West Absolves Ridgefield Cop

It is unknown when or in which paper this article was published.  I believe it to be 1929 or 1930, as I think Alan Conor was Mayor until 1928, but if the articles are in a somewhat chronological order in the scrapbook, one has to wonder about the timing of it in light of other recently published heroic tales …

1929-1931 West Absolves Ridgefield CopWest Absolves Ridgefield Cop

No Negligence on Part of Lustman in Carruth Death, He Says

On examination of a preliminary report by investigators of his staff on the death of Charles P. Carruth, who died Saturday of heart disease in Ridgefield jail where he was held on a charge of drunkenness and disorderly conduct, Prosecutor Edward O. West said yesterday he had found no indication of negligence on the part of Patrolman Lustman, Ridgefield policeman, who arrested Carruth.

The report was required by the prosecutor after an autopsy performed by Acting County Physician Dr. Arthur W. Greenfield revealed that no alcohol had been in Carruth’s stomach when he died.  According to an earlier report made by the Ridgefield Park police physician, Carruth had died from acute alcoholism.

Carruth, a member of a prominent Hempstead, L. I., family, was arrested near Overpec kbridge [sic] Friday night.  Patrolman Lustman had been detailed to the scene after persons living in the vicinity of the bridge had reported to police headquarters that a man, apparently drunk, was shouting profanely from his car, near the bridge.

According to Lustman, Carruth had left the car and fallen in the road which he had attempted to cross.  The policeman found him on the ground, he said, and took him to headquarters.  Lustman says the man showed every indication of being drunk and made no protest that he was ill.  If he had, he added, a physician would have been called.

Former Mayor Alan B. Conor, a member of the Ridgefield police commission, said Sunday night, that no investigation of the department’s disposition of Carruth’s case would be made by the commission.  He believes, he said, that the other commissioners would agree with him that the patrolman on duty had no occasion to call a doctor.  Only persons who notify the police they are sick, he said, are visited by a physician.

“If we called a doctor for every man arrested on a charge of drunkenness,” he said, ” we might as well close the borough treasury.”

Prosecutor West said when he announced he would make an investigation that he believed there had been no criminal avtion [sic] on the part of the police.

“But the unusual nature of the case,” he said, “warrants an investigation by this office.”


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