Owner of Brooklyn pizza restaurant robbed by 2 suspects
An owner of a pizza restaurant in New York City was robbed by two unknown male suspects on May 8. (Shomrim Crown Heights Rescue Patrol)
A Connecticut doctor was reportedly kidnapped from the same troubled New York City music venue where two concertgoers recently disappeared and were later found dead.
The doctor, who hasn’t been identified, was abducted July 21 from the Brooklyn Mirage and forced to take his captor on a spending spree in the Bronx, according to a police report obtained by The Hour.
Details of the crime against the 32-year-old Connecticut physician emerged after the deaths of Goldman Sachs analyst John Castic and psychologist Karl Clemente, both 27, made national headlines.
Castic went missing July 29 after attending a concert at the mammoth venue in an industrial section of Brooklyn, and Clemente vanished on June 11 after he was turned away at the door.
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Anthony Benjamin, left, and Steve Daley are charged with second-degree kidnapping and other charges in the abduction of a Connecticut doctor outside a NYC concert venue. (Norwalk Police Department)
Both men were found floating in nearby Newtown Creek days after they disappeared.
The city’s medical examiner hasn’t released an official cause of death for either man.
The doctor told police that his terrifying ordeal unfolded after he attended a show with friends at the Brooklyn Mirage.
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He climbed into a cab and asked for a ride to his car, which was parked several blocks away, according to the Norwalk police report cited by The Hour. But another man, club promoter Anthony Benjamin, 43, was already in the back seat. The driver reportedly took both men to an after-party in Manhattan.
Karl Clemente, left, and John Castic, both 27, vanished outside the Brooklyn Mirage weeks apart. Both were later found dead in Newtown Creek.
Benjamin identified himself as “Tony G’s” and told the doctor he was the party’s promoter as he gestured to a gun in his waistband, police said.
After leaving the after-party, they took a Lyft back to Brooklyn and got into the doctor’s car.
Benjamin allegedly ordered him to drive them to the Bronx as he bragged about putting “people in body bags” and letting “bullets fly.” At one point, he threatened to “kill” his companion before breaking into a chuckle, the police report says.
The physician was taken to an ATM and instructed to withdraw $20,000 in cash, police said, but he could only take out $1,000. Benjamin then handed out the bills to his friends in the neighborhood.
NYPD officers retrieve John Castic’s body from Newtown Creek, New York City, Aug. 1, 2023. (Peter Gerber)
The physician said he was forced to take his new companion on a spending spree, hitting Foot Locker, a barber shop and a strip club, police said.
The doctor, who was on call for the weekend, kept trying to leave, but Benjamin wouldn’t let him go, according to the incident report.
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A July 23 call from Norwalk Hospital paved the way for the physician’s escape. He told Benjamin a patient had an emergency and that he needed to get there immediately.
According to police, Benjamin couldn’t operate the car’s stick shift, so he called a friend, Steve Daley, 50, to drive them to the ER, which is about 35 miles northeast of the Bronx.
The moment the doctor entered the hospital, he reported the alleged kidnapping to security.
John Castic’s body was found Aug. 1, 2023, in English Kills, a section of Newtown Creek, near where Karl Clemente’s body was found on June 16, 2023. (Fox News)
Benjamin and Daley were arrested in the parking garage on second-degree kidnapping with a firearm and other charges. Both were released without bail, court records show.
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After the deaths of Castic and Clemente, local residents and members of the live music scene have urged local politicians to crack down on illegal cabs and improve safety in the neighborhood.
Rebecca Rosenberg is a veteran journalist and book author with a focus on crime and criminal justice. Email tips to [email protected] and @ReRosenberg.