Something about them “excited his suspicion …”

This February 26, 1930 article likely appeared in the local newspaper, The Record.  It was front-page news, according to the notation on the continuation of the article, and plays out like a chase scene in a old movie.  Too bad they got Pop’s name wrong.


1930 02 26 - Bullets Sent After Fleeing Bandit GangBullets Sent After Fleeing Bandit Gang

Frustrated in Alleged Attempt to Take Hoboken Gangster “For a Ride


In a wild chase through the residential section of Ridgefield and the West Grantwood section, during which many shots were fired, three bandits were captured yesterday afternoon by Patrolman William [sic] Gallagher, a “rookie” cop, and Patrolman Henry Lustman, after, it is said, the trio had been frustrated in an alleged attempt to take a Hoboken gangster “for a ride.”

All of the three have police records in New York.  The automobile in which they were riding was recognized as having been stolen Sunday night from 70th street and Third avenue, New York.  The men are:

The Arrested

John Carroll, 22, of 356 East 139th street, convicted three times in New York, twice for robbery and once for assault and battery.

Michael Toohey, 28, of 297 East 135th street, convicted three times in New York for robbery.

William Stewart, 21, of 427 West 135th street, convicted twice in New York for theft.

According to the story given out by the police, the men admitted being in a saloon in Hoboken earlier in the day.  It was said that while there they discussed taking someone “for a ride.”  Their conversation, it appears was overheard, and the men, knowing this, jumped into the automobile and fled, pursued by another car, which they outdistanced.  On the Boulevard they drove at a fast rate of speed, ignoring signal lights.  At Tonnele avenue and Hackensack plankroad they narrowly missed running down Patrolman Herman Farcender, of the Hudson County police, who had the stop signal set against them.  Farcender commandeered another car and gave chase.  He recognized the car as the one for which a description had been broadcast from New York.  The men escaped him.

1930 02 26 - Bullets Sent After Fleeing Bandit Gang (2)Farcender, when he saw that he could not overtake the trio, telephoned the Ridgefield police to be on the lookout for them.  The men, however, succeeded in eluding the Ridgefield police sent out to trap them.

Gallagher Acts

Shortly after 12 o’clock noon, while Patrolman Gallagher was on duty at Edgewater avenue and Shaler boulevard, Ridgefield, directing traffic to safeguard the children, he saw the car in which were the three men approaching.  There was something about the men, Gallagher says, that excited his suspicion.  He signaled for them to stop, but instead of doing so they stepped on the gas.  Nearby was the Ridgfield Park police car which Gallagher had used to take him to the school.  He jumped into the car and started in pursui of the men.  Gallagher managed to ride abreast of them.  The driver of the other car attempted to ditch him at least a score of time, once forcing Gallagher to run his car upon the sidewalk.  The policeman was unable to draw his revolver, the management of the car requiring all of his attention.

While speeding up the state highway, Gallagher saw Patrolman Lustman a short distance ahead.  He signaled the latter to stop the fleeing car, but Lustman was unable to do so.  Gallagher slowed down to let Lustman in the car and then renewed the chase.  Time and again the fleeing car attempted to ditch the police.  Near Bergen boulevard, where there is a steep embankment, the bandits tried to force the police car off the road, but failed.

Police Open Fire

Both cars were being driven at breakneck speed.  Patrolman Lustman drew his revolver and opened fire on the trio.  All three crouched down on the seat, but made no attempt to return fire.  Lustman aimed at the rear wheels and succeeded in blowing a tire, bringing the car of bandits to a stop.

The men were taken to Ridgefield police headquarters and after being booked on charges of driving a car without a license were taken to the Bergen County jail in Hackensack by Patrolman Gallagher.  They will be given a hearing this morning before Judge Charles J. McCarthy of the First District Criminal Court.


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