N.J. handyman on MTV's 'Snooki and JWoww' sues Harrah's Atlantic City after severe beating
Anthony Flora was ready for his close-up.
The handyman had been hired in 2012 to decorate a “Barbie Guidette Dream House” for “Snooki & JWoww,” the spin-off of MTV’s “Jersey Shore.” It didn’t go well. As the cameras rolled, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi and Jenni “JWoww” Farley blasted his workmanship and savaged him mercilessly on national TV. Flora, 36, walked away with a bruised ego.
A month after the show aired, Flora booked a room for a week at Harrah’s Atlantic City hotel and casino. It didn’t go well. As surveillance cameras rolled, he said four casino security guards wrestled him to the ground, slammed his face into the marble floor, and knocked him unconscious.
When Flora came to, he had several broken teeth, blood pouring from his right eye, and several bruised ribs. Flora, formerly of Jackson, says he’s now hiding and fears reprisals.
Flora is the latest person to claim he was the victim of an unprovoked attack at the hands of Harrah’s security personnel and the sixth to file suit against Harrah’s and its parent company, Caesars Entertainment Corp.
“It was my favorite place to go. I had such good times there,” Flora said last week. “It’s really a nightmare now. I can’t even think of going back.”
He joins a mother and daughter from Florida, two Atlantic County cab drivers, and a computer science student who say poorly trained guards attacked them while on Harrah’s property. Each of the alleged attacks was captured by Harrah’s in-house surveillance cameras.
A Caesars spokesman declined to comment on the incident, citing the pending litigation.
Flora, a gregarious native of Jersey City, loves roulette. Even after losing all his allotted gambling money, he said he likes to sit, watch the roulette wheel spin, and shoot the breeze with other players.
Early on the morning of Sept. 6, 2012, he was done, his money gone. He sat at his favorite table smoking a cigarette and striking up a conversation with another player, a stranger with shoulder-length dreadlocks. Flora said he suggested some numbers to play, and the stranger won.
“I didn’t have any cheating devices or magic tricks,” Flora said. “I made some lucky guesses. Maybe I was the guy’s good-luck charm.”
About the same time the stranger collected his winnings, luck began to ran out for Flora.
The next minute, Flora said a casino pit boss sidled next to him. She told him he was being loud and boisterous and would have to leave.
“If someone tells me I’m bothering them, I get the hint,” Flora said.
He walked toward an oversized wheel of fortune and his phone rang. It was his girlfriend; she was checking in with him while getting ready to go to school in Staten Island.
As he spoke with her, four men approached.
“I said, ‘What? I’m on the phone. What’s the problem?’ ”
The men put their hands on him, telling him he’d have to get off the casino floor, the surveillance video shows.
“I said, ‘I’m leaving, don’t you see me heading to the exit?’ ”
He was still on the phone with his girlfriend. He told her to call the police.
“I felt I was being kidnapped,” he said.
As the guards hustled Flora off the casino floor, they turned a corner. Two of the men grabbed Flora’s arms as another swept Flora’s legs out from under him. He crashed to the marble floor.
After regaining consciousness, Flora was pulled up by the security guards and dragged to an office out of the sight of customers.
“I thought I was in round two,” he said. “I didn’t know what was going on. I was dazed from being knocked out.”
Flora said the men taunted him, laughed and jeered at him until Atlantic City police arrived to take him to the hospital.
Doctors used seven stitches to sew up a gash near Flora’s right eye. His injuries also kept him from making additional appearances on Snooki and JWoww’s reality TV show.
“I couldn’t be on the show again because my face was swollen up like a ‘Rocky’ movie,” he said. “I was too beat up. They said, ‘Call us when your wounds heal.’ ”
Several of his injuries still haven’t healed. Nearly two years after the incident, Flora says he suffers from chronic back pain and a numb leg brought on by the attack.
He’s never gone back to Harrah’s. He was once a regular, a member of the casino’s Total Rewards club. He says he misses it.
Attorney Michael Maggiano said Flora could easily have been left with a brain injury. The suit, filed in Hudson County, seeks unspecified damages.
Maggiano is also representing Andrea Binns, a 17-year-old woman who was visiting Harrah’s on Aug. 9, 2012, with her family when her father went to complain that their room keys wouldn’t open the door to their suite. Surveillance cameras recorded security guards jumping her father. Additional footage showed security pursuing Andrea and her mother, Renee, down a corridor, where they were also allegedly attacked. The mother and daughter have each filed separate suits.
“This is the worst one yet,” Maggiano said of Flora’s beating, adding that he expects to file suits on behalf of additional beating victims. “This violent behavior is not random. It is planned, calculated, brutal, and it appears that they take pleasure in doing what they do.”