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.