A cheeseburger may have never tasted so good.
That’s what Patrick Allocco and his son, Patrick Jr., may have felt on Saturday evening as they prepared for a long-awaited meal at the Dublin Pub, marking the end of a 49-day ordeal which began when rapper Nas and opening act Jeremiah Jai failed to show up for a pair of New Year's Eve weekend concerts in Luanda, Angola's capital.
“They’re just happy to be home.” Morris Township Deputy Mayor Bruce Sisler said shortly after the Alloso’s plane touched down Saturday afternoon. “[Patrick] wants to go to the Dublin Pub and have a cheeseburger. They’ve been eating Portuguese pizza for the last 50 days and they just want a good old-fashioned American hamburger.”
Angolan concert promoter Henrique “Riquhino” Miguel had wired Allocco (CEO of Allgood Entertainment in Morris Township) $300,000 to secure Nas but became enraged when Nas was a no-show, leading to the Alloccos' arrest and hours-long interrogation by Angolan authorities before U.S. Embassy officials stepped in and brought the pair to a Luanda hotel.
With the help of Sisler, U.S. Senator Bob Menendez and U.S. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-11th Dist.), Allocco and his son were released Friday night after their travel ban was lifted and American embassy officials escorted them on a flight to Lisbon.
“Tuesday I spoke to Patrick and basically he was out of money,” Sisler said shortly after the Alloso’s plane landed on Saturday. “His credit cards were maxed out, no more savings, no more money, and I wrote letters to Congressman Frelinghuysen and Senator Menendez again, basically indicating that he was not going to be able to stay in his hotel."
"He was not going to be able to eat," Sisler continued. "He and his son were out of money and that we needed to do something right now. We couldn’t wait any longer.”
The Morris Township Deputy Mayor’s pleas were answered as the state department relayed the Allocco’s financial issues to the ambassador and embassy, and started the negotiation process with the Angolan government.
On Saturday the Allocco's returned to their home, survivors of a wretched two-month ordeal.
“They looked good,” Sisler said. “They said they hadn’t slept in three days, being at the embassy and pending release, so they’ve just been getting ready to come home. We’re really happy to get this accomplished.”
Though Nas returned the money weeks ago, the Angolan promoter was seeking $75,000 in lost expenses. According to Sisler, the embassy and state department negotiated with Miguel and the Angolan government to have that money paid back.
“Pat had to come home first, so he could get his financial affairs in order,” Sisler said. “That was part of the release agreement, that he would pay that $75,000 back to the local promoter.”
A call to Allocco wasn't immediately returned.