Casino’s guardsstabbed: Man escapes, possibly ID’d | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Casino’s guardsstabbed: Man escapes, possibly ID’d

William Ferchland

Two security guards remain in stable condition with neck wounds after being attacked by a knife-wielding man at a Stateline nightclub. The assailant is being sought by authorities and faces two counts of attempted murder with a deadly weapon, authorities said.

Justin Ready, a 25-year-old from the Bay Area, is suspected of using the blade, possibly a folding knife, after being escorted out of Altitude Nightclub at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe on Sunday night by the two guards, said Douglas County Undersheriff Bob Rudnick.

Investigators were attempting to serve a warrant Monday for Ready’s arrest. Lt. Mike Biaggini said early investigations revealed Ready has no criminal history. Authorities believe he was with a group of people.

Ready was dancing in an “unauthorized” area, such as a stage, which prompted his removal, Rudnick said.

The 11:45 p.m. attack occurred outside of the club but inside the casino. Each guard was cut once in the neck and was transported by air to Washoe Medical Center in Reno for treatment of the injuries, said Rudnick, who didn’t know whether the injuries were from a slashing or stabbing motion.

Rudnick would not release the names of the injured guards.

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Ready fled the scene and may have been in a white van believed to be headed toward the Bay Area, Rudnick said.

“It’s our understanding that he associated a lot with other DJs,” Biaggini said. “I don’t know for a fact yet if he is a DJ himself or if he hangs around (with DJs).”

He is described as a white male, 6-foot-3-inches tall, about 200 pounds and has brown hair. He also has facial hair on his chin as well as a silver stud pierced below his lower lip. Authorities consider him armed and dangerous.

Sundays at the club are advertised as $1 drink nights. It is not known if alcohol played a factor in the attack.

Fights at Stateline casinos, especially ones with clubs, are not uncommon. Many fights involve attempts to punch, kick or strike security guards but reports of attacks on the guards with dangerous weapons are rare.

Biaggini said he was trying to think of a similar incident, but couldn’t recall one even during crowded celebrations on New Year’s Eve and other busy nights.

John Packer, spokesman for Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, was unaware of a “policy to pat everybody down” but said there are plenty of security guards in and outside the club. Packer said there’s a “very close check on anybody trying to carry anything in.”

He wished the two a quick recovery.

While one security guard is a Harrah’s employee, the other is with Event Services Inc., a Reno-based company that provides roughly 300 private guards to casinos in Northern Nevada.

General Manager Mike Hendi said all guards are trained in techniques involving weapons defense, handcuffing and verbal judo, a strategy to calm people without physical altercations.

Verbal judo allows a disruptive person who may have “had a bad day or bad night call it a night and have a better day tomorrow,” Hendi said.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact Investigator Ron Elges at (775) 782-9905 or can call anonymously to Secret Witness at (775) 782-7463.