Dan Rago Pleads Guilty; Gets Fine, Community Service, Anger Management

December 2nd, 2011 | by Frank | No Comments »

This is an update on the encounter between Devin Hester and Dan Rago at Rivers Casino on October 14.

On Thursday, Cook County Circuit Judge Marguerite Quinn sentenced the 52-year-old Rago to conditional discharge with one year court supervision.

Rago must perform 80 hours of community service, complete an anger management evaluation within 60 days, and follow through on the recommendations of that evaluation. He must pay $315 in court costs, said Tandra Simonton, state’s attorney’s office spokeswoman.

Rago had faced a maximum sentence of up to a year in jail or $2,500 fine, if found guilty after a trial.

So, in the end, the case ended quietly. As posted earlier here, this case posed a series of conflicting impressions.

On Devin Hester’s blog he quotes Isiah 54:17 “No weapon formed against me shall prosper.”

It was hard not to read this as directed towards Dan Rago, now guilty of committing a battery against Hester at Rivers Casino late in the evening on October 14.

Devin Hester said little about the incident directly. Rago went on Fox TV right afterwards and said quite a bit. I have listened to Rago, thought about Hester, and seen the police report filed that evening.

Only one thing clear: somebody was not telling the whole truth about what happened that night at Rivers Casino between Devin Hester and Dan Rago.

Based on the police report, the police clearly sided with Hester. For what it’s worth, Rivers Casino has banned Rago from the premises. However, do not immediately assume the Casino is totally objective. They have clearly aligned themselves with high rollers, of which Devin Hester would qualify.

While Rago portrayed himself as a defender of the rights of two elderly people who were standing in line, it appears that he doth protest too much, as the old bard might say.

According to the police report, Hester was conducting a transaction at the cashier’s desk when Rago approached him from behind and called him a “moron.”

According to the police report, Rago then slapped him in the back of the head. After hitting Hester, Rago immediately walked away. To me, this was a telling clue. Stand your ground if you are right—do not hit someone from behind and then walk way.

What is also interesting, however is that the police report mentioned nothing about what happened prior to this. More on this to come.

Rago’s actions were confirmed by the officer who watched surveillance footage of the incident.

So far, seems like a pretty clear case of one guy overstepping his boundaries. Add to this the observation that Rago appeared to have been drinking, and it all seems to be pointing in one direction. Rago was way out of line, right?

But there is more to this than meets the eye.

According to Rago, he was merely standing in line: “an elderly lady, an elderly gentleman, and myself.”

Ladies and gentleman let the storytelling begin!

The three innocent lambs were all waiting in line when “all of a sudden” the person in front of Rago cut in front and went to the desk. Rago informed the man (Hester) that the two elderly people were in front of him, and that they deserved to be served first.

According to Rago, Hester then said, “They waved me up.”

This upset Rago, who felt Hester should not have been moved ahead of the two elderly people in line.

In his words, “I went over to the left of him, as a father would reprimand a kid, nor saying he’s a kid, but a young man, and I gave him a biff on the back of the head.”

Telling clue #2: In Rago’s TV version, he made no mention of calling Hester a “moron.”

According to Rago, he was merely “trying to defend the defenseless.”

It would help his case if the defenseless elderly people had spoken up and said they appreciated his actions.

They did not.

On the other hand, keep in mind that it seems pretty well established that Hester did actually cut in front of them. The fact that the casino may have “waved him up” is somewhat irrelevant. At the very least, the casino seems guilty of preferential treatment.

Rago apologized profusely to Hester during the Fox TV interview and offered to donate to a charity in Hester’s honor. “Devin, if you’re listening and if you can see me here, I am so, so sorry,” Rago said. “I made a mistake. I’m the bad guy here, and I apologize. I’m going to ask you right now, I will donate $500 to the charity of your choice and 20 hours of community service on your behalf. I messed up.”

Lest the story be too simple, as a former Miami Hurricane and associate of convicted Ponzi scheme artist Nevin Shapiro, keep in mind that Hester does not have a lilywhite past.

Bending the rules is kind of a way of life at Miami.

From 2002 through 2010. Hurricanes booster Nevin Shapiro engaged in rampant NCAA rule-breaking, much of it involving the Miami football players. Shapiro reportedly provided cash, prostitutes, entertainment in his multimillion-dollar homes and yacht, paid trips to high-end restaurants and nightclubs, jewelry, etc.

There is more to this than meets the eye.

Still, Rago was wrong and he never should have hit Hester. Accordingly, the judge ruled he was clearly in the wrong.

“No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; And every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, And their vindication is from Me,” declares the LORD. And so, as the judge ruled, Hester was exonerated.

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