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100 years ago in Spokane: Kidnapping prank lands friends of groom in jail

A groom was kidnapped soon after his wedding by nine of his co-workers who were soon jailed, The Spokesman-Review reported on July 27, 1916. (The Spokesman-Review)
A groom was kidnapped soon after his wedding by nine of his co-workers who were soon jailed, The Spokesman-Review reported on July 27, 1916. (The Spokesman-Review)

From our archives, 100 years ago

Nine employees of the Western Pine Manufacturing Co. came up with an excellent idea for a prank. They decided to “kidnap” fellow employee Bernard Peterson on the night of his wedding. They later had reason to regret this excellent idea.

It all began when the bride and groom were walking along the street after the wedding. The nine young men jumped out, grabbed Peterson and stuffed him into a waiting jitney (a small bus or van). The bride “was thrown into hysterics” as she watched her new husband disappear. The jitney took Peterson 10 miles to Mead, where they “deposited him at a pool hall” and left him on his own.

The sobbing bride ran to her parents’ home, who called police.

Police found the jitney returning from Mead, and “after an exciting chase,” stopped the vehicle and took the pranksters to headquarters.

Police then proceeded to Mead to find the groom. They found him a half-mile from Mead, “plodding sturdily toward Spokane.” At first, Peterson made “valiant efforts to escape from the police automobile,” believing it was another prank by his buddies. Finally, police convinced him they were there to rescue him, and he gladly accepted their assistance.

He was soon reunited with his tearful bride, who fell into his arms and asked, “Did they hurt you, dear?”

As for the pranksters, a police captain “lectured them on the seriousness of the episode.” All were booked for disorderly conduct.

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