PROVIDENCE — A 24-year-old Providence, R.I., man appeared in court Monday to face charges in connection with the theft of a Boston police officer’s gun from a car parked at a hotel in Pawtucket, R.I.
Kyle Benford was held on $20,000 surety bail at his arraignment on charges of larceny of a firearm and conspiracy to commit larceny. No plea was entered. He is slated to return to Sixth Circuit District Court in Providence on May 20.
Benford was arrested Saturday night, a week after two women, Neish Rivera, 25, of Pawtucket, and Melissa Dacier, 22, of Providence, were also arrested and charged with stealing the gun, a Glock 22, authorities said.
Police say Rivera and Dacier identified Benford as the person who stole the officer’s gun, a court official said during the brief hearing.
Benford’s cousin, Jason Doggett, said afterward that the charges were “bull [expletive].”
“They arraigned the man based on what a prostitute is telling you,” Doggett said, adding that his cousin was “with his wife” at the time of the incident.
A woman who identified herself as Benford’s sister said only, “They’re trying to frame him.” She declined to provide her name.
Benford was also held as a probation violator stemming from a prior drug case, records show. He was scheduled to appear in Superior Court on that matter at 2 p.m.
A Pawtucket police report filed in the case identified the Boston officer whose gun was stolen as Emanuel Brandao.
“Emanuel stated that he had his department-issued firearm (glock 22 .40 caliber bearing serial number VYP152) on his person” and secured the gun in the glove box of his vehicle, the report said.
After the gun was stolen and later recovered, the report said, police interviewed Dacier and Rivera, who both “positively identified Kyle Benford as the person who stole the firearm from the vehicle.”
Rivera and Dacier accompanied Brandao to a strip club and bar on the weekend of Feb. 2. The three returned to the officer’s room at a Hampton Inn in Pawtucket, where they “hung out,” for a few hours, according to a Pawtucket police report.
The officer gave the keys to his car to Rivera, who told him she needed a cell phone charger. She returned to the room, but later left, saying she was going to look for Dacier, who had left the hotel room to make a phone call, the report said.
The Boston officer eventually went to look for Rivera. He went to his car, where he discovered the gun missing from his glove box. He reported the gun stolen to Pawtucket police around 2:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 2.
The officer was placed on paid leave, pending an internal affairs investigation, the department said last week. Boston Police Sergeant John Boyle, a department spokesman, declined to name the officer Monday.
Kenneth Anderson, the attorney for the Boston Police Patrolman’s Association, declined comment about Brandao’s case.