As the proprietor of soda stand you’d think that having your business located directly across the street from Police Headquarters would be about the safest place in the city. You would think that, I would think that and 39-year old Joe Goldstein thought so to but on this date in 1920 he was proven wrong.
Joe’s stand was on Grand Street and looking up and across one could see into the office window of Deputy Police Commissioner William Lahey so when a young man with a handkerchief over his face came up to Joe and said, “Throw up your hands!” Joe figured it must be one of the local lads pulling a fast one and laughed. But when the feller with the gun reached over the counter and tried to grab the few dollars Joe had earned that day the proprietor went for him and began to wrestle with him. The gunman pointed his pistol and Joe and sent a bullet into his shoulder and ran off as Joe fell to the ground.
Not seriously wounded Joe got up and went to the sidewalk in time to see the guy high tail down to Lafayette and into the great beyond. Joe looked about wondering where the boys in blue might be. Hmm, apparently the Deputy Commissioner wasn’t in his office either. So Joe and his bullet walked around the corner of Centre Street and up to the entrance where two members of the Italian squad were discussing whether or not they should change the first word in the department’s moniker from Italian to Mod in order to keep up with the times.
The detectives took Joe in and got his story and a handful of detectives went out but were unable to find the gunman. Joe closed shop and reopened in Brownsville for his own safety.
Trivia Q for our Victorian era friends:
On this date in 1921 London reported the death of Roderick McClean who had expired in the Broadmoor Asylum. Who was he? No googling please.