Scary Clown robbery
Blackjack clown

A rodeo cowboy with a clown nose and a vest painted with winning blackjack cards: deranged blackjack rodeo clown terrorizes children in Arizona.

In the old days parents often rewarded their children by taking them to the blackjack circus rodeo where wild elephants, lions, humans and other animals performed tricks that can’t be seen at a zoo. There is always the added excitement of the blackjack rodeo employing real-life cowboys pretending to be clowns instead of using professional clowns pretending to be cartoon cowboys.

A group of Arizona children recently experienced what casino gambling news describes as ‘circus terror’ while attending a travelling blackjack circus in Arizona. No, this wasn’t a stampede of wild bulls jumping through the enclosure and goring a kindergarten class; or a tiger, finally driven insane from years of riding around the circus rink on a mini-tricycle dressed in a pink tuxedo devouring a spelling bee winner.

The blackjack clown responsible for the events wasn’t even a real rodeo cowboy nor a real clown – just an x-convict with a fondness for drinking, gambling, and a recent habit of smoking PCP (phencyclidine) mixed with crack cocaine.

It was a 43-year-old Phoenix man who went on a circus robbery spree to raise the funds necessary to prolong his twisted lifestyle of debauchery, womanizing, gambling with losing black jack strategies, and drug addiction. Calling himself ‘Dusty Cornelius the Blackjack Clown,’ this three time loser robbed patrons of multiple traveling rodeo circuses in Arizona dressed as a cowboy with a big red clown clown nose wearing a pink bow-tie.

While waving two revolvers, this drugged out blackjack playing clown demanded money from groups of visitors who arrived on tour buses right in the rodeo parking lots. During the course of the robbery spree, thousands was stolen from over a dozen tour buses. As his ‘calling card’, the deranged clown always left behind two blackjack playing card – both the King of Diamonds at each of the robbed rodeo circus tour buses.

The presence of blackjack cards made police investigators suspect that the man may have been a problem gambler. Using the latest in forensic digital technology, the detectives reconstructed the face of the robber captured on a surveillance system within one tour bus, by digitally erasing the elaborate clown makeup and plastic nose and comparing the resulting image to local casino security videos of all players gambling on tables involving cards games such as poker, blackjack, and baccarat.

After many months, but with strong determination to punish the offender for terrorizing small children, the detectives found that the man has been playing (and losing) at blackjack card games throughout the state. After that all it took was a blackjack tournament and a sting operation to bag the blackjack bandit. As undercover cops surrounded him, he actually seemed to be winning at blackjack while playing in the blackjack tournament.

As a matter of a fact, the blackjack bandit was so involved in the game, that he barely noticed the oncoming arrest, and only took his eyes off the blackjack table once law enforcement tackled him.

Unfortunately, the Arizona prison system don’t officially allow gambling among the inmates, but judging by his poor dexterity with blackjack tricks, he is in for a rough time if he clumsily drops the soap in the prison shower.


Casino officials admit that the man was indeed in first place at the blackjack tournament, yet the tournament was not far enough along to determine if he would have been the eventual winner.