Arrest of Francis 'Two Gun' Crowley

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Bag full of Mike

Robberies were a near daily occurance on Manhattan's lower west side eight plus decades ago so saloon keeper Tony Renali got a gun and placed it near his cash register. A week or so later, 92-years ago today to be exact, three local bandits armed with gats entered his bar and held up the joint. They took $90 from Renali's register and whatever the customers had.

Once they had the goods the banditti - Angelo Sposato, John Drinane and Mike Swift aka "Mike the Burglar"- exited the premises promising to kill anyone who tried to follow. As the trio left, Swift in the rear, Renali grabbed his pistol and let it say goodbye for him. Swift caught both parting sentiments in the back. He staggered then fell. His pals turned and sent some lead at Renali and his patrons and they fled into the rear of the saloon. Picking up their wounded partner Sposato and Drinane took off.

Renali called the police and while he was on the phone, a couple of blocks away two cops saw Sposato and Drinane lift a large burlap sack off a delivery wagon and start for a tenement building. Something didn't look right so they approached the guys and, looking in the bag, found "Mike the burglar" suffering from his wounds. Mike was shipped off to the hospital and his confederates to the police station where Renali ID'd both of them.

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