KC man faces charges after kidnapping, standoff at Argosy Casino

A Kansas City man has been charged with kidnapping and other crimes following a standoff with police beginning on Thursday, Feb. 15 at the Argosy Casino Hotel and Spa in Riverside.

Bobby Jo Dennison, 44, allegedly barricaded himself in a hotel room and threatened to cut the throat of a hostage. Dennison was taken into custody in the early morning hours of Saturday, Feb. 16 after SWAT team members entered the hotel room.

 Bobby Dennison

Bobby Dennison

According to court records, Riverside officers were patrolling the parking lot at the Argosy Casino shortly after 1:30 p.m. Feb. 15 when they determined a rental vehicle with Texas plates had not been returned to the Kansas City International Airport when due.  Officers watched the vehicle until it left and a pursuit ensued, but was terminated when the vehicle traveled into Kansas.

Additional investigation revealed that the occupants of the vehicle had been seen coming out of a hotel room at the Argosy Casino Hotel. Dennison had allegedly rented the hotel room with another person.

Later that evening, Riverside police officers knocked on the door of the hotel room. A woman left the room and said Dennison was inside with another woman.

Police attempted to enter the room but were unable to do so. They then heard what sounded like a woman being hit and pushed.  Officers again attempted to enter the room and a male voice said “Don’t open the door, I have a hostage, I have a hostage, I have a hostage.”

Hotel staff evacuated that floor of the building and SWAT personnel arrived. During that time, a woman from inside the room called for help. As officers again tried to get into the door, Dennison allegedly said he would cut the throat of a woman in the room. He demanded a car to leave the hotel with his hostage. He also said he had a 9 mm handgun in the room and threatened to kill both himself and the hostage, as well as any officers who attempted to come into the room.

SWAT teams entered the room shortly after 1:30 a.m., arrested Dennison and took the victim safely into custody.

After his arrest, Dennison admitted he barricaded the door, but denied holding the hostage against her will or making any of the claims of harming her, himself or the officers. The hostage told police she had tried to remove the barricades but stopped when Dennison approached her with a folding knife. She said, according to court documents, “Dennison told her she was his ticket out of there and he could not let her go.” He threatened to start cutting off her fingers and toes if police did not provide him an escape vehicle.

Dennison was charged Feb. 16 with kidnapping, tampering with a motor vehicle and resisting arrest. If convicted, he faces up to seven years in prison on the first two counts and four years in prison for resisting arrest. He is being held in the Platte County Detention Center in lieu of a $50,000 cash only bond.

Dennison also has two felony warrants from Kansas City, Kan. for possession of a controlled substance, as well as two warrants from the Kansas City Police Department for resisting arrest and stealing.

The case is being investigated by the Riverside Police Department, which was assisted by the North Kansas City, Gladstone and Liberty police departments.  It is being prosecuted by assistant prosecuting attorney Blake Sherer.