Presque Isle Casino Bomb Hoax Lands Ex-Venue Guard in Pennsylvania Prison

Posted on: November 3, 2021, 10:38h. 

Last updated on: November 3, 2021, 01:25h.

A former security guard at Pennsylvania’s Presque Isle Downs & Casino is heading to prison after he allegedly phoned in a fake bomb threat to the gaming property. He will serve at least one to six months.

Presque Isle Downs & Casino
Pennsylvania’s Presque Isle Downs & Casino, pictured above. A former security guard at the casino was sentenced to prison for allegedly making a bomb threat to the gaming property. (Image: GoErie)

Norman Antuzzi, 48, of Erie, Pa. pleaded guilty in June to a terrorist threat charge, according to the Erie Times-News, a local newspaper. Erie County Judge Daniel Brabender issued the sentence last week.

Not only was the casino evacuated after the threat, but specially-trained bomb-sniffing dogs went through the property looking for explosives. No devices were found and the casino reopened. But the casino lost more than $100,000 in revenue from the temporary closure.

Joke Becomes Bomb Threat

The incident began when Antuzzi began exchanging text messages with a bartender at the casino. She complained about being at work and he asked her if she wanted him to phone in a bomb threat. She said yes.

The bartender thought he was just being silly, according to statements reported by the Times-News. But she was later arrested for conspiracy to make terrorist threats. Her charge was lessened to disorderly conduct in a plea agreement and she paid a fine.

Tyler Lindquist, a Pennsylvania attorney representing Antuzzi, said his client did not mean to harm anyone.

“There was no ill will or ill intentions,” Lindquist told the Times-News. Lindquist also told the newspaper it was a “fair sentence.” The length of time in prison was on the lower end of what the judge could have imposed.

Prior Arrest

The Times-News also reported that Antuzzi has been incarcerated since his arrest. That time in prison normally could have made him already eligible for parole.

But Antuzzi was on probation for a 2017 crime when the threat took place. Court officials chose to revoke his probation.

Antuzzi’s earlier case was linked to motor vehicle accidents in Millcreek Township, Pa during which he allegedly drove over the foot of an 83-year-old motorist, the news report said. In 2018, Antuzzi pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors related to the accidents. He was placed in an alternative treatment court and placed on five years and six months of probation.

At the same time, Antuzzi pleaded guilty to DUI related to a 2016 charge in Edinboro, Pa., the news report adds.

Former Border Patrol Agent

Antuzzi is a former US Border Patrol agent and Navy veteran. He was suspended from the Border Patrol after the earlier charges, the Times-News said. He no longer works for the agency.

In an unrelated incident, in April a casino security guard in Bossier City, La., was charged with allegedly calling in two bomb threats to his place of employment, Horseshoe Bossier City Hotel & Casino. He was identified as Darell Ligin Davis, 21, of Shreveport, La.