Posted on October 18, 2005

Evacuees Binge on Cape: Spend Fed Cash On Booze, Strippers

Maggie Mulvihill and Dave Wedge, Boston Herald, Oct. 18

BOURNE — Hurricane Katrina evacuees hastily handed $2,000 in federal relief money last month have been living it up on Cape Cod, blowing cash on booze and strippers, a Herald investigation has found.

Herald reporters witnessed blatant public drinking at a Falmouth strip mall by Katrina victims living at taxpayer expense at Camp Edwards on Otis Air Force Base. And strippers at Zachary’s nightclub in Mashpee, a few miles from the Bourne base, report giving lap dances to several evacuees.

“They were tipping me $5 a pop,” said a Zachary’s dancer named Angel. “I told them I felt bad taking their money. But I still took it.”

Another dancer said a large group from the military base was in Zachary’s recently and she gave lap dances to several of the victims.

“Some spend good money, but others don’t,” she said.

An assistant club manager, who gave his name only as Michael, acknowledged yesterday that the strip joint is popular with people from Camp Edwards.

“It’s no different for someone who lives at Camp Edwards or is stationed at Camp Edwards. As long as they have the proper ID they can go in,” he said.

On Oct. 5, the Herald observed a virtual parade of evacuees from a bus stop in the Wal-Mart parking lot in Falmouth to nearby liquor stores. Some emerged and openly swilled from brown-bagged containers, while others poured booze into jugs or plastic cups and casually sipped drinks at the Wal-Mart bus stop.