Devin O'Connor

Posted on: July 30, 2021, 08:45h. 

Last updated on: July 30, 2021, 09:38h.

The Live! Philadelphia casino was the site of a violent kidnapping recently, the alleged victim saying he was pistol-whipped and duct-taped.

Live! Philadelphia casino crime kidnapping
Anti-gun violence activists (left to right) Jamal Johnson, Leroy Muhammad, and Bhoke Lumumba urge locals to put down their arms. Live! Philadelphia was recently the site of a violent kidnapping. (Image: The Philadelphia Inquirer)

Philadelphia police responded to the $700 million casino resort located in the city’s Stadium District at around 6 am ET on Wednesday morning, July 28. A male victim said he was abducted by four or five men four hours earlier in the casino’s parking lot. 

The unidentified person said the gang of four or five approached and immediately began beating him. The victim claimed he was whipped with a pistol and then duct-taped. The man alleged that he was then thrown in a car and driven to an area in the northeastern part of the city. After his assailants left, he managed to chew his way out of the duct tape and escape. 

Police believe the alleged perpetrators returned to Live! Philadelphia to steal the man’s vehicle. Law enforcement didn’t reveal whether they were successful. 

South Philly Crime

Live! Philly, which opened earlier this year, is Baltimore-based Cordish Companies’ first full-scale Category 2 casino in Pennsylvania. The resort is adjacent to Philadelphia’s professional sports stadiums, home to the NFL Eagles, MLB Phillies, NBA 76ers, and NHL Flyers. 

The area is in South Philadelphia, not far from some of the City of Brotherly Love’s more dangerous neighborhoods. AreaVibes, an online resource that grades livability of localities based on various data points, including cost of living, crime, employment, housing, and schools, gives South Philadelphia a rating of “F.” The neighborhood has a violent crime rate that is 68 percent higher than the national average.

Based on FBI statistics, 2,551 per 100,000 South Philly residents will be a victim of a crime each year. And 636 of those incidences will be classified as a violent crime.

However, those crime rates are actually lower than Philadelphia’s citywide averages. A little more than 4,000 per 100,000 city residents are victims of crime each year, with 909 subjected to a violent incident. 

Crime Surge

Live! Philadelphia, like every other commercial casino in the US, is heavily surveilled. The resort said in a statement that it’s working closely with law enforcement to apprehend the alleged attackers. 

Our security and surveillance teams will remain in constant contact with the Philadelphia Police Department as they investigate this isolated incident and assist in any way possible,” a statement from the casino read.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported this week that emergency room doctors say they tend to more victims of gun violence than heart attacks. City officials reveal that Philadelphia has experienced 319 homicides in 2021, a 29 percent increase from 2020.

In January, a 25-year-old man was fatally shot along Packer Avenue less than 2,000 feet from Live! Philadelphia.  

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