At around midnight on this date in 1920 sixty-year old John Tollard, the watchman over at the National Aniline and Chemical Works in Canarsie, was standing guard in the counting room where hundreds of pay envelopes were ready for the night crew to pick up. Another payday like all the others.
Then the lights went out.
Assuming correctly that lights out meant trouble Tollard drew his pistol and hid behind a counter. Sure enough three gunmen entered the room and demanded the dough. Tollard answered with lead. It wasn’t a one way conversation however, and the bandits responded threefold. Pieces of counter and wall plaster rained down upon the watchman who emptied his piece. The bandits continued to fire until some workers came up to investigate what all the fuss was about.
When members of the night shift arrived the gunmen hightailed it outta there sans the ten grand they came in for. Later cops learned that half an hour after the failed raid some cops from another precinct found a seriously wounded guy on the sidewalk and took him to the hospital. Thinking that the watchman’s bullets may have hit home they went and questioned him about the botched robbery but the wounded man denied involvement. Go figure.