Following a series of incidents that include a stabbing, a shooting and a large party at the Encore Boston Harbor in the past week, the casino in Everett, Massachusetts, announced Thursday it is enhancing its "policies and protocols."
Among the changes is a cap on how many people can be in an Encore hotel room at once, with a hefty fine for people who violate the rules. Massachusetts limits indoor gatherings to 25 people or 8 people per 1,000 square feet of accessible floor space, to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.
"We have zero tolerance for irresponsible or unsafe behavior anywhere on our property," casino officials said in a statement sent to NBC10 Boston Thursday.
Effective immediately, the casino has announced they will now have a maximum occupancy of six people in hotel guestrooms. Violators will be fined $1,000 and kicked out.
In addition, security personnel will patrol hallways and be stationed at hotel elevators to make sure only registered guests are accessing hotel rooms, casino officials said.
In the stabbing, state police said David E. Guante, 30, of Natick, was arrested in a parking lot across the street from the casino overnight, where he had fled after an alleged stabbing. A small knife was recovered by police.
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Guante is charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and was arraigned Thursday. He was ordered held on $2,500 cash bail and is due back in court for a pre-trial hearing Sept. 14.
Police said the stabbing occurred around 2 a.m. during an altercation in the main cashier cage area of the casino.
The victim, a 24-year-old Lynn man, was located in the casino's lobby after the incident. He was conscious and alert and was able to provide police with a description of the suspect.
He was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital with what police said is believed to be a minor puncture wound. He is expected to survive.
Thursday's stabbing was just the latest in a series of incidents at the casino in recent days.
On Sunday, a man in his 30s was shot after leaving the casino around 3 a.m. He was taken to a local hospital where he was treated for his injuries and later released.
The suspect in that shooting, Daryl Brown, 29, of Randolph, has been charged with armed assault with intent to murder, assault and battery with a firearm, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and carrying a firearm. He was arraigned on Thursday in Malden District Court.
Prosecutors said Brown and the other man had been in an argument in the lobby of the casino just prior to the shooting. Preliminary investigation shows that Brown allegedly waited for the man outside of the casino garage and followed him to the Sweetser Circle area, where he fired multiple shots into the man's vehicle.
Also over the weekend, police were called in after a large party was held in one of the casino's private suites in violation of the state's guidelines for indoor gatherings amid the coronavirus pandemic. Videos of the party showed many attendees not wearing masks or practicing social distancing.
Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria released a statement saying, "Encore Boston Harbor has made the safety and wellbeing of their guests a top priority since their opening. I have no doubt that the patrons of the casino remain safe and protected."