Sen. Singleton arrested at Greenetrack

Published 10:10 am Thursday, July 1, 2010

At least 16 people have been arrested this morning, including state Sen. Bobby Singleton (D-Greensboro), and Greenetrack CEO Luther Winn, as Gov. Bob Riley’s Task Force on Illegal Gambling regained control of Greenetrack,

The majority of those arrested were charged with various accounts of interfering with law enforcement.

Col. J. Christopher Murphy, Director of the Alabama Department of Public Safety, on Thursday morning issued the following statement about arrests carried out at Greenetrack:

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“This morning 16 people who had been blocking the entrance into the Greenetrack casino in violation of the Supreme Court’s order and who had been asking law enforcement officers to arrest them were arrested by State law enforcement officers. They were cooperative and arrested without further incident…These individuals, including Mr. Winn, repeatedly asked law enforcement officers to arrest them. In all my years in law enforcement, this is the first time I’ve had individuals specifically ask to be arrested so they can get out of a place. I thought I had seen it all, but when it comes to illegal gambling, there’s no limit to what some will do.

Winn is expected to also be charged with assault and leaving the scene of an accident, Task Force Commander John Tyson said.

Tyson said Winn struck a state trooper with the side-view mirror of his car as he drove away. Tyson noted Winn sped past the trooper, ignoring his requests to stop his vehicle on Greenetrack property.

Singleton serves the 24th District which includes Marengo, Bibb, Choctaw, Greene, Hale, Perry, Sumter and Tuscaloosa counties.

The Alabama Supreme Court Wednesday once again cleared the way for the governor’s gambling task force to raid Greenetrack.

The court’s ruling, which came down about about 5 p.m. yesterday, ended a daylong legal standoff at the casino.

Greene County Circuit Judge Eddie Hardaway issued an order shortly before midnight Tuesday that stopped Tyson from seizing the electronic bingo machines. He considers them to be illegal slot machines.

In the Wednesday afternoon order the court, in a 7-2 ruling, the court said Hardaway didn’t have the authority to stop task force’s raid Tuesday night.

However, the High Court left in place an injunction which prevents the task force from removing property of the bingo hall.

Governor Bob Riley issued the following comment on Wednesday night concerning the Alabama Supreme Court’s ruling that the Task Force on Illegal Gambling can return to the Greenetrack casino.

“Disregarding Supreme Court orders cannot be and must never be optional. Our judicial system depends on people following the orders of the state’s highest court,” said Governor Riley.