He didn’t win at the gaming tables — but deciding to take a trip to Atlantic City was still the luckiest choice one Brooklyn man has ever made.
Frank Baffi Jr. narrowly escaped being locked up on a robbery charge when he was able to prove he was at a New Jersey casino at the time of a violent April 30 mugging.
The 26-year-old man produced receipts from the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City to prove he had been there.
“I played a little bit of poker, a little bit of roulette. I came out about even,” said Baffi, who was on a trip with his fiancée and daughter. “But I was lucky to be down there, because if I hadn’t . . . I’d be in jail right now.”
Despite his hard evidence, Baffi was almost arrested anyway and booked at Rikers Island because detectives refused to investigate his alibi, his lawyer said. They told him he had to submit to being arrested and be put through the legal system, at which point he could make his case.
Baffi was even required to show up at Brooklyn South’s 76th Precinct station house on Wednesday to surrender. He could have been locked up until he was able to make bail.
But after seeing a Post reporter and photographer outside the station, police began looking into Baffi’s alibi. They called the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, which determined his claims were true.
Cops then were able to retrieve video of Baffi checking into the Golden Nugget at 11:20 p.m. — the exact moment of the mugging in Carroll Gardens.
“The gaming commission . . . checked the records and pulled the video,” a police source said.
Part of the reason cops were sure Baffi was the attacker was because the alleged mugging victim had identified him by name.
According to police sources, the accuser claimed Baffi had hit him with a glass Snapple bottle and had made off with an iPad and a wristwatch.
Despite dodging jail, Baffi, a sneaker salesman, was upset with how he was treated.
“It’s bulls- -t. These cops aren’t even doing their job,” Baffi said as he reluctantly walked into the station house Wednesday morning. “I wasn’t even in the same state!”
Baffi’s lawyer, Lance Lazzaro, says the officers were reluctant to act on the exculpatory evidence.
“I said, ‘Why don’t you check out where he was, because you can’t commit a robbery in Brooklyn if you’re two hours away?’ and his answer was ‘That’s not my job,’ ” Lazzaro recalled.
“The only reason they did their job was because they were afraid of being outed in the New York Post for being lazy,” the lawyer added.