Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Gangs Of Jamaica Plain

I've tried to balance entries describing church meetings and honored veterans with articles featuring crime and poverty. At the same time that Catholic church parishes could host thousands for annual celebrations, those same neighborhoods could also produce young men ready to kick a policeman in the head. If we want to remember the good old days in J.P., we need to keep in mind the less savory element of the community. Life in turn of the century Jamaica Plain was not all Footlight Club plays and Tuesday Club teas. In an earlier entry, a newspaper article refers to residents Jamaica Plain during these same years hiring watchmen to protect their property from break-ins.

I try to copy the newspaper articles as accurately as possible, so if the spelling of a name changes, I'm following what I find. Sometimes, deciphering the type is difficult, so I have to guess at the words and spelling. Did you get the cinematic referece in the title above?

Boston Daily Globe April 21, 1907

Gang Took His Club And Gun

Patrolman McKinnon Badly Used Up.

Unknown Man Had Been Robbed in Jamaica Plain.

Officer Then Came on scene -- Two Arrests.

Patrolman McKinnon of division 13 was assaulted by a crowd of men on Keyes st, Jamaica Plain, last night, and John J. Dolan, 20 years old, of 53 Call st and Edward J. Dolan, 23, of 40 Orchard st, were arrested shortly afterward, charged with the assault.

An unknown man was held up by a gang of young men about 12:30, near the corner of Washington and Keyes sts, and was beaten and robbed. McKinnon came upon the scene and the gang fled. The officer overhauled them on Keyes st, near the railroad bridge where they turned upon him.

There were six in the crowd and they speedily overpowered the officer. He was thrown to the ground and his assailantw took his club and revolver from him and used the club on him.

In the meantime somebody had telephoned police station 13 of the troubles, and a number of officers were sent to the place.

The gang ran away with McKinnon, who was bleeding from a gash on the head, in persuit. The beating he had received had weakened him, however, and he fell in the street where he lay until the other patrolmen came to his aid. He was sent to the station house, where his wounds, a number of cuts on the head, were dressed by Dr Woodruff.

From the description they obtained the officers arrested the two Dolans on the charge of assault and battery. They will be arraigned in court tomorrow where they will probably answer to a more serious charge.

January 22, 1908

Thugs Strike From Behind

Patrolman Attacked in Jamaica Plain.

Hayes Was Walking on Centre St in Plain Clothes.

Question Whether Robbery or Revenge Was Motive.

Patrolman Jeremiah Hayes of division 13, Jamaica Plain, was murderously attacked about 8:30 last night by two young men, who stole up behind him as he was walking along Centre st on his way to the station house on Seaverns av. One of the pair struck him on the back of the head with a blunt weapon and felled him to the ground.

The officer was in citizen's clothes and it is an open question whether his assailants, not knowing he was a patrolman, attacked him with intent to rob him or whether they were taking revenge because of police activity in that section of late.

Patrolman Hayes noticed two young fellows behind him when he was near Lakeville pl, but they did not arouse his suspicions. After the assault they ran down Centre sts and disappeared through Lockstead av. in the direction of Jamaica pond.

Though dazed by the blow, patrolman Hayes recovered sufficiently to get a glimpse of one of the fellows, who is about 5 feet 5 inches in height, stout built, and wore a light-colored overcoat, dark-colored trousers and a golf cap.

With head and face covered with the blood from his wounds on the head and face, caused by the violence of his fall to the ground, Hayes managed to make his way to the station house a considerable distance away, and reported to Lieut Bodenschatz. Dr Arthur N.Broughton dressed his wounds and found he had sustained a severe scalp wound on the back of his head, about two inches long, and abrasions on his face, right hand, knees and shins.

Patrolman Hayes could not explain the assault on him. It occurred in an aristocratic section of Jamaica Plain, and so far as Hayes knows, he has not an enemy in the district, where he has been a patrolman since 1894.

Recently, however, the police of division 13 have been active in the arrest of local characters, some of them for assault on patrolman McKinnon of division 13 about a year ago, who was beaten so terribly that he has not been able to perform police duty since. Three of the defendants in the case were sent away for a time and have recently been released. Others have been arrested for alleged attempt to break and enter a store.

