Cops say exotic dancer lied about robbery in Reds pitcher’s room
By JOE MANDAK Associated Press June 21, 2012 1:06PM
PITTSBURGH — A Maryland woman has been charged with filing a false police report about a robbery at the downtown Pittsburgh hotel room of Cincinnati Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman last month.
Claudia Manrique of Silver Spring, Md., was charged Wednesday by Pittsburgh police with a misdemeanor and must return to Pittsburgh City Court for a preliminary hearing Aug. 28. Manrique was not arrested; a court summons was being mailed to her.
Chapman told police he arranged for Manrique, an exotic dancer he had met earlier this year, to fly to Pittsburgh in May. The Reds were in town for a series with the Pirates at the time.
Police investigators contend Manrique lied when she claimed she was tied up in Chapman’s hotel room by an unknown assailant who made off with about $6,000 in jewelry and other items the night of May 29.
Manrique first told police the man showed up at the room pretending to be a maintenance man who was there to fix the toilet, but she later changed her story, saying she first encountered the man in a downtown drug store and he later showed up at Chapman’s room seeking a bag filled with more than $200,000 in jewelry. Police said the bag contained some of Chapman’s jewelry but was not among the items taken that night.
According to the police complaint, detectives interviewed Chapman through a team interpreter and Chapman told police “he believed that Manrique was involved with the theft and not being truthful.” Chapman, a Cuban native, doesn’t speak English.
Chapman told police that after Manrique arrived, she got several phone calls from a Spanish-speaking man whom she spoke to in English, apparently so Chapman would not understand her.
The police complaint doesn’t specify what investigators believe happened that night, only that police believe Manrique’s varying accounts are false. Pittsburgh police spokeswoman Diane Richard said investigators have been unable to find the man or confirm his identity. Richard said the man could face charges and Manrique could face additional charges after police investigate further.
Richard said most of the items taken from the room that night belonged to Chapman, although some credit cards belonging to Manrique also were taken.
Manrique did not immediately return a message left Thursday at a home telephone listed in her name. The person who answered the phone said she was not home. Online court records don’t list an attorney for Manrique.