Arrest of Francis 'Two Gun' Crowley

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Saturday, May 3, 2014

A bungled burgal

On this date a long long time ago. A hundred and thirteen years to be exact. Annie Gildersleeve (quite possible the coolest name mentioned in the history of this blog) looked out of the back window of her Brooklyn apartment and saw two Manhattan burglarts, John Delaney and Joseph Fischer, on the roof of an apartment house across the way trying to break in.

Annie ran around the block to alert the apartment's dwellers and soon a group was in front of the building waiting to see if the burglars tried to come out. In the meantime two cops, John Bennett and William Gunn (grandfather of Peter), were summoned.

Delaney and Fischer made their way into the house only to realize they weren't surprising nobody. They ran out the front door and right past the cops. Gunn followed Fischer, Bennett Delaney.

Bennett wasn't keen on running so yelled, "Stop or I'll wing you!" Delaney continued to run until a bullet bounced off his skull and knocked him down. Miraculously he wasn't seriously hurt he was in fact only winged. If a head shot could be called a wing...anyways Gunn was more game and followed Fischer over numerous fences and out into traffic where the yegg jumped onto a a moving streetcar and ran the full length before leaping off, the officer hot on his heels. Another fence was scaled and Fischer ended up in a nursery. He ran across to the next fence which was unclimbable and there Gunn caught him.

The price for making an officer from the 1901 NYPD chase you over hill and dale was sound thrashing with the night stick. Both yeggs also had two guns apiece but this was pre-Sullivan law so no big deal, except for a beating and bullet wound to the head. The burglars from Manhattan were taken in, probably wondering why they thought pulling a job in Brooklyn was a good idea.

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