Neighbors in the Stafford Addition on the South Hill believed they had cornered a burglar.
An improvised “posse” of four homeowners surrounded a man and held him at a bridge until police arrived. They told officers that several people in the neighborhood had seen the man coming out of various houses.
The man protested, saying, “Why, I don’t see how it could be me. I just came from downtown and am skinning mules on the grade contract a short distance from here.”
Police asked to speak to the witnesses who supposedly saw him.
One woman said she saw the man earlier, but he was just walking along the street – not committing burglaries. Another woman said she knew nothing about any burglaries.
Then the posse produced another witness, a man who said he saw a man come out of one of the burglarized houses. But that man took a look at the suspect and said, “That’s not him at all.” The man he saw was wearing a red bandanna around his neck and a cowboy hat.
Police released the mule-skinner.
Then they investigated the burgled houses and found nothing amiss except one of the drawers pulled open, “but one of the children might have done that.”
Also on this date
(From the Associated Press)
1809: Just over three years after the famous Lewis and Clark expedition ended, Meriwether Lewis was found dead in a Tennessee inn, an apparent suicide; he was 35.
1910: Theodore Roosevelt became the first former U.S. president to fly in an airplane during a visit to St. Louis.
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