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Downtown hotel says it's taking steps to squelch crime there

A manager at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on Avenue de Lafayette says he's stepped up security over the past two months following two incidents, one in which a man said he was tasered and robbed by a woman he'd hooked up with over Tinder, the other in which a particularly dexterous prostitute managed to remove $4,000 in cash from a man's wallet even as she performed fellatio on him.

Greg Nomura spoke at a Boston Licensing Board hearing on the two specific incidents, although BPD Det. Eddie Hernandez said there had been at least 70 incidents involving sex for pay at the hotel over the past six months. The hearing did not include any testimony about the shooting death of a 17-year-old at the hotel on Feb. 4. That could be the focus of a later hearing, however, since police did issue a "licensed premise" violation to the hotel that day.

Sgt. Det. William Gallagher described both the taser and prostitution incidents.

In the first, a man told police that around 10:30 p.m. on Aug. 11, he met up in the hotel lobby with a woman he'd met on Tinder. They went up to her room on the 14th floor and had been talking for about 30 minutes, when she got closer and then took out a pink Femme Fatale stun gun, put it under one of his arms and tased him, letting her lift $140 from his wallet.

He managed to escape and went back to the lobby, where he called 911, Gallagher said. Police arrived and found the woman still in the room, where she denied knowing about the guy except to say she thought about calling 911 herself when someone began banging on her door. But the longer police talked to her, the less communicative she became - except for a guy named "Tramp" on FaceTime with whom she kept talking during the conversation with police - and they eventually wound up frisking her and searching her bag, in which they found a pink taser, at which point she was arrested on a charge of armed robbery, Gallagher said.

Gallagher continued that around 7:20 a.m. on Jan. 3, police responded to the hotel again on a report from another distraught man, this time claiming he'd been robbed of $4,000 during oral sex in a ninth-floor room with a woman whom he'd already forwarded money via Cash App to pay for her expertise.

He said when he left he realized his wallet was suddenly much thinner and that the only time it had been out of his reach - but within hers - was during the act itself.

Nomura and the hotel attorney, William Kelley, said the hotel had added a second overnight security guard in January and taken other steps to increase safety at the hotel, including hiring a new security director with 20 years experience in Boston, the last 5 at the Sheraton Boston, after the previous director left for a job with the Suffolk County Sheriff's Department. They added hotel staff have increased walk-throughs and wellness checks of hotel guests and have increased meetings with police at District A-1 to discuss security concerns.

At issue in the hearing was whether the hotel bore any responsibility for the two incidents.

Kelley argued that in both cases, the alleged assignations were both arranged through private channels - whether Tinder or a Cash App payment to an account called realsexbarbie - and that the specific incidents that led to police being called happened in private guest rooms, all well beyond the expected purview of hotel security. Under questioning from Kelley, Gallagher acknowledged that hotel staffers were cooperative with police and readily gave detectives access to hotel surveillance-camera video from both the hotel lobby and the hotels used by the people involved.

The board decides Thursday whether it agrees or whether the hotel could have done something differently and, if so, whether it deserves any sanctions.

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Comments

Take the crime right out of it.

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Would such legalization include provisions in the law that allow the sex worker to be independent from all pimps? Who was this woman working for?

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11

if a sex worker could report crimes committed against them without fear of prosecution for prostitution, you'd probably see a marked reduction of pimps.

Of a company (that would sort of substitute for the "pimp" or madame) or as a sole proprietor working for themselves. If you want to do something interesting and very difficult, write the law yourself and submit it as a ballot proposal. Then get a whole bunch of signatures (like upwards of 80,000 spread out over various counties) to get it on the ballot. It's one heck of a process but it worked for marijuana.

Somehow, I don’t think extra security will solve the problem here.

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43

I don’t care if it’s a 5-star property on Boylston or a shitty Motel 6, it’s happening everywhere. The oldest profession.

If the city actually thinks the Hyatt is more prone to it than any other hotel, they’re either blind, stupid, or both.

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62

As Hot a$$ ...

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14

any half mile buffers?

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16

A wallet swipe should be fairly easy...

Emptied it and put it back.

Pickpockets work with distraction, but that's epic.

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22

And only got half?;)

They would be better off providing their guests risk management training.

How is more security going to save guests from themselves?

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39

that sucks

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12

Fellatio-fish

... maybe a red, white, or blue tank dress.

With moves like that she should be the toast of CPAC and a fundraising up and comer!

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10

Her pimp is named Tramp.

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21

... “pink taser”.

How come the johns can just run crying to the police and get off scot free? Terrible double standard

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Gallagher acknowledged that, normally, during a sex-for-fee arrest, both parties are arrested. But the woman was not around by the time police arrived, so no one to arrest and the man was a robbery victim (we're talking about the fellatio guy here, not the tasered Tinder guy).

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12

At this point, we aren't working with terribly credible people.

Should those who are not supposed to be working in the United States be able to report unsafe working conditions?

My gut is that the idea is that some infractions are a bit more serious than other infractions, so reporting a prostitute who lifted $4,000 (I'm going to ignore the question as to why some has 4 grand in their wallet) or other such crimes seems valid.

in the Nineties, marveling at how much downtown had changed, especially with the disappearance of the Combat Zone. He laughingly told a story about a friend of his (who happened to be the famously hapless father of a school chum of mine) that closely mirrored one of these incidents: the BJ from a pro in a dark alley during which the wallet was deftly picked, emptied and replaced.

It presumably took place within a couple of blocks of today's story, though there's no way Dad's pal Lenny was carrying four grand in cash at the time -- who does that anymore? Pre-pandemic, I always tried to carry a hundred bucks or so on me, but my last ATM withdrawal was probably last June, and nowadays I silently grrr at point-of-sale terminals that don't support NFC.

Otherwise, “Plus ça change...."

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Please turn off the lights.

“at least 70 incidents involving sex for pay at the hotel over the past six months”

At some point folks will face the fact that these hotels are used for the sex trade with the knowledge and complicity of the management. Like it’s a significant part of their earnings. Legalize it and tax likewise. Apologies to those naive tourists, business folks or pearl-clutching parents visiting student offspring but there’s a 100% chance you’ve been staying at a love shack.

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Not.

I had a gym membership there in the early 2000's when it was a Swiss Hotel. Nice gym, great amenities, pool. During the years before Hyatt took over and the memberships ended, there were a number of sketchy incidents there, including a little girl at the pool and in the men's sauna, supposedly she ran around the hotel corridors at night, while her father was out of the hotel, presumably working.

The gym locker keys were of a generic type, you used the one sitting in the keyhole of the locker you were using. One night I realized there was money missing. I asked if there was a master key for all the lockers, management told me no. Then one afternoon I went to my locker after a workout, the locker room attendant was sitting next to my locker and there was money and my wallet scattered atop my clothes when I opened the locker. I tried to ignore it because the guy was sitting there, management assured me he had worked there for years, was reliable etc.

A few weeks later while working out, security marched the guy into the locker room, then out, and that was the last of him.

So there was a sketchiness about the place even then, but I was sorry the gym memberships ended because it was a great gym, if you didn't mind having your money stolen.

$4,000 in cash is a lot of bills to be carrying in a men's wallet. What was he up to?