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2 held in killing of Hawaiian Gardens casino gambler

September 10, 2010 |  3:29 pm

Casino Santa Ana police have arrested a man and a woman on suspicion of murder in connection with the robbery-killing of a gambler on his way home after a winning night at a Hawaiian Gardens casino.

Detectives are searching for a third suspect who watched victim Chi Ngoc Bui win thousands of dollars inside the casino and told the couple he would be an ideal robbery target, said Santa Ana Police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna.

Police said Tad Carroll, 41, and Barbara Hamel, 47, of Long Beach were in a 2001 Pontiac on Sept. 3 when they allegedly cut off Bui as he was driving with a female passenger in Santa Ana.

A fight broke out between Bui and Carroll on the pavement, and Carroll allegedly drew a knife. During the skirmish, $20 bills came flying out of Bui's pocket onto the street.

Police said Carroll then got back into the Pontiac, where Hamel was behind the wheel, and she allegedly proceeded to run over Bui.

Bertagna said investigators have identified the third suspect and believe they will capture him soon.

-- Richard Winton

Photo: A police investigator picks up $20 bills scattered alongside South Andres Place in Santa Ana, where a man was found dead Sept. 3 after apparently being run over by a car.

Credit: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times