Male Strippers ‘Thunder From Down Under’ Tackle Suspected Armed Robber

Mar 20, 2014 1:49pm

You could say the suspected robber was thunderstruck.

When Joey Kadmiri, 24, snuck backstage to an all-male dance revue hoping to slip away with the cast members’ costumes and makeup, he did not expect to be tackled by six male strippers.

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(Australia's Thunder From Down Under/Facebook)

Members of the dance troupe, Thunder From Down Under, were preparing to perform at one of their nightly shows around 9:27 p.m. on Tuesday at the Excalibur Hotel in Las Vegas, but backstage the spectacle was already beginning.  As the dancers were dressing for their next performance, several noticed they were missing items of clothing and makeup, according to a police arrest report.

One of the dancers, Ryan Paki, then discovered a suitcase filled with props and dance costumes outside the dressing room, police said in the report. As Paki and the show’s director were inspecting the suitcase, police added, the alleged thief confronted the pair, saying, “What are you doing? I just bought all that stuff for my girlfriend.”

As other dancers confronted Kadmiri, trying to wrestle the suitcase away from him, Kadmiri brandished a gun and held it to the head of one dancer, Scott Berchtold, police said. Someone allegedly pushed the gun away seconds before a shot was fired and hit the wall, as Berchtold and his fellow dance mates took the man down.

Earlier, several people had noticed the suspect wandering around backstage, but because Kadmiri was wearing a SWAT hat and shoes, and a firefighter’s shirt, they assumed he was a new cast member with the show, police said.

The hotel’s security guards held Kadmiri until Las Vegas Police arrived and arrested him.

Authorities said Kadmiri appeared to be under the influence of methamphetamine and charged him with six counts of attempted murder, attempted robbery with a deadly weapon and burglary with a deadly weapon.

Police did not believe Kadmiri had a lawyer and said he remained in custody – though he did not appear on a database of individuals in custody. 

No one was seriously hurt, although one dancer was treated at the scene for powder burn from the impact of the shot, police said. The show resumed as normal the following day.

Representatives for Thunder From Down Under could not be reached for comment. The group has been based in Las Vegas since 2001, where their “dynamic dance routines, barely there costumes, state-of-the-art lighting and chiseled abs have been making women swoon for over 22 years,” according to their website.

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