Foxwoods Casino Fight Leads to Charges Against Police Officer

Posted on: December 21, 2022, 02:48h. 

Last updated on: December 21, 2022, 03:08h.

A Fall River, Mass., police officer was charged after a fight earlier this month at Connecticut’s Foxwoods Resort Casino. He was identified Wednesday in media reports as Aaron Souza.

Foxwoods Resort Casino
Foxwoods Resort Casino, pictured above. A Fall River, Mass., police officer was arrested at the Connecticut casino following a fight. (Image: Foxwoods)

Souza, who resides in Somerset, Mass., was charged with two counts of third-degree assault on December 3, WPRI, a Rhode Island TV station, reported. Souza was released from custody on a $5,000 bond, the report said. He is scheduled to next appear in court on Jan. 26, 2023.

The charges were included in documents held at New London, Conn., Superior Court. The court is located near the casino.

Authorities Tight-Lipped

When contacted by WPRI, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Police, which patrols Foxwoods, declined to comment. Details on the incident weren’t released to the media by the Fall River Police Department, nor by Connecticut prosecutors.

When asked about the arrest, Fall River Police Sgt. Moses Pereira wouldn’t confirm to WPRI that Souza was the officer “involved in an incident at the Foxwoods Casino.”

It’s also unclear if a Fall River officer was placed on leave because of the fight. The department says it opened an internal investigation regarding the incident, according to WPRI.

Alcohol may have been a contributing factor in the fight, WPRI added. The officer was off-duty at the time of the fight, the report said.

Fall River Deputy Police Chief Barden Castro told WPRI the department was informed about the incident by the officer involved. As of earlier this month, the department was awaiting details from tribal police.

Runaways Headed to Foxwoods

In an unrelated incident in July, girls in their early teens were headed to Foxwoods Casino with a 27-year-old man before cops stopped them. Police identified the girls as runaways. The man was later arrested in Connecticut.

Phillip A. Tanner, 27, of Torrington, Conn., was charged with three counts of risk of injury to a minor, The Day, a Connecticut newspaper, reported.

He allegedly picked up the girls and another young female in Ledyard, Conn. They were heading to the nearby Foxwoods Casino to meet up with other people, police said.

Police stopped Tanner’s car in the middle of the night on Route 2 in Preston, Conn., and saw the girls in the vehicle, according to The Day. The girls were 13, 14, and 15 years old, based on court information. They were under the care of Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families. It’s unclear how old the fourth female was, though one news report identified her as a teenager.

One of the teens was described in court documents as “A chronic runaway with an extensive history of being possibly human trafficked,” WFSB, a local TV station, reported.

Earlier this year, Tanner was being held on $100K bail in Connecticut’s Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Center. He was arraigned in New London Superior Court and his case appears to be pending.

During a recent court appearance, Judge Kevin Shay said he was “very troubled” by the case, WFSB said.

The report said the judge ordered Tanner to avoid visits to Connecticut casinos, avoid a youth home in Ledyard where one or more of the girls were living, and ruled Tanner cannot have any contact with the girls.