Actor and comedian Mike Epps was arrested along with another man for allegedly attacking a tourist at Harrah’s Casino early Saturday, New Orleans police said.

Epps, who is best known for his roles in "The Hangover" and "Next Friday," is accused of striking a Virginia man who was visiting town for the NBA All-Star Game. Police allege that he was joined in the attack by Thomas Cobb, 52, of Brooklyn.

Arrest affidavits for the pair give little information on the incident other than to say that the men were “(i)nvolved in a physical altercation” where they “struck” the visitor. Epps and Cobb were both booked on municipal counts of battery.

Ambria Washington, an NOPD spokeswoman, said that officers have obtained video of the incident but will not be releasing it to the public.

The alleged victim, who asked not to be identified, said in a telephone interview that he was heading to the cash-out area of the casino about 4 a.m. when he passed Epps and his entourage. 

"We kind of met right there in the middle and I recognized him," the man said. "I said 'Oh, Mike Epps!'"

"The next thing I know, he started hitting me in the face, unprovoked," the man said. "I had a handful of chips, so I just basically bent down to protect myself, and then my friends ran over and got in front of me, and then security got there."

Casino security allowed Epps and his group to leave but called police. The man said he was bruised and bleeding from his face.

Police did not arrive at the casino to take a report for more than three hours, the Virginia man said, and he was forced to miss the Saturday morning all-star practice session because of his injuries, which he described as "significant."

Washington said that it took officers nearly two hours to respond to two 911 calls about the casino floor attack because "the victim was no longer in danger, the suspects were no longer on the scene, and the high number of simultaneous calls for service."

"My face is still swollen right now and it was blackened shut," he said Tuesday.

The man said that he did not know Epps had been arrested.

"It's a relief, because I thought he got away," the man said.

Epps and Cobb were released on $1,000 bail each. Court records show that both failed to appear for an arraignment in Municipal Court on Tuesday. Attachments have been issued for their arrest.

Epps had performed at a comedy festival at the UNO Lakefront Arena on Friday night. The incident happened as the city was swarming with visitors for Carnival parades and the NBA All-Star Game.

An attorney representing Epps and Cobb did not respond to a request for comment.

Ambria Washington, an NOPD spokeswoman, said that officers have obtained video of the incident but will not be releasing it to the public.

 

She said that it took officers nearly two hours to respond to two 911 calls about the casino floor attack because "the victim was no longer in danger, the suspects were no longer on the scene, and the high number of simultaneous calls for service."

Follow Matt Sledge on Twitter, @mgsledge.

msledge@theadvocate.com | (504) 636-7432