Passenger sues Victory Casino Cruises over treatment

Woman claims she was thrown to ground, handcuffed by security officer

MAYPORT, Fla. – A woman who sailed on the Victory II Casino cruise ship in March has filed a lawsuit claiming that the director of security assaulted and handcuffed her, then put her in a holding cell a least an hour.

The attorney who filed the lawsuit on behalf of Christina Reeves said the director of security threw Reeves on the ground and put his knee into her back. The attorney said that as a result of that incident, Reeves has multiple back injuries.

According to this lawsuit, Reeves is seeking in excess of $15,000 for assault, battery, false imprisonment, excessive use of force and other counts. Reeves claimed that security told her that she could no longer play Texas Hold ‘Em and could only play slots. He says an argument ensued between his 5-foot 6-inch, 145 pound client and Director of Security Michael Robinson.

"It appears that the first time that someone objected with what they were saying, they went to physical force," said attorney Rod Sullivan. "Not only just physical force, but excessive physical force."

Sullivan says that he understands that disagreements will happen when gambling and alcohol are involved, but he says that according to his client and a witness to the incident, the response went too far. He says he has requested the surveillance video from the ship more than two months ago, but Victory has not provided it.

"My gut reaction, having done this for many years, is that if the videotapes showed something good for Victory Casino, we would've seen them by now," Sullivan said.

In the court filing, a capture of Robinson's Facebook page shows Robinson refers to himself as "a badass."

"Anytime someone described themselves on a social media is a badass or a security badass, you have to wonder to yourself whether they are looking for an opportunity to use force in their job," Sullivan said. "If that is the case in this situation, Victory Cruises should've known that before they made him their director of security."

As for a reaction to the lawsuit, Lester Bullock, the CEO of Victory Casino Cruises, replied in an email that the company has not seen the lawsuit yet, adding:

"It is the policy of Victory Casino Cruises not to litigate cases in the press but rather, to respond in the appropriate forum, which is the court. Viewers should be reminded that anyone can file a lawsuit against anyone for anything. The filing of a lawsuit does not constitute evidence of anything."

Bullock also said he would like to comment further, but the company's attorney has requested he refrain from doing so.

Sullivan said he is hopeful that this case can be taken care of quickly, that they can work with Victory Casino Cruises to come to some sort of agreement about what happened. But based on how things have been going thus far, Sullivan is not sure that will happen.