Revolver Shot Halts Pair As they Attempt to Escape by Window to Roof – Ridgefield Police Lauded
Charged with impersonating Federal officers and with demanding $2,000 from Anthony Monti, manager of Blue Bird Inn, Teaneck Road and Cedar Lane, Teaneck, to halt padlock proceedings against the inn on charges of violation of the dry laws, two men late last night were being held without bail by Sheriff Harold V. Reilly, of Bergen County.
The men had in their possession credentials from Amos W. Woodcock, chief of the Federal Prohibition Bureau, which, county detectives are certain, were stolen. The men also had other documents from the prohibition office tending to show that they were bona fide agents for the bureau. The detectives say that these either were forged or stolen, more likely the latter.
The men were caught, according to Sheriff Reilly’s men, shortly after Monti had handed over $300 to them in an upper room in the Half Way House, on Edgewater avenue, between Ridgefield and Ridgefield Park. The money was found on the men who attempted to escape from the hotel by way of the roof. A shot from a revolver of one of the detectives halted them. They offered no further resistance and were taken to the Bergen County jail at Hackensack, where they said they were Rudolph Hayes, alias Rudolph Brunt, and Robert Davis, alias Stewart J. Dunn. The latter had identification papers from the prohibition bureau made out in his name, the detectives say. Sheriff Reilly will make a ther [sic] investigation into the records of the two men today. The Federal authorities have been notified, and men from the prohibition bureau are expected to be in Hackensack today to question them.
For several weeks Sheriff Reilly has been receiving complaints that two men representing themselves as from the prohibition bureau, have been visiting innkeepers and restaurant owners in Bergen County and endeavoring to “shake them down” by threatening to padlock proceedings unless they handed up large sums.
Monti had been warned regarding the two men. They went to the Blue Bird Inn, which recently was raided by Acting Prosecutor Hobart’s special mopper, Abraham Weinberg, now under indictment, and told Monti that he was threatened with padlocking, but that they could “fix it for $2,000,” according to the detectives. The men produced their prohibition “credentials.”
“But,” Monti is alleged to have replied. “I can’t raise that much money. Can’t you come down a little?”
According to the story Monti is said to have told the detectives, the men finally agreed to settle for $500.
According to the information received, Monti arranged to meet the men over the money. In the meantime, Monti telephoned to Sheriff Reilly, who immediately got in touch with Police Chief Hart of Teaneck, and Dawson of Ridgefield. A plan was arranged.
Sergeant Walter Gallagher, of Ridgefield, did a clever piece of work in locating the room in which the alleged transaction was to take place, and in tracing them down. As a result of his work, there was no hitch in the move to round them up. In the police party were Detectives Henry Lustman and Patrolman Masterson of Ridgefield, and Undersheriff Ward.
The two men are alleged to have said that they were disappointed, but that if $300 was all that Monti could raise they would take that. The money was passed over. About the same time there was a knock at the door and a demand to open. The two pseudo Federal officers attempted to escape by climbing out of a window and onto a roof. The shot halted them.
It was Sergeant Gallagher, who for a week or more had been on the trail of the men, and worked to get sufficient evidence to cause their arrest.
George Armstrong, owner of the Half Way House, accompanied the two men to the inn. Armstrong is a former dry agent. The men were fingerprinted. A checkup on their records was started last night by the Ridgefield copes, who were commended upon their good work. It was Masterson who fired the shot halting the attempt to flee from the inn.