A Madera man was arrested inside Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino Wednesday morning for allegedly brandishing a loaded handgun in front of a casino employee, after telling her he almost shot someone because they spilled coffee on him, Madera County Sheriff’s Cmdr. Tyson Pogue said.
Don Pisano, 21, was arrested on felony charges of carrying a concealed weapon, carrying a loaded weapon in public, being armed in the commission of a felony, resisting arrest, and battery of a police officer. He remained in Madera County Jail Wednesday.
Pogue said four deputies were called to the casino around 6:15 a.m. when Pisano allegedly pulled out the gun. When they arrived, Pisano refused their commands and was noncompliant, Pogue said, forcing deputies to tackle him.
“And he started fighting with them,” Pogue said. “He fought all four of them. They got him in handcuffs, and he was still fighting back, even in handcuffs.”
The deputies managed to restrain Pisano, Pogue said, and pulled a loaded handgun - later determined to be stolen from a vehicle in Fresno last August - out of his pocket. The caliber of the gun wasn’t yet known, Pogue said.
Pogue said though Pisano was armed and dangerous when arrested, the situation came to a positive conclusion.
“I’m very happy to report that deputies were able to bring this to a peaceful resolution with no injuries to themselves or the suspect,” Pogue said.
Further investigation lead deputies to Pisano’s vehicle in the casino parking lot. Deputies saw a rifle inside, and obtained a search warrant. The rifle was registered to Pisano, with a loaded round inside its chamber.
No drug or alcohol use was immediately suspected, Pogue said.
“The casino does a lot of good things by providing entertainment to the community, grants, and jobs,” Pogue added. “But sometimes there’s a drawback when it attracts people out of the area who wouldn’t otherwise be there.”
In a statement, Claudia Gonzales, chairwoman of the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians Tribal Council, said safety and security of guests and employees is a top priority.
“We’d like to thank our security team for their composed, intelligent and immediate response,” Gonzales said. “We would also like to extend our appreciation to the men and women of the Madera County Sheriff’s Office for their swift response and subsequent arrest of the casino patron. The incident was safely resolved.
“We are working with the sheriffs investigating the matter and will continue to collaborate with their office ensuring the continued safety of the resort guests and employees.”