Patrolman Hayes was born in Ireland, Jan 3, 1850. He was appointed a patrolman Oct 31, 1881, and was assigned to division 4; he was transferred to division 13 Aug 29, 1894, and has remained on duty at that station since that time.

January 23, 1908

Youths Arrested.

Charged With Assault on Patrolman Hayes.

Officer Positively Identifies Lad of 14 as One Assailant.

Two Roxbury youths, Richard J. Connolly, aged 16, of 963 Parker st, and Henry W. Hildreth, 14, of 4 Highland pl, are under arrest charged with breaking and entering the grocery store of M.S. Morton at Hyde Park last Tuesday morning and also with assaulting patrolman Jeremiah Hayes of division 13 with a blackjack Tuesday night in Jamaica Plain.

Neither of the youths has enjoyed an enviable reputation with the police for some time, and Hildreth is said to have been arrested for larceny before. The pair were arrested yesterday morning, at Boylston and Amory sts, by patrolmen Eagan and Morse of division 13 after quite a struggle, in which the young fellows are said to have tried to use blackjacks on the patrolmen.

At noon patrolman Hayes, who is laid up at his home with the injuries due to the assault on Tuesday, was brought to the station house, where he identified Hildreth positively and Connolly partially, as his assailants.

April 7, 1908

Scuffle Has Fatal Sequel.

Patrolman Fitzgerald Dies at His Home -- Paralysis Follows His Fight With a Prisoner.

Patrolman John J. Fitzgerald of division 13, who was injured in a scuffle with three young men whom he attempted to arrest Friday afternoon, died at his home, 11 North av, Roxbury, at 10:10 last night, from paralysis of the right side, caused by the bursting of a blood vessel in his head.

Friday afternoon patrolman Fitzgerald, who was in charge of the substation in Franklin park, was called by patrolman McAdams to assist in the arrest of three men who were charged with the larceny of brass pipe valued at $5. David A. Shugrue, who is alleded to have been one of them, is said to have fought Patrolman Fitzgerald off and to have escaped. The other men, Louis Selby and Stephen Shugrue, a brother of David, were arrested.

Patrolman Fitzgerald remained on duty at the station Friday night until 10 o'clock, when he was taken home and two physicians were called to attend him. He had become uncouscious, and the doctors said that his condition was serious.

David A. Shugrue, 26 years old, of 3409 Washington st, was arrested by patrolman O'Neil of division 13 Saturday night, charged with drunkenness, but when he appeared in the dock in the Jamaica Plain court yesterday morning patrolman McAdams said he recognized him as the man who had struggled with patrolman Fitzgerald, and McAdams brought two complaints against him. Shugrue is charged with assault on patrolman Fitzgerald and assault of Louis Selby, one of the men arrested Friday afternoon. He was held in bail aggregating $1200 on the assault cases and the charge of drunkenness for a hearing next Tuesday.

Patrolman John J. Fitzgerald was born in Boston Dec 25, 1858, and was educated in the public schools. He was appointed a patrolman Oct 11, 1881, and assigned to division 15. May 2, 1882, he was transferred to division 2, and afterward shifted to division 13, Jamaica Plain, where he had command of the substation. He was a member of the Police relief association.

June 24, 1910

Policeman Is Beaten by Gang

Katon's Face Cut and Body Bruised at Jamaica Plain.

Draws Revolver and John J. Dolan Is Shot in Struggle.

In a fight with a gang of seven or eight men who attempted to rescue a prisoner from him on Washington and Williams sts, Jamaica Plain, last evening, patrolman Owen A. Katon of division 13 was severely pounded on the head with his short club and kicked in the face and body. During the fight Katon fired one shot from his revolver, the bullet entering the right side of John J. Dolan, alias Trapper Dolan, penetrating the right lung and making its exit at the right side of Dolan's back.

Dolan was hurried to the City hospital in the police ambulance and his name is on the dangerous list. Patrolman Katon was taken to the station house on Seaverns av, Jamaica Plain, where his wounds were dressed by Dr Arthur A. Perry. It took seven stitches to close the wound over Katon's right eye and his body is covered with bruises.

The affair took place in the locality not far from the place where about four years ago the so-called "Keyes-st gang" clubbed patrolman Edward McKinnon of division so severely that he was never able to do a day's police duty since. Dolan, the man shot last night by patrolman Katon, was one of the six men found guilty in the McKinnon case, and was sentenced to six months in the house of correction. He has a long police record.

