A woman who fell off an escalator at Foxwoods Resort Casino in October and later died lost her balance while sitting on a moving handrail, according to a tribal police report released Friday.
Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation officials had initially refused to release the report, after a request by The Day newspaper. The Associated Press asked for the report Wednesday and received it Friday, with tribal officials saying they changed policy because of the media requests.
Tribal officials redacted the 44-year-old woman’s name in the report, citing privacy concerns.
The woman was in town with co-workers for a business conference at a hotel near the tribe-run casino on Oct. 24, according to the casino’s report.
Police officials said surveillance video showed the woman had two drinks at a Foxwoods bar, although some witnesses said they believed she had five or six drinks during the evening.
After leaving the bar at about 1 a.m., the woman got on the escalator and sat on the moving handrail. Another woman who was next to the victim on the escalator told police she thought what the victim was doing was unsafe, but before she could say anything the victim fell off backward and landed head-first on a floor about 25 feet below. Surveillance video recorded the fall.
The woman was brought to a hospital and died Nov. 5, according to officials.
Under a 2014 agreement with the state that gave tribal police more authority to police the reservation, including the casino, tribal police are required to disclose information on criminal investigations and arrests. But the agreement does not specifically mention noncriminal information that municipal police routinely provide.
Tribal officials repeated in a statement Friday that they are not required to release police reports on noncriminal incidents.
“However, in light of recent requests within the past week, we have completed a thorough internal review of this matter, and have determined it is in the best interest of the Tribe to expand our policy and allow disclosure of non-criminal reports once personal information is redacted from such reports, moving forward,” the statement said.
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