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May
15th

More Bingo Brawlers

Some seniors take their bingo games very seriously and will tolerate no disruptions of any kind during a game. In New Hampshire a bingo brawl broke out in a senior center during a bingo game. Police officers in Portsmouth, New Hampshire responded to a call reporting ‚Äúsome pushing and shoving” over the sale of Avon products,” A women was setting up a table to sell Avon products during a bingo game and a player took offense. According to Sgt. Kuffer Kaltenborn of the Portsmouth Police “The altercation appears to have been started over the fact that one resident was upsetting another by (selling Avon and disrupting) the scheduled bingo event that occurs.”

The officers left but two hours later one of the women involved in the fight called police and said she wanted to press charges. Police said the woman had marks on her arm and officers are investigating to determine whether an assault really happened at the game. Sgt. Kaltenborn said “A third party alleges that the one that wanted to sell her products grabbed the wrist of the other person who wanted to play bingo. It’s not the victim that alleges the crime. … She’s not sure if she was assaulted or not.” This isn’t the first weird bingo story from New Hampshire. In 2011 a woman took an urn with her mother’s ashes in it to a bingo game for ‘luck.’ The urn was stolen from her car. Fortunately the urn was returned.

Bingo brawling is by no means confined to New Hampshire. In Florida trouble started in the parking lot of the Spruce Creek South Community Center while players were arriving for their weekly bingo game. Michael Burke, a 67 year old security guard, had reserved two parking spaces for elderly ladies who were regulars at the games. 84 year old bingo player Donald Handa arrived and moved the crates Burke had placed on the parking spaces to reserve them. Handa parked and went into the hall. Burke found him and told him to move his car. Handa refused and pepper sprayed security guard Burke. Handa said he had been victimized by the security guard. Burke did not press charges because of Handa’s age and the incidents show how some players take the games seriously.

In the UK two grandmothers from South Wales were permanently banned from a local bingo club after an argument over a ‘lucky’ seat turned violent. One of the aged bingo brawlers received a broken nose and two black eyes. One of the women, Sandra Fry, bemoaned her fate and said “I used to go to the club most nights and felt I knew everyone. Now I’m stuck in the house staring at the wallpaper. Even a murderer doesn’t get life.” Arguments about ‘lucky seats’ have been the reason for several fights at bingo halls on both sides of the Atlantic.