Patrolman Katon left the station at 5:45 last evening to patrol his route in the vicinity of Washington and Williams sts. He had just reached that point when he made the arrest of an unknown man for drunkenness.

While taking his prisoner to the box, he was set upon by Dolan, 22, who lives at 58 Call st, Jamaica Plain, nad several of Dolan's friends.

Kanton held his prisoner and fought the crowd to the signal box. He got out his short club to use if necessary. When Dolan and his gang saw the club, they pounced on Katon and wrestled it from him, and while Dolan, it is said, fought desperately with the police officer, some one of the number struck Katon over the right eye with the club, opening a wound that bled freely. Katon lost his prisoner, but tackled Dolan, and the two men fought in the mud. While struggling with Dolan on the ground, the gang kicked Katon in the head, face and body. The policeman got his revolver from his pocket. Dolan wrested the revolver from the officer. It fell in the street and was quickly picked up by a boy who managed to give it to Katon. Then the struggle was on again between Katon and Dolan. The revolver was discharged, the bullet penetrating the right side of Dolan's body.

At the sound of the shot the crowd scattered. Patrolman Katon, his face covered with blood and suffering severely from the clubbing and kicking he had received, managed to reach the police signal box and telephone Lieut Bodenschatz, in charge at the station. The ambulance and patrol wagon were hurried to the scene. Dolan lay on the sidewalk until the arrival of the ambulance, when he was hurried to the City hospital. There it was found the 38 calibre bullet had passed through the right side of his body and had penetrated the right lung.

Patrolman Katon was hurried to the station. Dr Arthur Perry took seven stitches to close the wound over Katon's right eye. He was put to bed in the station house.

Sergt Fettredge with patrolman Lordan, Enlis, McLaughlin, Snow, Holleran and O'Neil, went to work immediately to round up the gang concerned in the assault. Before 10 six suspects had been brought into the station house and booked on suspicion and two suspects were picked up by patrolman of division 2.

It is the worst affair of its kind in Jamaica Plain since the assault on patrolman Edward McKinnon in April four years ago, and is similar to the assaults on patrolman Cleveland with a bottle and the slugging of patrolman Hayes with a blackjack two years ago.

Lieut Bodenschatz detailed reserve officer Chaflin to watch Dolan at the Cit hospital, and an officer will be stationed at his bedside until he recovers sufficiently to be brought into a court.

Patrolman Katon is a Roxbury boy. He is 28 years old and resides with his mother and sisters at 16 Warren pl, Roxbury. His mother is ill and Katon requested that she be kept in ignorance of his condition until today. He was appointed to the police force Nov 16, 1900, as a reserve officer and was made a regular April 21, this year. He is athletic and the pitcher of the baseball team of division 13.

July 1, 1910

Was Beaten By A Crowd

Is the Testimony of Patrolman Katen.

Fell Senseless After He Had Shot John J. Dolan.

Men Accused of Assaulting Officer in Court.

The four defendants charged with assault and battery on patrolman Owen A. Katen of division 13, Jamaica Plain, Thursday evening, June 23, at Washington and Williams sts, when Katen was beaten and kicked and John J Dolan was shot in the right lung, appeared in the West Roxbury municipal court this morning.

The defendants are John H. Crowley, 28 years old, of 21 Plainville st, Edward Moore, 22 years old, of 25 Boynton st, James F. Galvin, 22 years old, of 18 Boynton st, and Andrew McCarron, 28, years old, of 336 Amory st. McCarron, Galvin and Crowley were represented by John F. McDonald. The government's case was prosecuted by patrolman Ralph Inglis, assisted by Capt Harriman and Sergt Fettridge.

Patrolman Katen testified that on June 23, about 6:05, saw a crowd in front of Silver's saloon on the corner of Keyes and Washington sts and ordered the men to move along. They went in different directions. Joseph O. Gorman he arrested for drunkenness and started with him to the police signal box at the corner of Williams and Washington sts.

When at the signal box John J. Dolan approached him and asked if he had placed the man under arrest. Katen said "Yes, and if you don't go along I'll place you under arrest."

