“Fire at Tioga Downs Casino Claims the Lives of More Than 25 Racehorses”

Tioga Downs Casino Resort Reports Tragic Barn Fire Incident

Last updated on: November 9, 2023, 06:11h.

A fire outbreak at Tioga Downs Casino Resort in Upstate New York resulted in more than two dozen horses losing their lives. A 32-year-old Pennsylvania man has been taken into custody for alleged arson.

Tioga Downs barn fire racehorses
A barn fire police say was deliberately set at Tioga Downs in Upstate New York killed over two dozen racehorses. A 32-year-old Pennsylvania man is in custody and charged with four felonies for the alleged arson. (Image: WENY)

Law enforcement officials responded to a burning barn at the Tioga Downs complex in Upstate New York. The fire led to the tragic death of numerous racehorses. Additionally, a man who tried to rescue the animals suffered second-degree burns and was taken to a nearby hospital.

The latest report from New York State Police indicates 32-year-old Boyd H. Fenton from Athens, Pa., has been arrested in connection with the fire following an initial investigation. Fenton has been charged with four felonies, including third-degree arson, burglary, criminal mischief, and assault.

An investigation revealed that Fenton entered the barn and intentionally set a fire, causing thousands of dollars’ worth of damage,” the New York State Police statement explained.

Fenton has been arraigned before a judge and is now in custody in Tioga County Correctional Facility.

Suspect Has Lengthy Rap Sheet

Law enforcement agencies are yet to determine the motive behind the deliberate act that led to the destruction of the Tioga Downs stable. Police have expressed their condolences to individuals and families affected by the incident.

Athens is a small town in Pennsylvania located just south of the New York border and less than 10 miles from Tioga Downs.

Tioga Downs is one of four casinos in Upstate New York and includes approximately 890 slot machines, 30 table games, and a FanDuel Sportsbook. The primary shareholder of the facility is New York real estate developer Jeff Gural.

Gural also owns Vernon Downs in Upstate New York and has an ownership stake in the Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey.

Fenton has a history of legal issues in Pennsylvania. Court records searched by Casino.org reveal several prior cases, including driving under the influence of a controlled substance, criminal trespassing, criminal mischief resulting in property damage, and possession of a small amount of marijuana.

Earlier this year, Fenton pleaded guilty to a second-degree felony for criminal trespassing and served eight days in jail. Following his release, he was placed on probation for 18 months.

Tioga Downs Background

Tioga Downs originally began as Tioga Park, offering horse racing in Nichols, New York in 1976. However, the venue experienced financial difficulties and was forced to shut down after just three years of quarterhorse racing.

In 2005, Gural acquired the facility after New York legislators permitted VLTs at licensed racetracks and off-track betting establishments. The new standardbred racetrack was constructed and the racino opened in June 2006.

Following the expansion of gaming in New York in 2013, Gural secured one of the four casino licenses for the upstate region. VLTs were replaced with slots and table games when the commercial casino debuted in 2016.

A year later, Gural introduced a 160-room hotel, and sports betting was launched in 2019.

The 2023 Tioga Downs harness racing season lasted from May to September and featured the $500,000 Empire Breeders Classic Finals on August 27.

Source link

Leave a Comment