Casino Standoff
Mel Evans  /  AP
People, some wearing provided blankets, wait outside the Showboat hotel and casino in Atlantic City on Wednesday after being evacuated by police.
updated 11/14/2007 7:27:55 AM ET 2007-11-14T12:27:55

A man who claimed to be armed held police at bay from a shuttle bus outside a casino for nearly six hours before letting his hostages go and surrendering peacefully early Wednesday, police said.

The man, who was not identified, was ordered by FBI agents to strip down to his underwear and complied at about 4:45 a.m., said state police Sgt. Stephen Jones.

"He just gave up peacefully," Jones said.

No gun was immediately found.

Atlantic City Police Chief John J. Mooney said Showboat security called police shortly after 10:30 p.m. to report there was a man on a shuttle bus with a gun.

The driver fled after scuffling with the man, Mooney said, and a passenger also escaped. Three other people who remained on the bus were released a short time later. There were no injuries.

Jones said the suspect, who had what police believed was an explosive device strapped to his body, had planted a suspicious-looking device in a men's room inside the casino near the House of Blues night club, but it was later determined to be a hoax device, Jones said.

Police K-9 teams swept the casino and the hotel and did not find anything else suspicious, Jones said.

Robot delivers a cell phone
The casino, which had been closed down during the standoff, was allowed to reopen shortly after 5 a.m.

Acting Atlantic City Mayor William Marsh said a robot delivered a cell phone to the bus shortly after the standoff began so police could communicate with the man.

The man told investigators he blames the casino for his brother's gambling-related suicide, according to a person with knowledge of the standoff who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized by police to share the information.

The man demanded money, Marsh said, but it was not certain how much.

Alyce Parker, a spokeswoman for Harrah's Entertainment, which owns the Showboat, said the bus was a shuttle that runs between Harrah's four properties in the coastal gambling resort.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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