Walter and the Extortionists

This article is dated August 9, 1931, but as usual I have no idea what newspaper it is from; I can only assume it is the Ridgefield or Bergen County newspaper.  

1931 08 09 - Walter and the extortionistsAN ALERT POLICE OFFICER

Sergeant Walter Gallagher, of the Ridgefield police department, again exhibited this week some of the alertness which he is becoming noted for in Eastern Bergen County.  His heady work in the capture of two extortionists in Ridgefield this week merits official attention.

Detailed to trap two pseudo Prohibition agents who had demanded $500 from Anthony Monti, Blue Bird Inn manager, Gallagher took two policemen with him, filed with the county clerk the numbers of currency to be used in baiting the men, and arranged, with Monti, to indicate when the money was accepted by a tie-fingering signal.  The signal was to be delivered after Monti emerged from the restaurant where he was to meet the agents, and Gallagher, hidden in a building across the street, planned to swoop down and make the arrests.

Monti, on exiting, gave no signals.  So Gallagher, leaving one man to maintain watch, crept from his hiding place and met the inn-keeper several blocks ahead.  Monti said the men were suspicious and that they would not make themselves visible.  When they wanted a third party to accept the bribe he told them, he said, he had been unable to procure all the money.

Gallagher did not give up.  “Phone them from Teaneck and say you’ll be over with all the money,” he instructed Monti.  Monti did.  He re-entered the restaurant at 4 p. m.

This time, the tie-fingering signal was delivered.  Gallagher and his men scurried in and made the arrests.

The Ridgefield sergeant has distinguished himself at other times, capturing, with Patrolman Henry Lustman last year, a gang trio with which they engaged in gun battle.  Another time, Gallagher singlehandedly made a notable catch.

Alertness of this kind on Gallagher’s part indicates a brilliant career for him in police work.  New Jersey, and Ridgfield in particular, is fortunate to have so keen-witted an officer enforcing its laws.


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