Ex-Police Sergeant to Face Trial in Michigan for Ethnic Intimidation at MGM Grand Detroit

ex-police sergeant facing trial in Michigan
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A former police sergeant with the Westland Police Department is set to stand trial on charges of ethnic intimidation, assault, and battery after an incident at MGM Grand Detroit casino in April 2023. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office announced Wednesday that ex-Sgt. Kevin Yudt, 42, from Grass Lake, was bound over to trial following a preliminary hearing this week.

Charges and Incident Details

Kevin Yudt faces two felony counts of ethnic intimidation, each carrying potential prison terms of up to two years, and two misdemeanor counts of assault and battery, with each misdemeanor charge carrying up to 93-day prison sentences.

The charges stem from an incident on April 6, 2023, when Yudt, who appeared intoxicated, was denied entry to the MGM Grand Detroit casino. In response, Yudt allegedly identified himself as a police sergeant and made threatening statements to the casino’s security staff.

“I’ll be waiting for you when you come to Westland and you will not survive,” Yudt allegedly threatened.

Fall From Grace

According to the press release, Yudt also allegedly poked two MGM security officers in the chest and shouted racial slurs at them. Following the incident, the Westland Police Department terminated Yudt in May 2023.

“My office takes allegations of ethnic intimidation and assault very seriously and will prosecute offenders to the fullest extent of the law,” Nessel said.

Yudt is scheduled to appear in Michigan’s Third Circuit Court in Wayne County on Tuesday, July 9, at 9 a.m. He remains free on a $30,000 bond.

Yudt’s career took a dramatic downturn following the incident. Previously recognized for his public service, Yudt received the “Lifesaving Award” from the Westland Police Department in 2018 for assisting in saving a life. In December of that year, local media covered a story where Yudt participated in Westland’s annual “Shop With a Hero” event, taking elementary students on a holiday shopping trip.

Importance of Responsible Play

The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) emphasizes responsible gambling, advising players to gamble only when sober and free from drugs and alcohol. In a tweet on Thursday, the MGCB highlighted that gambling problems can affect individuals of all backgrounds and encouraged setting time and financial loss limits, refraining from gambling on credit, and using only disposable income for gambling activities.

MGM Grand is one of three commercial casinos in Detroit, alongside MotorCity Casino Hotel and Hollywood Casino at Greektown. MGM Grand boasts the largest gaming floor among the three, featuring nearly 2,500 slot machines, 160 live dealer table games, and a BetMGM Sportsbook.

In 2023, MGM Grand generated gross gaming revenue of $564 million from its slots and tables, positioning it as the top performer among Detroit’s casinos. MotorCity Casino followed with $373.5 million, while Hollywood Casino at Greektown reported $285.2 million.

Broader Implications

The trial of Kevin Yudt underscores the critical importance of accountability and the serious consequences of actions that involve ethnic intimidation and violence. The case has sparked discussions on the behavior expected from law enforcement officers, even off duty, and the broader societal impacts of such conduct.

This incident also highlights the necessity for casinos to maintain stringent security measures and enforce policies that ensure the safety and respect of all patrons and staff. The legal proceedings against Yudt will be closely watched, potentially setting a precedent for how similar cases are handled in the future.

As the case moves forward, it serves as a stark reminder of the responsibilities that come with positions of authority and the impact of personal conduct on professional and public life. The upcoming court proceedings will determine the outcome for Yudt and further emphasize the importance of upholding ethical standards in all professions.