In the early hours of November 9, over two dozen racehorses accommodated in a barn at the upstate New York track within the Tioga Downs Casino & Resort were brutally killed after the barn was set on fire. Additionally, police believe the fire was intentionally set.
The casino and track are located in the Town of Nichols, which is located close to the Pennsylvania border and approximately 150 miles, aka 200 kilometers, northwest of New York City and has a population of 2,500 people. In this regard, speaking on the matter, authorities stated in a news release: “The horses were killed early Thursday after the barn where they were housed at the Tioga Downs Casino Resort complex was set on fire.”
The investigation determined that a man from Athens, a township in Pennsylvania, who was exactly 32 years old, was responsible for this. As a result, he was accused of burglary, arson and other charges. Commenting on the investigation, state police, according to ABC News, said: “An individual entered the barn and intentionally set a fire, causing thousands of dollars in damage.” However, they didn’t reveal a potential motive for such behavior.
Furthermore, one individual who tried to save the horses who were dying a slow, brutal death, and entered the barn when the fire broke out experienced a second-degree burns and was transferred to the Robert Packer Hospital for therapy, the aforementioned police added. But, the name of that good-natured person has not been disclosed.
As reported by the Associated Press, an online charity event was organized specifically for this case to offer help to those injured in the fire, and by the afternoon of November 11, it had surpassed $120,000, largely eclipsing the original goal of $50.000.
On a related note, the president of American Racing and Entertainment LLC, which manages the aforementioned Tioga Downs Casino Resort property, commented: “We are deeply saddened by today’s tragedy, it was a loss no one could have imagined or expected. It is an active investigation, so we are not able to comment any further at this time.”
Tioga Downs Casino & Resort is located at 2384 West River Road in Nichols, New York. The premises now include a 161-room luxury hotel, casino, arcade, spa & fitness center, 5 restaurants and two lounges, indoor heated saltwater pool and outdoor pools with a water slide and cabana bar, an 18-hole golf course and country club, a flexible event center for meetings and concerts, and a parking garage.