In 1915 there was a battle between two small time pols in lower Manhattan named Foley and Driscoll. On August 15, of that year, thirty-year old Timothy Sullivan, a member of Foley’s Downtown Democratic Club, was walking past the Home Rule Democratic Club, a hangout for Driscoll supporters, with Benjamin Metzger, a thirty-one year old follower of a pol in the Driscoll machine.
Whether or not Sullivan realized Metzger was in the Driscoll camp is unknown but as the two men passed the club five shots rang out and Sullivan dropped to the sidewalk mortally wounded. Metzger ran off with slight wounds to his stomach and wrist.
Police were quick to arrest the gunman, Patrick Murphy and although he had no political affiliations with anyone he was known down town as a never-do-well.
While Sullivan was in the hospital Murphy was brought in but the dying man said he didn’t recognize him. The Police suspected Metzger of leading Sullivan into the trap and when he came in to have his wounds treated they arrested him and placed him in the same cell as Murphy.
Like a number of gangsters at the time both Murphy and Metzger were Italians who adopted Americanized names and Metzger was heard scolding Murphy in their native tongue for being a lousy shot and wounding him.
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