Authorities have seen the video and heard the audio of the armed invasion of the Chukchansi casino Oct. 9 by one one of the factions involved in the long battle for control of the Indian gaming center.
Perhaps you have seen the chilling video, too.
Armed men assigned by the Tex McDonald tribal council stormed into the casino, handcuffed security guards, knocked a man to the floor and waved their guns while making their way into a casino office.
Our question: Why has no one been arrested?
If such a brazen and dangerous event had happened anywhere else in Madera County and had been captured on video, we’re sure that the people responsible would have been arrested and hauled off to jail.
But apparently McDonald and his band of thugs enjoy a special status not afforded other Madera County residents. Certainly not a status that has allowed McDonald’s crew to kidnap people, beat people and go merrily on their way.
It’s past time for Madera County Sheriff John Anderson to explain why no one has been locked up for crimes witnessed by thousands of people on television news and on news websites, including fresnobee.com.
We also must hear from the leadership of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and National Indian Gaming Commission as to why they sat on their hands and allowed this dispute to get totally out of control.
It’s not like this is the first time that the various factions within the Chukchansi tribe have resorted to violence.
In February 2012, a riot on the tribe's government center campus left three people injured. Many more might have been hurt — or worse — if not for the fact that deputies from Madera, Fresno and Mariposa counties and California Highway Patrol officers, all in riot gear, separated the factions.
And seven weeks before the Oct. 9 Chukchansi meltdown, members of a faction led by Reggie Lewis and Nancy Ayala seized the casino from the McDonald group.
A hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. today on when to reopen the casino. Presiding over the hearing in downtown Fresno will be U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill. We hope the judge asks a lot of tough questions — including this one: “Why has no one been arrested?”