22 February, 2019
R.I. strip club says Boston cop was with 'undesirable' man
Article witten by SCN. Additional content from providencejournal.com.
PROVIDENCE -- Hours before his gun was stolen, Boston police officer Emanuel Brandao was visiting a local strip club with a man the club viewed as "undesirable."
Brandao never told investigators about his companion. He only said that he "spent some time" at the club with two women, both of whom said he later paid them $2,500 for sex at a Pawtucket hotel, according to police reports.
The Pawtucket police have charged both women and a man known as "Gunplay" with stealing Brandao's gun from his BMW. The rookie officer, meanwhile, is on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation.
However, the owner and the general manager of The Cadillac Lounge said this week that Brandao's version of his evening on Feb. 1 was not the full story.
They said the man with the Boston officer bore a remarkable resemblance to the same man charged with stealing his gun.
"He looked very similar," manager Brian Notarianni said Thursday. "He looked like the guy."
The club's staff also recognized the other man as someone they'd evicted from the club months earlier for bothering the dancers. As Notarianni described him: "Some people call these guys pimps."
The foursome drew attention at the strip club from the moment they walked in, Notarianni said. First, Brandao tried walking into the club while wearing his service weapon, which set off the metal detectors. He was told to leave the gun outside.
(Brandao told police investigators that he locked his gun in his BMW's glove box, from where it was later stolen.)
Brandao didn't tell the club that he was a police officer. If he had, he would have been admitted for free -- a courtesy that owner Richard Shappy, an Army veteran, said his club extends to all active police officers, firefighters and military service members.
The group took their seats at a table near the main stage, and the man with Brandao opened a bar tab and bought a round of drinks, Notarianni said.
Not long afterward, the club employees recognized one of the women as a former stripper who'd been fired from the Cadillac Lounge for getting into a fight. They also knew that Neish Rivera, 25, had been charged with prostitution at the Foxy Lady in December, Notarianni said.
The floor staff also recognized the other man with Brandao as an "undesirable," Shappy said.
"We hire people in the community who know the undesirables -- the pimps and drug dealers -- and we don't allow the 'undesirables' in," he said. "We know who this guy was because he was seen in the club talking to the entertainers, trying to recruit them to go work for him within the last couple of months."
The group was told they had to leave, Notarianni said. The man requested his license and credit card back from the bar, and he paid for the drinks with cash, Notarianni said.
A club security officer and Providence police officer working a detail escorted them out without incident, Notarianni said. Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven M. Paré confirmed this week that an officer helped escort the two men and two women out at the request of management.
So, the group ended up at the Hampton Inn in Pawtucket in the wee hours of Feb. 2. That's the only time that Brandao and the women mentioned encountering the other man.
Police records and family members of Kyle Benford said he got into an argument with the women in the elevator. There's been no explanation from family or police about why Benford, 24, who lives in Providence, would be at the hotel.
Rivera and Melissa Dacier, 22, told police that Brandao agreed to pay them $2,500 for sex by transferring money through an app on their phones, according to police and court records.
Brandao sent Dacier to his BMW to get his phone charger, according to police. While she was at the car, according to the police, Benford got into the vehicle and stole Brandao's .40-caliber Glock.
Dacier and Rivera left shortly afterward. Brandao called police when he realized the women -- and his gun -- were gone. Rivera later told the Pawtucket police they could find the gun in a Walmart bag inside a mail slot at the Hartford Avenue fire station in Providence.
Rivera, Dacier and Benford, all of Providence, were charged with larceny of a firearm and conspiracy, as well as being violators on other unrelated cases. All three have been released on bond.
Pawtucket detective Sgt. Christopher LeFort confirmed this week that neither Brandao nor the women mentioned the other man with them that evening.
Police haven't answered questions about why that information would be left out.