Darien Planet Pizza site of sexual assault
DARIEN — A Stamford man was in court last week in connection with an April sexual assault that took place in the basement of Planet Pizza, 882 Post Road.
Darien police learned of the incident on April 13 when a female coworker of Jarbas Bandiera, 41, came to police headquarters after what she said was an inappropriate exchange between herself and Bandiera.
According to the woman, during a shift together that day, Bandiera began asking the woman what kind of perfume she wore, offering to buy her a bottle in exchange for a kiss in the “pompas” which, according to the report, the woman took to mean her buttocks.
She told police she declined the offer.
Later in the shift, as the woman was preparing to leave and saying her goodbyes to coworkers, she was followed by Bandiera into the basement of the restaurant, where her jacket and purse were, police said.
She put on her jacket, at which point Bandiera asked if she was leaving, to which she replied yes. According to police, Bandiera then asked the woman for a goodbye hug and kiss. She leaned forward for what she thought was a friendly hug, when Bandiera grabbed her around her upper body with both arms while smelling her neck and telling her she smelled good.
Bandiera then began to kiss the woman aggressively around her neck, squeezing her and breathing hard. She asked Bandiera to let go, but he continued his hold for roughly 2 minutes, according to the police report.
After being released, the woman retrieved her bag and tried to leave, but Bandiera again grabbed her in the same manner as before, positioning himself in a way that prevented her from leaving, police said. She attempted to break his grip, but wound up backed up against pipes that run vertically on the walls of the basement.
The woman told Bandiera there were cameras in the basement in an attempt to frighten him into leaving her alone, but Bandiera continued to hold her with his left arm around her back while simultaneously grabbing her left buttock over her pants with his right hand, squeezing it hard and saying “que rica,” which, according to the police report, loosely translates to “how delicious.”
Bandiera eventually let the woman go after she repeatedly told him that there were cameras in the room. She told police he had not caused her any physical pain or made any threats during the incident.
The incident was the only instance of physical contact between the coworkers, police said. The woman told authorities she had never engaged in any kind of romantic or dating relationship with Bandiera.
She reported Bandiera had previously made comments about her buttocks, shown her photographs of scantily clad women on his phone, and told her that he like “women with big breasts and big butts.”
Darien police went to Planet Pizza the next day to interview Bandiera, who ultimately admitted to all of the women’s claims, according to the police report.
A warrant was issued for Bandiera’s arrest, and on June 9, he turned himself in at police headquarters on charges of fourth-degree sexual assault and second-degree unlawful restraint.
Bandiera was released from custody on $2,500 bond. He is to appear in court July 12.