Victim Describes Ride and Robbery

by Laurel | October 29th, 2014

24 October 1936 


James Clelland Tells Police Four Men took $9 From Him and Forced Him to Drink

Holyoke — James Clelland, a middle aged man of 128 Beech Street, provided police with today’s thriller. It in some measure outshines fiction but he declares it true. He was “taken for a ride” by four men this afternoon at 4:45, forcibly relieved of his wallet containing $9 and then had forced upon him four drinks of good whiskey.

Clelland reported to police tonight with his son. The narrative he gave police was that he was standing at the corner of High and Dwight streets near the Holyoke National Bank. An automobile described as a sleek black sedan pulled up to the curb and two men stepped out.

Clelland was surprised, he said, when they came to him. They forced him into the car which contained two other men. He shouted for help, he said, but was soon muffled and the car was driven down Dwight Street to Main Street and east to Cabot Street.

At this point, he said, he was blindfolded. At the canal bridge one of the men reached into his rear trouser pocket and extracted his wallet. Then the driver speeded up and the next Clelland knew he was in a “joint” at Willimansett. Here, he told police, one of the men forced a drink of whiskey down his throat. It was the first time, he said, that he’s had liquor in 21 years.

When the final drink was gone, and it was good whiskey, he declared, the men took him from the “joint” and loosened the bandage over his eyes. They drove away quickly leaving no trace of who they might be. He then walked to Canal street in this city and called his son by phone asking him to come and get him.

Adapted from The Springfield Republican.

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