74-Year-Old Poker Player Robbed Then Goes On High-Speed Pursuit After BanditsJuly 5, 2010 7:56 am
Two poker robbers got more than they bargained for after following a 74 year-old pensioner and his wife Josephine from the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino near Hollywood, back to their home at around 2 a.m. on Saturday morning.
The bandits had chosen their mark carefully as Thomas had just won around $4,000 at the casino’s poker tables and the married couple had just pulled into their Plantation home on the 1100 block of Southwest 69th Avenue, when the two masked men made their move.
Thomas Gigliotti was then pulled from the driver seat at gun point and was assaulted by the bandits before they took off with his money. Gigliotti said he was fearful for his wife and his own lives and said:
“I think there was a lot of anger, the way they pointed their guns and they were kicking me.” He also said one of the gunman was shouting to the other “Shoot him! Shoot him!”
Nonetheless, the masked robbers took their loot and decided to scarper but the feisty 74 year-old was determined not to let them off the hook quite so easily. He then took off after them in his 2000 Lincoln Navigator in a high speed pursuit of over 20 minutes, while his wife phoned the police from inside their home.
“This chase was one of the greatest chases you’ve ever seen. They went right, left. They made their mistake when they went on the straightaway,” said Gigliotti.
A tense moment occurred when Thomas rammed the robbers car, sending it skidding off the road and into a ditch. Thomas started reversing his Lincoln Navigator fearing they would try shooting at him, but instead the duo took off leaving some “promising leads” for the police to find.
Despite his heroic endeavours, Det. Robert Rettig, a Plantation police spokesman advised: “We believe that the victim’s actions may have been helpful. However, we would not recommend that anyone try to put their own lives at risk for a property crime.”
In the meantime, Thomas Gigliotti commented; “I was angry. It takes a lot to get me to fly off the handle, but when I do…”