July 22, 1908


In the Midst of the Melee Two Pris-
oners Bolt for Liberty, but
the Watchful Jailer
Nabbed Them.

There was the liveliest kind of mixup between detectives in No. 2 police station last night and for a moment it looked as though blood might be shed.

At 10 o'clock last night, William Bradley, a Union depot detective, Carl Demmett, a Rock Island detective, and Charles Lewis and Frank Lyngar, city detectives, brought two prisoners, George Stryker and Fred Reed, into No. 2 police station and charged them with attempting to pass a bad check on J. A. Merritt of Savannah, Mo.

Gum opium was found in a sack of tobacco carried by Stryker and Desk Sergeant Harry Moulder told Jailer Long to look in the men's shoes to see if they had any "dope" concealed there. The prisoners were taken to the back of the room.

Then the sergeant asked Bradley who the arresting officers were. Bradley, who was standing in front of the desk replied:

"Bradley, Demmett, Lewis and Lyngar.

Lyngar was standing at Sergeant Moulder's elbow.

"Bradley had nothing whatever to do with the arrest" said Lyngar.

"You're a liar!" shouted Bradley, and started to go around the desk toward Lyngar.

Detective Lewis was standing in Bradley's way and he pushed the depot detective back. Bradley struck Lewis and the two clashed. Lewis drew his revolver and tried to hit Bradley with the butt end, but Bradley knocked the weapon out of his hand.

Sergeant Moulder tried to hold Bradley and there was a mixup of officers in the thick of which Policeman Joe Kelley was discovered with his left hand clutching Bradley by the throat and his right hand shaking a club in Bradley's face.

In the meantime the prisoners, who had been interested spectators of the fight, suddenly concluded that a police station filled with fighting officers was no place for them, and they bolted for freedom. Jailer William Love saw them going and he made a grab for them. Immediately there was a lively triangular struggle that did not end until J. P. Johnson, a Gamewell operator, hastened to Long's assistance. By this time everybody in the station house, including the prisoners, was red faced and perspiring freely. And nobody was in a good humor. The prisoners offered the excuse that they feared they might get shot if they remained int he station.

Lyngar and Bradley have always been rivals. Both work at the depot, but Bradley is employed by the depot and Lyngar is paid by the city.

The prisoner, who gave his name as George Stryker, is said to be "Whitie," a well known confidence man. It is said that he and Reed tried to borrow $20 from Merritt on a bad check for $1,350.

Merritt was on the Frisco Meteor, due to leave here at 9:30 p. m., when these men came in the car and made themselves acquainted. Reed told Merritt that he had the dead body of his brother at the depot and couldn't get the body out because he owed $20 express charges. Reed wanted to ship the beloved relative on the Meteor. Stryker was introduced as the hard hearted express agent. He said that if Reed would get $20 he would let the body go, and not before.

Reed had a check for $1,350 and finally he offered to leave this with Merritt as security for a $20 loan. Just then the detectives arrived and a Savannah, Mo., citizen was saved.

Dr. D. M. Monie of West Pittston, Pa., who was with the detectives when the arrest was made, was attempting to identify a man who had agreed to sell his ticket to Chicago. He wanted to go to St. Louis, so accepted the kind offer of a new found friend who "knew a man who would pay well for a ticket to Chicago." Dr. Monie did not find his man or the ticket.