The weirdness surrounding Brooklyn Mirage continues after reports of a Connecticut-based doctor being kidnapped for a weekend after attending the New York venue surfaced.
The alleged incident happened after the Norwalk Hospital doctor, who has not been named, and his friends attended a show at the Brooklyn Mirage on 21 July, according to a police report obtained by The Hour.
The bizarre incident took place after the recent deaths of Karl Clemente and John Castic, both 27-year-old men who mysteriously disappeared near the Brooklyn Mirage. Both men were found dead in the nearby body of water.
After the July show ended, the Connecticut doctor got into a cab to hitch a ride to his car, which was parked several blocks away, but he wasn’t alone. Another man was in the back seat, the outlet reported. The cab driver said he was taking them to an “after-hours party in Manhattan” and refused to take the doctor to his car, the incident report allegedly said.
They actually arrived at a party, where the cab driver reportedly demanded payment; the doctor refused to pay him, saying he did not take him to where he asked to be driven. The pair got into a verbal argument, which quickly escalated into the cab driver allegedly trying to punch the doctor, the outlet said.
That’s when 43-year-old Anthony Benjamin intervened in the scuffle to try to calm things down, The Hour reported. Mr Benjamin told the doctor that he was the party’s promoter. But when they entered the party, Mr Benjamin “started acting weird,” according to the doctor, adding that he was the doctor’s “protection” and he was “packing” as he touched his waistband, according to the publication.
Mr Benjamin ordered that he and the doctor take a Lyft from Manhattan back to Brooklyn, where they got into the doctor’s car. Mr Benjamin allegedly told the doctor he would show him around his neighbourhood in the Bronx, the outlet reported.
The so-called promoter seemed to try to intimidate the doctor, saying that he’s “put people in body bags before” and that he lets “bullets fly.” Then, Mr Benjamin threatened the doctor, “stating he was going to kill him, but he would then smile and laugh at him,” according to the incident report.
Later on, Mr Benjamin allegedly demanded the doctor withdraw money from several ATMs, as Mr Benjamin wanted $20,000; the doctor said he couldn’t do that, as he was only able to take out about $1,000. Mr Benjamin forced the doctor to use his banking app to see if he could take out more money, the outlet reported.
“He then gave Benjamin the money, which he was giving it out to people and his friends in the neighborhood,” according to the incident report.
The hostage-taking transformed into a shopping spree in the Bronx. The doctor allegedly told police that the pair stopped in several stores, including a Foot Locker. Although they attempted to buy some items, the doctor’s ATM card and credit card kept getting declined.
The ‘party promoter’ also took the doctor to his barber shop, where he got a haircut, and to a strip club, according to the incident report.
The doctor kept “going along with what Benjamin wanted him to do because whenever he stated he had to leave to go to work Benjamin would get angry,” police said in the incident report. Mr Benjamin allegedly told the doctor he had a gun.
The doctor, who was working on-call for the weekend, even began taking calls from his patients. Early on 23 July, the doctor received a call from the emergency department about a patient, so he urged Mr Benjamin that he had to get back to work or else people would start to look for him, the outlet wrote.
Because the doctor had a stick shift car, Mr Benjamin couldn’t drive it, so he allegedly asked Steve Daley, 50, to bring them to Norwalk Hospital.
When they arrived—at 3.40am— the doctor reported the incident to hospital security, who put Norwalk Hospital on lockdown, according to the incident report. While police spoke with the doctor, officers discovered the men in the car and took them into custody.
According to the outlet, Mr Benjamin was charged with second-degree kidnapping and possession of a controlled substance, while Mr Daley was charged with conspiracy to commit second-degree kidnapping.
The pair are next scheduled to appear in state Superior Court in Stamford on 19 September, court records show.
The Independent has reached out to Mr Benjamin’s attorney and Avant Gardner, the outdoor complex that includes the Brooklyn Mirage. Norwalk Hospital declined to comment since the investigation is active.