As time has passed, the legend of David Allan Coe continues to grow.
The man was a real joker hidden in a cave for months (allegedly) when the IRS was after him and he was first spotted by a record company while living in a hearse.
Yes… a hearse.
He’s also a genuinely complex person, with a past tainted with examples of less-than-stellar behavior, prison streaks, and inevitably racist (at best) song lyrics that earned the outlaw persona that lingers on him to this day.
Nonetheless, over the years he’s built a cult following and has become an integral part of country music history, singing songs like Loretta Lynn’s “Would You Lay With Me (In A Field Of Stones)”, “The Ride,” and the legendary “Take This Job And Shove It.”
Well, I stumbled upon another story by David that has me scratching my head for a number of reasons.
In June 2008, he and then-girlfriend-now-wife Kimberly Hastings played the slots at the Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino in Altoona, Iowa. They both used the same machine, but Kimberly’s player card was loaded, which turned out to be the first of many problems that surfaced shortly thereafter.
David reached out and hit the spin button and lo and behold they hit a jackpot. Exactly how much was never said, but it was enough for the couple to have to wait for a casino employee to come by and cash out…a decent amount.
Well, as is usual with casinos, it took quite a long time for anyone to actually get to them and in typical David Allan Coe fashion he didn’t feel like waiting, so his wife stayed to speak to the workers when they arrived.
Eventually, a woman came and started talking to Kimberly, but said that they had checked the security footage and since David was indeed the one who pushed the spin button, they needed to complete the transaction with him.
According to David, she told the worker where he was but also that he was hard of hearing, so be careful not to walk behind him and startle him. Whether that was actually said or the lady simply ignored it is unclear, and further security footage shows the worker appearing behind him and starting a conversation.
This is when things start to unravel…
The lady asked for ID and he gave her his Tennessee driver’s license which didn’t appear to have a photo of him at the time, which posed a problem as the casino required photo ID to process the withdrawal.
In the video you can see David getting a little upset about this and getting up. This prompted the security guard who came over with her to intervene.
That’s exactly what David said in an interview with reporter John Gaps III ahead of a court hearing on April 27, 2011.
“She’s like, ‘Well, I gotta get another piece of paper.’ And go, ‘Why is that ma’am?’
And she says, “Well, you don’t have a social security number.”
And I got up and went like this and said, “My social security number is on my driver’s license. And this probably 24-year-old security guard comes and says, “Sit down, boy.”
I said, “Boy? do i look like a boy to you How great are the men where you come from, sir?”
I have to admit, this is a pretty good comeback right off the bat…
He then sat down and continued playing the slots but decided after about a minute that he would just get his wife and leave and let her keep her money.
The security guard follows him as two uniformed police officers enter the picture. One of the officers points at David as he walks on and then seemingly out of nowhere decides to violently attack him from behind and handcuff him.
Of course, the video has no sound and we only get to hear David’s side of the encounter, but at face value it seems like a pretty obvious example of a lot more violence being used than necessary. Even though David is a bigger guy, there’s no denying that he’s quite old, so attacking him seems inappropriate.
David said the encounter has plagued him with injuries ever since.
“I had to cancel three shows. They put my back out of balance, I had to walk with a cane, I had to sit down when I was performing and I just think it’s wrong.
It sure looks like he has a tough case and he really made an effort to see the lengthy legal process through to the end, but it looks like nothing came of it at the end of the day.
According to this article the Globe Gazettethe case was dropped in 2012 as the police officers did not actually work for the casino.
Regardless, at the end of the day it’s just another wild tale in the wild life of David Allan Coe.
https://www.whiskeyriff.com/2023/01/16/the-story-of-david-allan-coes-arrest-after-hitting-a-casino-jackpot-in-2008/ The story of David Allan Coe’s arrest after hitting a casino jackpot in 2008