Brooklyn Kidnappings

Outside the notorious Brooklyn music club where two recent concertgoers went missing and were later discovered dead, a Connecticut doctor was allegedly kidnapped.

Following the deaths of Goldman Sachs analyst John Castic and psychologist Karl Clemente, neighbors are urging Brooklyn Mirage and elected officials to increase safety measures outside the Bushwick hotspot. The story of the man’s kidnapping in July garnered headlines.

Residents want authorities to take action against unauthorized taxi drivers and uninvited club promoters who prey on individuals leaving the well-known electronic music venue early in the morning.

Police and the Hour in the area report that the 32-year-old Norwalk doctor, who has not been recognized, was allegedly kidnapped on July 21 after boarding a taxi that took him to an afterparty rather than his car. The taxi driver took the doctor and another man — a reported club promoter — who was already inside the taxi to a party in Manhattan.

The other passenger, 43-year-old Anthony Benjamin of the Bronx, came with him and continuously threatened to murder or harm him if he did not do as he said and claimed to be armed, according to the source. Eventually, the doctor made it back to his car in Brooklyn, but not before the other passenger, who claimed to be armed, came with him.

According to a police report that the Hour was able to get, Benjamin forced the doctor to buy him clothes and shoes over the course of the weekend while also paying for his haircut at a barbershop and a night out at a strip club.

The report claims that he also allegedly compelled the victim to use ATMs to withdraw cash, which he then allegedly pocketed and distributed to his neighborhood pals.

In the early hours of July 23, while the doctor was on call over the weekend, the emergency room called.

The report stated that he told Benjamin it was an emergency and that he had to report to work immediately to avoid suspicion.

According to the incident narrative, after the doctor arrived at the hospital and informed security that he was being kept against his will, police were summoned and detained both Benjamin and the guy he had hired to drive the doctor’s manual car to the hospital.

According to police, Benjamin and his companion Steve Daley, 50, were both charged with second-degree kidnapping with a firearm and possession of a dangerous narcotic.

Residents of Bushwick and people involved in the live music scene are urging local politicians to take action against unauthorized promoters and taxis outside the Mirage.

Locals wrote to Councilwoman Jennifer Gutiérez stating that there is “no security surrounding the exits of the venue; instead, the exit area and surrounding streets are infiltrated with unpermitted drivers posing as rideshares.”

“Most alarmingly, there’s tons of aggressive club and venue promoters surrounding the area, preying on concert patrons who are under the influence to lure them to follow them to unidentified venues and spaces,” the letter adds.

The venue, in a largely industrial part of Brooklyn far from the subway, became the subject of national news last month when Castic, a 27-year-old Goldman Sachs analyst, went missing after leaving the concert hall just weeks after Clemente, also 27, disappeared after being turned away from the Mirage.


New York Times

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