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‘Common decency’ Keeps Foxy Lady closed

NEW BEDFORD – The Foxy Lady – which reopened three days after a horrific shooting that left two workers and the gunman dead – has closed again, complying with the wishes of Mayor Scott W. Lang [pictured] and Police Chief Ronald E. Teachman to remain shut down until after the funerals.

The Popes Island strip club will reopen Wednesday at noon.

In a related development, Mayor Lang and Chief Teachman said the city’s Licensing Board will review the incident to determine if there were any violations of Foxy Lady SouthCoast’s liquor license.

The club reopened at noon Friday, three days after Scott C. Medeiros, 35, of East Freetown shot and killed Tory Marandos, the 29-year-old general manager, and Robert Carreiro, the 33-year-old floor manager, and wounded two police officers as they responded to the strip club. Mr. Medeiros later killed himself.

Several hours before the violent rampage that started about 2 a.m. last Tuesday, Mr. Medeiros had reportedly gotten into an argument with Mr. Carreiro.

Mr. Carreiro was the former boyfriend of a bartender at the club, Jaime Tavares, with whom Mr. Medeiros recently broke up. Mr. Carreiro had a child with her.

About two to three weeks before the deadly shootings, Mr. Carreiro and Mr. Medeiros had gotten into a fight at the strip club.

A notice announcing the closing, which began Saturday, was taped to the entrance of the Foxy Lady.

“Out of respect for our two brothers, Tory and Bobby, The Foxy Lady SouthCoast will be closed until Wednesday, December 20, 2006, when we will reopen at noon,” the notice said.

While a reporter and photographer from The Standard-Times were outside the club for about 15 minutes late yesterday afternoon, several motorists, perhaps out of curiosity, drove up to the entrance and then drove away. Club owner Tom Tsoumas, the uncle of Mr. Marandos, said he received a phone call from Chief Teachman about 11:30 a.m. Saturday, urging him to close the New Bedford strip club.

He said that was all he needed to close the club.

“All the chief had to say is it would be best for the people if we would remain closed until the funerals,” Mr. Tsoumas said last night.

Mr. Carreiro and Mr. Marandos will both be buried tomorrow. Visiting hours for Mr. Carreiro will be held tonight from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Perry Funeral Home, and he will be laid to rest tomorrow at St. John Cemetery.

Mr. Tsoumas said his nephew, who lived in Nashua, N.H., will be buried there.

Mayor Lang said yesterday he became “very upset” on Saturday, after learning the strip club had reopened.

“It was completely disrespectful,” he said and “completely inappropriate.”

He added he expressed his disappointment to Chief Teachman and asked the chief to convey his feelings to Mr. Tsoumas “in the strongest terms possible.”

“I just felt it was something that should have been done out of common decency and respect,” Mayor Lang said yesterday of the closing. “I want time for grieving and reflection, not only for the families of the victims, but for the families of the police.”

Chief Teachman said yesterday he also became aware Saturday the strip club had reopened.

He said he appealed to Mr. Tsoumas for more time to allow the community to heal and the club owner agreed to close the club.

“I heard from some community members that there was some concern about reopening so soon,” Chief Teachman said.

“I told (Mr. Tsoumas) you need to consider the community as well as my department,” the chief said. “He was very respectful and he offered to remain closed until Wednesday.”

Chief Teachman said he visited Saturday at their homes with Joshua Fernandes, 27, and Steve Wadman, 28, the two officers who were shot responding to the strip club rampage.

“Their spirits are tremendous,” he said.

Officer Fernandes was shot in the mouth and the bullet exited near an eye. Officer Wadman was shot three times – in each arm and the hip.

Mr. Tsoumas said yesterday he knew there would be some disagreement in the New Bedford community with his decision to reopen so soon after the tragedy, but he felt it was in the best interests of his staff.

He explained he made the decision to reopen following a 4 1/2-hour bereavement session Thursday night attended by more than 350 employees at his Foxy Lady strip club in Providence. After consulting with grief specialists, he decided work was the best therapy for his employees. The experts recommended it was in their best interests to reopen as soon as possible.

Mayor Lang and Chief Teachman said the review by the Licensing Board is standard procedure.

“There was a shooting, and I expect the Licensing Board to look into this carefully,” Mayor Lang said. He added he wants the board to review “everything leading up” to the shootings “and the incident itself.”

Chief Teachman said the Police Department will forward its reports concerning the shootings as well as the earlier incident to the Licensing Board.

“They will review (the incidents) and decide what the appropriate action will be,” he said. “This is the normal course of events for all disturbances.”

Mayor Lang said he was referring to the fight between Mr. Carreiro and Mr. Medeiros at the club a few weeks earlier.


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