- Olivia Hitchcock Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Authorities said Paul Senat was “grossly careless” when he picked up an AK 47-style rifle late Friday and a shot fired, killing a handyman in the next room at Sugar Daddy’s Adult Cabaret, according to a Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office report.
The part-owner of the suburban West Palm Beach strip club told sheriff’s officials he keeps the gun in the club for protection. He claimed he hadn’t realized it had discharged until he saw Darryl Rudolph bleeding from the neck in the adjacent room. Senat now faces a charge of manslaughter in the death of the 55-year-old man.
Senat told authorities he had been in the owner’s office with Rudolph and other club employees that night, according to the report, which was made public Wednesday. He said at about 9:30 p.m. he went to the adjacent liquor storage room to move the rifle, he said, when it discharged. The report does not state a reason for Senat needing to move the weapon.
The bullet went through a wall, struck Rudolph’s back and exited through his neck, severing his spine, an autopsy determined. Authorities say Rudolph, 55, was rushed to St. Mary’s Medical Center after the shooting, where he died Saturday afternoon.
Sheriff’s officials have called the incident an accidental shooting, but determined that because the high-powered rifle’s safety lock was not engaged, Senat demonstrated a “reckless disregard of human life” in the crowded night club, on Military Trail between Southern and Summit boulevards.
The Palm Beach County Medical Examiner ruled Rudolph’s death a homicide. He was killed as his son Travis, a former Cardinal Newman High School and Florida State University football standout, anticipated his selection this week in the National Football League draft.
Rows of people sat in court Wednesday morning while a judge set bond for “their boy” Senat, who will remain in the Palm Beach County Jail until he can post a $35,000 bond. He remained in custody late Wednesday.
Judge Dina Keever-Agrama ordered the 36-year-old Lantana resident to have no contact with either Rudolph’s family or the club, despite his attorney’s pleas for the man to be allowed to go back to work.
Jail records show Senat was arrested six times bewteen 1997 and 2007, all for misdemeanor or traffic charges. Palm Beach County court records also show three eviction filings, three foreclosures and one civil domestic-violence case.
David Fiore, the owner of Sugar Daddy, told The Palm Beach Post on Tuesday that Senat owns a small piece of the club, where Rudolph had worked as a handyman for several years. Asked to comment on Senat’s arrest, Fiore would say only that authorities were “doing whatever they’ve got to do, based on whatever they think.”
Fiore told sheriff’s officials he originally thought the gunshot had come from outside of the building, according to the arrest report.
The shooting came almost a year after Greg Bryant, a former American Heritage football standout, spent his final hours at Sugar Daddy’s. The 21-year-old was fatally shot as he drove home to Delray Beach after a night watching musician friends perform. No one has been arrested in his slaying, which West Palm Beach police are investigating.