Charlotte man falls to death sliding down escalator in New Orleans casino

Published: Apr. 7, 2016 at 10:10 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 7, 2016 at 11:45 PM EDT
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Source: Red Hat
Source: Red Hat

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Police say a Charlotte man was found dead after falling from an escalator inside Harrah's Casino in New Orleans.

Authorities responded at about 3:41 a.m. Thursday to the casino and learned that the victim, 33-year-old James Edward Darst, walked inside the casino's Masquerade Club, went beyond a curtain and crossed a barricade before walking up an escalator to the second floor.

Police say Darst then tried to slide down the escalator handrail and fell to the first floor. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Noise from the fall drew attention of bystanders and some of Darst's co-workers, who arrived with him at the casino at about 2:30 a.m. Darst, who worked for Red Hat, was in New Orleans taking part in a three-day conference.

"We at Red Hat were saddened to hear about this tragic accident," the company wrote in a statement to WBTV. "We extend our deep condolences to Jamie's family, friends, and coworkers."

Investigators do not believe foul play is involved but an investigation into the incident continues.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.