A not-so-ho-ho-ho affair played out on Friday at Biloxi, Mississippi’s Beau Rivage poker room, when Charlotte, NC resident Aime Joseph Gelinas was manhandled by other casino patrons and held for security after Gelinas successfully took care of the first part of an armed robbery of the poker room’s cashier cage.

Or maybe it was; it’s not often that cheering occurs in the context of an armed robbery, but that’s what happened on the shore of the Gulf of Mexico near Biloxi. Gelinas was seen quietly sitting at one of the Beau Rivage’s poker tables for a few minutes, and then, when there was no line at the cage, he approached, showed a weapon, gave the cashier an empty bag and demanded money. (That’s Gelinas peeking out in the banner image above, as taken from his mug shot, which tells you where this tale is headed.)

Part one of the armed robbery went more or less as planned by the 44-year-old Gelinas. The cashier complied — as cage cashiers are trained to do — and filled Gelinas’s bag with bills. But then there was a problem Gelinas perhaps didn’t fully comprehend: It’s a lengthy distance from the poker room to the casino entrance at Beau Rivage.

Security was already converging on the fleeing, 44-year-old Gelinas, but they didn’t get the chance. Other casino patrons intervened, admittedly unwisely, tackling Gelinas on the casino floor and pinning him until security arrived moments later. Meanwhile, onlookers cheered as Gelinas was grabbed by casino security and taken away. A report from Biloxi’s WLOX includes cel-phone video of Gelinas being marched off, which ended the dangerous phase of the incident.

Whether Gelinas had a real gun isn’t clear from the local news reports, and as a legal concern, that doesn’t matter. Pretending to brandish a gun during a robbery is that same as actually having one in the eyes of the law.

That means that Gelinas is unlikely to return to his home in North Carolina soon, if ever. Gelinas could face life in prison for one of the stupidest poker-connected crimes in recent years. He’s already been arraigned, and he remains at the Harrison County Jail on a $500,000 bond. And no, he can’t use the casino money that he swiped.

But you think that’s the only 40-something to commit a stupid, violent crime in the lead-up to the holidays? Stay tuned… you ain’t seen nothing yet.

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