A scene of movement and marriment at the Dell and Travers Carnival in Alexandria faded into stunned surprise last night as police swarmed into the premises, arrested four employes and shut down operations.
The carnival site, near the Van Dorn Street exit of the Capital Beltway was filled with light, music and the lighthearted talk and laughter of about 400 patrons when about 20 police officers entered about 9:45 p.m. to join about a dozen undercover officers already there.
The music played on, but movement came to a standstill. "I want my money back," complained one disgruntled carnival-goer. "What's going on here?" demanded another.
Police shut down two booths that they said were operated in violation of gambling laws. They said the four employes arrested were charged with gambling. Their names were not immediately available.
The game played at one of the booths, described as a month-and-date game, reportedly involved the rolling of a kind of die in an effort to match a previously selected month.
At the other booth the game reportedly involved the throwing of darts at balloons, with prizes awarded depending on what was revealed behind the burst balloons.
Paul Theodore, who identified himself as a part owner of the carnival, said "we were inspected on Tuesday (opening day).I don't believe we were running rigged games or gambling here."
Alexandria police Lt. Harry Lane said the raid was based on intelligence information gathered during the past week. Although police shut down only two booths, Lane said they came with a search warrant for the entire carnival.
Within about five minutes of the arrival of the police an announcement came over an officer's bulhorn, requiring all patrons to leave.
Still surprised by the sudden end to the evening's entertainment, the patrons filed toward the exits.
Last night's raid came two weeks after police in Washington raided the Reithoffer Carnival, which was operating at Ninth and L Streets NW in the District.
In the Washington raid, police closed down the rides and the midway and arrested the carnival's operators for running what police said were rigged and illegal games.