Brutal Highway Robbery

by Laurel | July 24th, 2009

July 24, 1909, page 4

At the South End Bridge
Thugs Secure Less Than $2

A man who gave his name as William McGarry of 98 Bridge street, Holyoke. was brought into police headquarters about 9 o’clock last night, his face covered with blood, his left eye completely closed, both sides of his !fact terribly swollen and a cut or two over one eye and across his nose, the result, the man claims, of being “rolled” by thugs near the Springfield side of the South-end bridge. McGarry asserted that he was on his way from Agawam, where he had been working, to go to the home of his mother, Mrs. Mary McGarry, who lives at the same address McGarry gave as his own. The latter said that the gang of ruffians who assaulted
him got away with only a small pocketful of change, leaving behind a $5 bill which he had in one of his inside pockets. McGarry was fixed up at the station and went his way, telling Capt O’Malley that he was going to Holyoke to see his mother.

McGarry was a sight when he come into the police station. and the appearance of his face gave the impression that his injuries were much worse than they really were. He told the police that he had been working for S. C. Schwartz of Agawam for a week or two, but that he finished with him last night, and started between 5 and 6 o’clock for Springfield to take a car for Holyoke. Before he started McGarry says Mr. Schwartz paid him some money which he owed him, amounting to $5 and some odd change. He received a $5 bill, which he tucked away in the inside pocket of his coat, putting the dollar and some odd cents into his trousers pocket. Then he set out afoot for Springfield, going over the South-end bridge.

According to McGarry’s story, he had reached a point near the Springfield end of the bridge about 7 o’clock, when he met five young fellows who, he thinks, were about 18 or 20 years of age. He says they spoke to him saying, “Hello, Jack, where are you going?” McGarry claims he told them he was going about his business when they attacked him. He says the first he knew some one struck him a terrific blow in the face and knocked him unconscious. When he came to he found himself on the north side of the low fence near the end of the bridge not far from Clarence A. Barthelomew’s sawmill and blacksmith shop. He could not see out of his left eye, and discovered that his face was badly swollen and sore. He says he got up and walked as for as Main street, going into the drug store of Herman E. Haven at 807 Main street. Here Dr. Ernest L. Doris found him and, after hearing his story, telephoned the police to come and ret him. The patrol was sent to bring McGarry in.

When be arrived at the station be related his experiences to inspector Michael J. O’Brien and Capt. O’Malley. Officer Jenness was sent to the South-end bridge to look into the case. find out what he could about the truth of McGarry’s story and get any information possible about the man’s assailants. City Physician J. N. Beyer, Jr., was called to ascertain the extent of McGarry’s injuries, but be found that outside of a terribly bruised face and minor cuts be was all right. About 10 o’clock McGarry was placed on a Holyoke car as he said he wanted to continue on home to see his mother. Inspector O’Brien thinks McGarry must have been kicked in the face or was hit, several times with some heavy, blunt instrument. The man could see nothing out of one eye, while the other was barely open, It is years since trouble of this land was known at this particular section of the South end. Some years ago gangs of this sort were in the habit of causing trouble in that neighborhood. but they have not bothered the police for quite a while.

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