning to her car that was parked in Wind Creek garage Wednesday afternoon.
Sessoms sneaked behind her and allegedly ordered her to hand over money. He claimed to have a gun and allegedly kicked her shin, the Morning Call said.
A casino employee reportedly heard the victim yell, “I don’t have any money!”
The robber then allegedly demanded the woman get in the driver’s seat of her car. Sessoms went into the back seat, the report said.
He then allegedly forced her to drive out of the garage and around city roads. After allegedly demanding money again and hitting her in the head, he allegedly grabbed her purse and took $10 in cash, the Morning Call said.
She had been in the casino and cashed out her winnings, but the suspected robber was only able to find the $10, WFMZ said.
He then allegedly fled from the car. The victim was able to provide a description of her attacker to police. Wind Creek also provided photos from surveillance cameras and police were able to get further details from witnesses, the report said.
The employee who overheard the incident alerted security staff quickly, but the car had already left the garage when officers responded.
Later that day, Sessoms was located by police. He was hiding behind a parked vehicle on a city street, the Morning Call said.
First, he told police he did not go to Wind Creek on Wednesday, the report said. Then, he said he was on the casino’s first floor, but not in the third-floor garage, the report adds.
Sessoms is scheduled to return to the local courthouse for a preliminary hearing on Dec. 26, according to the prosecutor’s office.
Wind Creek Bethlehem Acquired in May
The Wind Creek Bethlehem was formerly known as the Sands Bethlehem. In July, it took the name of its new owner, Wind Creek Hospitality.
Wind Creek is the business arm of the Alabama-based Poarch Creek Indians, which purchased the Pennsylvania property, along with its convention center, from former owners Las Vegas Sands for $1.3 billion in a deal that was finalized May 31.
Fines for Underage Visitors
In April, the Sands Bethlehem was fined by state gaming regulators for allowing underage visitors to access slot machines and table games and consume alcoholic beverages. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) detailed 11 instances of underage violations at the casino located on the eastern edge of the Keystone State.
Seven teenagers aged 18-19, and four 20-year-olds gained access to the gaming floor, the state says, and four of them were additionally served alcohol. Sands Bethlehem self-reported the violations.