Way back on this date in aught four, a thoroughly frightened lumber man named Frederick Keller arrived at an East Village Police station. He complained that while walking past the local cemetery, that the Humpty Jackson gang used as a hideout, he was accosted by about twenty of the young hoodlums and ordered to hand over his money. One of the ruffians went so far as to press a gun against his head and pull the trigger. After the click of the empty gun, Keller high tailed it to the station house.
Five undercover officers were dispatched to the graveyard but by time they got there the gang had dispersed. Being familiar with the Humpty Jacksons the officers headed to the east end of 14th street where they found and arrested gang leader Thomas “Humpty” Jackson, along with three other gang members.
With their prisoners in tow, the cops began their parade back to the police station when suddenly they found themselves in the midst of an ambush. Approximately twenty five other gang members fired at them from behind the doors and windows of the neighboring tenements. Once the shooting started the prisoners themselves drew guns and started to fire. The officers returned the fire and for several minutes the street resembled the wild west until reserves showed up and forced the gangsters to flee with the exception of “Humpty” and the original three who had been arrested. Miraculously no one was injured except one of the men arrested with Jackson whose “head was laid open” by an officer’s night stick