A state senator tried to persuade officers to ignore an illegal gambling operation as they raided it last week, Indianapolis police said.
Police said state Sen. Glenn Howard went to the site -- 1410 Roache St., a home that investigators said was hosting "pea shake" games -- during the raid Friday night and talked to the officers.
According to a police report, Howard said, "I know it's illegal, but they don't hurt anybody."
Police said they found illegal gambling equipment in the home. During the raid, they arrested Lance Howard, 46, on suspicion of illegal gambling.
Glenn Howard, who said he is not related to Lance Howard, told 6News'Jack Rinehart that he supports those involved in pea-shake games.
"I said if they stay in the community and give back to the community, I will stand up for them. That's exactly what I've been doing," the senator said.
Glenn Howard, D-Indianapolis, intervened on behalf of another pea-shake operation two years ago, upset that police were stopping people who were leaving the premises, Rinehart reported. The senator told Rinehart that he had no financial interest in the games, and that he doesn't play.
"I don't even know how to play," Glenn Howard said.
The Marion County prosecutor's office is trying to determine whether to file charges against Lance Howard in connection with Friday's arrest, Rinehart reported.
Some people who live in the neighborhood of the raided home told 6News that the gambling attracts gun crime, trash, traffic and loud noise.
"We're trying to revitalize this neighborhood," said one resident whom 6News didn't identify, "and we can't do that as long as these illegal houses are allowed to be here."
WRTV video footage shows sophisticated surveillance cameras on the outside of the pea shake house. The man arrested, Lance Howard, has more than a dozen prior gambling-related arrests according to Rinehart. He was found with three guns and $5,000 tied to his ankles when police raided the house. Sen. Howard tells Rinehart he is not related to Lance Howard and has no financial interest in the illegal gambling operation. Rinehart also notes this isn't the first time Sen. Howard has intervened on behalf of the illegal gambling operators. He did the same thing during a similar arrest a couple of years ago.
Sadly, Rinehart reports the pea shake house is still in operation even after last weekend's raid. And to think Mayor Peterson told Abdul Hakim-Shabazz during a radio interview yesterday morning he was serious about enforcing laws against illegal gambling. Give me a break. If Peterson gave a damn, these places would be closed down today. He wasted several hundred thousands of taxpayer dollars trying to enforce an unconstitutional ordinance targeting violent video games, which he thinks has something to do with juvenile crime, but he does nothing about crime taking place in open view.