Des Plaines casino calmer after Monday frenzy

 
 
Updated 7/19/2011 10:45 PM
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  • People cross the skybridge from the parking garage as motorists are turned away Monday because the Rivers Casino was at capacity on opening day in Des Plaines.

      People cross the skybridge from the parking garage as motorists are turned away Monday because the Rivers Casino was at capacity on opening day in Des Plaines. Bill Zars | Staff Photographer

Traffic was more manageable Tuesday around the Rivers Casino in Des Plaines after the traffic jam that accompanied Monday's mad rush as thousands made a beeline for the grand opening.

More than 18,000 people visited the casino Monday vying for a chance to gamble at the more than 1,050 slot machines and 48 table games.

The flurry of activity from people trying to get onto the casino property at 3000 S. River Road created traffic jams along River Road and Devon Avenue for hours after the 11 a.m. opening.

Roughly eight Des Plaines police officers, including Police Chief Jim Prandini and two deputy chiefs, were forced to direct traffic and resolve issues involving casino customers parking in unauthorized lots of area businesses for nearly 12 hours Monday.

Prandini said most of the officers were already on duty and there was little overtime involved.

Otherwise, the day passed relatively without incident, and it wasn't until early Tuesday that police made their first arrest.

Sandra F. Kujawa, 42, of the 3700 block of West Belle Plaine Avenue, Chicago, was arrested around 2:10 a.m. on the 9500 block of West Devon Avenue and charged with battery and resisting a peace officer after she left Rivers Casino in a highly intoxicated state, police said.

After a security agent at the casino notified police, officers offered to drive Kujawa to a safe place or call a cab.

She refused and swore at the officers, and when they grabbed her to prevent her from walking into traffic, she kicked one of them twice in the right knee, police said.

Her court date is Aug. 31.

Tuesday was an entirely different traffic story at the casino.

"Everything moved," Prandini said. "There was no overflow parking problems today."