Eighty-two years ago today Anthony Tarrella became an ex-con by escaping from Sing Sing prison but not in the way he intended. After dinner he and the other inmates were out in the yard when the call came to line up and return to their cells.
As the convicts were marching in Tarrella suddenly ran for the wall in full view of the machine-gun toting guards. His brothers in stripes yelled for him to stop but he made it to the wall and scaled the twelve feet and dropped over. He ran to the second wall, an eighteen footer, and climbed that one too as one of the guards raised his Tommy gun and yelled, “Stay where you are or I’ll shoot!”
Tarrella flung himself off the wall and was momentarily free as his body flew into the Hudson River, but just as he splashed down the officer with the Thompson let go with a blast. Moments later Tarrella floated to the surface, an ex-convict