Lunatic in Pajamas With Revolver

It’s not every day that you read a headline like this.  This likely occurred around 1935, given Beall’s age of 45 and his age on the 1930 and 1940 U.S. Census (40 and 50, respectively).  It appears he may have enlisted in the New York National Guard 1st Battery field artillery unit in 1907 at the age of 18, but the 1930 census indicates he is not a veteran, so it may not be the same Almon Beall.

1931-1935 Catch Lunatic with Revolver (Beall) p1


Chase Madman In Pajamas In Ridgefield

A gaunt madman, six feet tall, dressed in pajamas and wielding a .45-caliber revolver, led police a dangerous chase through Ridgefield streets last night.  After two hours he was captured, laced in a strait-jacket, and taken to the county psychopathic ward at Bergen Pines.  Although he fired ten shots in all, no one was injured.

He was keeping himself ready for “those Japs, when they start the war,” he said.

The man was Almon Beall, 45, socially prominent Ridgefield engineer of 456 Morse Avenue.  Shortly after 9 o’clock last night police received a call from the Beall home.  Her husband was acting strangly [sic], Mrs. Beall said.  Patrolmen Charges Seguine and John Paul were sent to investigate.

At the Morse Avenue residence they were confronted by Beall, obviously mad, brandishing his revolver.  The patrolmen called for reserves, and in a few minutes Sergeants Gallagher and Erickson, Patrolman Masterson, and Supervisor Darrow arrived.

Erickson, well acquainted with Beall, tried to reason with him, but the attempt served only to call forth more menacing gestures.

Then Sergeant Gallagher returned with the tear gas gun, borrowed from Cliffside police.  Mrs. Beall was ordered to leave the house.  The madman apparently sensing something was about to happen, began firing through the windows.  He had been sitting on the top of a staircase in a hall directly in front of the entrance to the house.  He stealthily crept down the stairs after firing several shots, some of which embedded themselves in houses on the other side of the street.

Entering a downstairs front room he spied Supervisor Darrow and several of his men walking cautiously toward the house.  In the meantime Sergeant Gallagher had reached the porch of an adjoining house and seeing the madman taking aim, fired a gas shell over Beall’s head and into the room, just as the latter tried to pick off Darrow.

Firing several other shots, all of which went wild, Beall walked menacingly through the front door and onto the street, still carrying his revolver.

1931-1935 Catch Lunatic with Revolver (Beall) p2The police, knowing the man was partly blinded by gas, refused to fire, afraid they would kill him.  Beall continued north on Morse Avenue until he reached a car parked at the curb.  Getting into the machine he remained there for a few moments and then emerged, wearing a knitted lap shawl which he found on the seat.

Still wielding the gun he began running along Morse Avenue, with the police in pursuit.  At Morse and Edgewater Avenues he turned west, to the front door of the home of Councilman William Lange.

Knocking on the door with his gun, Beall, who is a close friend of Councilman Lange, asked to be admitted.  Lange, alarmed at the spectacle of a man standing outside in pajamas with a gun, went back into his home for his own revolver.

Returning, he allowed the man to come in, but Beall by this time had apparently overcome his maniacal inclinations and strolled in peacefully, sitting on a couch.

He demanded that his gun be left alongside him on a table, saying he wanted to have it ready for “those Japs, when they started the war.”  Lange, however, removed two remaining shells from the pistol and placed it back on the table.  When the police arrived a few moments later the madman was still peacefully reclining on the couch.

He ordered Darrow from the room when he entered to take him a prisoner saying “Get out of here, you’re only a buck private.”

After Beall was dressed he was put in the strait-jacket and removed.

It is estimated that during the siege Beall fired about ten shots.  In the pocket of his pajamas when he was taken police found a handful of ammunition.

According to the police, Beall has been in several hospitals during the past twelve years for observation.  At the time of his present outbreak he was under the care of Dr. J. V. Lynn, an old friend.

The doctor went to the house last night to administer a hyperdermic [sic] but was chased from the place by Beall who threatened him with a pair of scissors.

Beall has been a resident of Ridgefield for many years.  He is associated with the engineering profession, with offices in New York.