Fight over booth at Glass Slipper strip club led to double shooting; videogame parlor owner charged
Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff
A disagreement over who could sit in a booth at downtown Boston strip club led to the shooting of two people inside the Glass Slipper and the arrest of the owner of a Jamaica Plain videogame parlor on charges of attempted murder, law enforcement officials and the suspect’s attorney said today.
With his face obscured, Steven Gayle pleaded not guilty in Boston Municipal Court to multiple charges, including two counts of armed assault with intent to murder and unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition.
Bail was set by Judge Eleanor Coe Sinnott at $250,000 cash.
His defense attorney, Pamela Harris-Daly, told reporters that Gayle, 34, is himself a survivor of a violent crime – he was shot in 2006 and has been partially disabled ever since. She also said he is the owner of the The Game Room in Jamaica Plain, a video game parlor.
He is the father of a nine-year-old child who lives with the child’s mother, she said. Harris-Daly also said that Gayle’s version of the events inside the Glass Slipper will show he was the victim of aggression. She declined to provide further details.
Suffolk Assistant District Attorney David Fredette said Gayle was sitting in a booth at the strip club at 22 LaGrange St. when some other patrons sat down. Gayle began to argue with the men who had suddenly joined him, and the dispute grew into an altercation .
At some point, Gayle then stood up and shot one of the victims twice in the head and then turned and shot the second victim at least once, also in the head. Gayle then left the nightspot but was followed outside by a bouncer and several patrons who shouted to Boston Police Officer Mark Bordley that “he has a gun.” The patrons pointed at Gayle as he walked onto Washington Street and then Kneeland Street.
At the time, Bordley was working a paid detail at Centerfolds, the second strip club in downtown Boston, which is located next to the Glass Slipper. According to Bordley’s report, filed in court, he and Officer Earl Jacob, who was off-duty, followed Gayle and convinced him to stop at the corner of Washington and Kneeland streets.
Gayle was holding a Colt revolver in his right hand, police said. The hammer on the revolver was in the cocked and ready to fire position, police said. Gayle, who was arrested at gunpoint, was carrying 16 rounds of ammunition in his backpack, police alleged.
Police said they had to protect Gayle from several angry men who tried to attack him after he was taken into custody. One person was quoted by police as saying, “That’s [expletive] up, Steve. So it’s like that. I know where you be at.”
The incident happened around 2:13 a.m. Both victims are expected to survive, Boston police spokeswoman Cheryl Fiandaca said in an e-mail. One of the victims, a 31-year-old man, is in critical condition at Tufts Medical Center. The other is being treated at Massachusetts General Hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.
The Glass Slipper has operated on LaGrange Street since 1985 and was open at another location in the neighborhood when the city experimented with an adult entertainment district known as the Combat Zone in the 1970s.
The Glass Slipper and Centerfolds, also located on LaGrange Street, are the last remaining strip clubs downtown.
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