He said he placed Dolan under arrest and received a blow in the face from him. At the same time he received blows from behind. He testified that he saw in the crowd Crowley, Moore, Gorman, James F. Galvin, Thomas Dolan and McCarron.

When he received the blow he reached for his short stick, which John J. Dolan got from him and struck him on the head with it, and he fell to the ground. He was kicked about the head and body, and his watch was broken. He managed to get to his feet and felt someboey attempting to get his revolver from his pocket. He received a second blow on the head, causing him to stagger.

John and Thomas Dolan were in front of him. Gorman was on his left side. On receiving the second blow on the head he was dazed and fell to the ground. John L. Dolan was over him with the policeman's short stick, ready to strike him. Dolan said, "Now, you ---, I have got you."

Katen drew his revolver, believing he was in danger of his life, and he pulled the trigger once. The revolver was not discharged on the first pull. The crowd ran in different directions.

"I pulled the trigger a second time," he said, "and the last man to leave me was John J. Dolan. After firing the revolver I became unconscious. Don't remember anything more. When I revived some women were bathing my face. With the assistance of some men I got to the signal box and telephoned the station house to send an ambulance to box 29, and then I fainted.

"I was taken to the station house in the patrol wagon. My head was cut in several places, my eyes were blackened and my body was black and blue from the kicks I had received. Dr Perry dressed my wounds. I was put to bed in the station house.

I did not know the names of the defendants, but had seen then about the streets at night around the locality. I would not say that Crowley asssaulted me, but about the other defendants I am positive."

Alfred Marshall, a conductor for the Boston elevated road living at 3582 Washington st, testified that he saw Katon struck on the head while he, Marshall, was standing on his car. He testified that he left his car, went across the street, near where Katon and the prisoners were, and saw the two Dolan boys strike Katon and also saw Gorman strike Katon on the head with a police billy. McCarron, he testified, had his arms around Katon's neck while the officer was struck.

Recess was taken until 2 o'clock and at that time John J. Dolan was brought from the city hospital in the police auto.

August 11, 1910

Dolan Given Two Years.

Pleads Guilty to Charge of Assault on Policeman Katon in Jamaica plain on June 23.

Charged with assault on policeman Owen Katon of division 13 on June 23, John J. Dolan of Jamaica Plain was sentenced to the house of correction yesterday for two years by Judge Sanderson in the superior criminal court. Dolan, with Andrew McCarron, James F. Galvin and Edward Moore, pleaded guilty. McCarron, Galvin and Moore were placed on probation.

Dolan has recovered from a shot through the lung received at the time of the assault. Early in the evening of June 23 several women told policeman Katon that a man had insulted them. Katon arrested a man named Gorman and as he was taking Gorman to the box at Williams and Washington sts in Jamaica Plain Dolan ordered him to release Gorman. Upon Katon's refusal there was some talk, when the policeman hit Dolan with his club. Dolan then got the club and struck Katon on the head with it.

The policeman said that at the same time someone was trying to get his revolver. He reached first, however, and as Dolan stood before him wiht the club raised and ready to strike he pulled the trigger. The revolver did not go off, but on the second trial he sent a bullet through Dolan's body. Dolan said he was shot as he was running away.

Boston Daily Globe August 8, 1911

Policeman Attacked.

Gang Supposed to Be of the "Forty Thieves" of Jamaica Plain Attempt Rescue of a Prisoner.

Patrolman John W. Shone of Jamaica Plain was attacked and beaten by a gang of boys and young men near the Boylston-st railroad station late last evening while making the arrest of Edward Morgan of 1392 Collumbus av, Roxbury.

Morgan, told to move along, had behaved in a surly manner and the officer started to arrest him. Some of Morgan's frields then attacked Shone. The gang then retreated to the railroad tracks, about 20 feet above the street level, and threw rocks at Shone, who continued to hold his prisoner, protecting himself by placing the prisoner in front of himself as the target for the missles. Morgan was hurt some, but the patrolman escaped injury.

Some one had meanwhile telephoned to Sergt Hennessey at the station. The sergeant sent out a patrol wagon wiht 11 officers to Shone's rescue, and at the sound of the wagon gong the gang scattered. Shone knows the names of several in the gang and will ask for warrants today.

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