Arrest of Francis 'Two Gun' Crowley

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Maybe he just lost his key?

Ah, the good old days, infections could mean death, "Hotel Detective" was an actual occupation and the Waldorf-Astoria was located on 34th Street where one now finds the Empire State building.

Speaking of the old W/A and hotel detectives seems that in October of 1921 a buglar had broken into a fourth floor room of the former and one of the latters, Joseph Smith, figured he'd be back again so staked out the fire escape on the 33rd street side of the building.

Sure enough at 4:00am on this date in 1921, perched in his fourth floor window, Smith saw a man slinking down the street along the shadows. The man grabbed the fire escape and started his ascent. Smith pulled out his automatic and turned off the safety. (if they had safety back then I'm just using my dramatic license before it expires.)

When the burglar, 18-year old Peter Hermando, reached the fourth story Smith jabbed his pistol at him and yelled "Grab a cloud!" (more dramatic license) Hermando however pointed something "shiny" at the detective and threatened to, "Blow his head off." (no dramatic license).

Smith fired at the burlars hand (so he said) but the bullet missed and plowed into Hermando's chest. His mojo taken away the burglar scampered down the fire escape to the best of his ability into the waiting arms of another hotel detective. Though he had a bullet lodged in his upper torso he reportedly "Fought like a tiger." (no dramatic license) before finally being subdued. Oh, the shiny thing in Hermando's hand was a flashlight.

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