Ken Strauss Arrest Report Details Luring, Stalking After WSOP DQ
Ken Strauss first came to the attention of the poker world after he was disqualified from the 2019 World Series of Poker Main Event for exposing himself but his legal troubles continued throughout July and August and culminated in his arrest last week on terrorism charges.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department arrest report details a number of incidents beginning on July 5 – Day 1C of the WSOP Main Event – and ending on July 27 that lead to the charges.
LVMPD originally received a phone call from the Trump Tower Hotel in Las Vegas after Strauss checked in on July 27 and told employees there he was “offering to pay an extra $300 to get a room for the night.” He told hotel employees that he had been “kicked out” of the Red Rock Hotel. Despite concerns, Trump Tower management allowed him to check in to a room.
LVMPD then contacted Red Rock Hotel management and obtained a copy of a security report regarding Strauss and learned that on July 24, Strauss allegedly “attempted to lure an eight-year-old child while at the pool”. Red Rock security made contact with Strauss to hear his side of the story and he told them that “he was approached by the boy and provided him with his room number and told him to have his parents meet him in his room”. Red Rock decided to have him trespassed from the property.
Included in the arrest report was a detail about an unnamed private investigator who had informed Red Rock he had been hired to investigate threats Strauss made against a Los Angeles Rams reporter. The report redacts the name but Strauss has several tweets referencing or directed at Sarina Morales, an LA Rams reporter. The investigator told Red Rock security Strauss believes Morales is “his daughter from a relationship when he was 11 years old” and that Strauss had shown up at several events across the country where Morales had been working.
Wow some conflicting news. Now I’m being told Sarina Morales isn’t my daughter but in fact the Mother of our 13 year old child who died last week during the tragedy in StL. Wow Hugo, your friend really spilled some wrong info. Thank God I love ❤️ Sarina regardless.
— Ken Strauss (@kpittboy) July 27, 2019
LVMPD then contacted Trump Tower security to check on Strauss’ location and learned that Strauss was pacing out front of the hotel and had told hotel staff that “he had a limo sent to Red Rock Hotel to pick up his daughter”. A second name, believed to be Morales’, was listed on Strauss’ hotel room. Trump hotel management indicated they didn’t want Strauss contacted at this time as he had not violated any laws or made any threats. LVMPD confirmed that Morales was not with Strauss and not at the Red Rock Hotel waiting for a limousine.
Later that afternoon, LVMPD officials were alerted to several tweets from Strauss’ personal Twitter account that referenced the October 1, 2017, mass shooting in Las Vegas and made threats toward Las Vegas properties. That same day, a “suicidal person” call was generated by the Venetian Hotel stating that Strauss, a registered guest, had told security that he “would harm anyone who comes near him and would also harm himself”. The LVMPD sent two sergeants and several officers to the Venetian to find Strauss and diffuse the situation. Officers attempted to conduct a welfare check on Strauss in his room, only to find it empty. Surveillance footage showed Strauss getting into a taxi which took him to the Trump Tower Hotel.
Strauss was arrested at Trump Tower Hotel and interviewed by LVMPD officers. During this interview, Strauss claimed his WSOP incident was the result of a bet he lost that required him to “he had to pull his pants down after losing a hand in the opening round” of the Main Event. He also told LVMPD officers that there were still other components to the bet that he needed to complete. After being removed from the Rio premises, Strauss said he went to the Aria Hotel & Casino to play poker before going to the Luxor where a second incident occurred.
After climbing onto a craps table and again exposing himself, Strauss was removed from the premises by Luxor security. Once outside, Strauss was informed he would not be able to return to the casino. At that time, Strauss ” pulled his pants down and urinated on the sidewalk of the hotel”. At that point, he was cited and placed on a Legal 2000 hold – a 72-hour psychiatric observation period when someone is considered a danger to themselves or others.
During his interview on July 27, Strauss told officers he was at a psychiatric facility in Nevada until July 15 and checked into Red Rock Hotel upon release. After being trespassed from the Red Rock on July 25, Strauss checked into the Venetian but was told they were fully booked for the July 27 and 28. Strauss told LVMPD officers that he chose the Trump Tower Hotel because “President Trump is his uncle”.
When asked about the tweets he had sent, Strauss admitted to posting them out of frustration but also claimed he was “trying to warn his friends about shootings and other natural disasters which were occurring through the country” while admitting he had no weapons with him in Las Vegas. During the interview with police, an LVMPD detective asked Strauss if they could look at his cell phone to clarify some of the tweets. Strauss pulled out his phone, deleted some contacts, deleted some tweets and then logged out of Twitter and informed the detectives present that he could not remember his password.
According to the arrest report, Strauss can be heard saying “kill them all, kill them” and slice people’s heads open, just slice people’s heads open” on audio and video recordings of the police interview room.
These circumstances are what lead to Strauss’ being arrested and charged with a Class B felony for “making threats or conveying false information concerning an act of terrorism”. His bail was set at $150,000 and he has a public defender attorney.