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July 22, 1914: Police chief in pajamas chases thief

  • Blog Post by: Ben Welter
  • February 13, 2013 - 7:02 PM
 
From the Minneapolis Tribune:
 

Police Chief in Pajamas
Chases Thief on Streets

 
Detective Ohman in Union Suit Joins in Pursuit – Neighbors Are Startled.
 
Shots, Confusion, Police Called, Then All Fade Back to Bed.
 
Chief of Police Martinson in pajamas, Detective Ohman in a union suit and both in a revolver battle at 2 a.m. yesterday with a resident who thought them burglars, stirred the sleepy citizens of the district around Blaisdell avenue and Thirty-seventh street into waking consciousness. A score of revolver shots reverberated through the night air, the chief and his detective missed the burglar and nearly caught a cold and the excited resident who was sending the bullets in the direction of the supposed burglars ducked into his home when he discovered his mistake.
 
Shot Heard Around the Block.
 
It all happened this way. At 2 a.m. Mrs. David Humphrey, 3624 Blaisdell avenue, heard a noise on the back porch and woke up. She saw a man crouching on the porch under the window. She awakened her husband and he got his revolver. He fired at the prowler, who slid down a tree near the porch. This was the shot heard around the block.
 
Chief Martinson lives just around the corner at 126 East [West, actually] Thirty-seventh street. He sleeps on the porch. The chief heard the shot and made a dash for what he thought was the source of the shot, with nothing but a suit of pajamas, slippers and his revolver. Detective Ohman’s house backs on the chief’s yard. Detective Ohman got to the street just 36 seconds after David Humphrey took a shot at the prowler. Then Citizen No. 2, name unknown, appeared on the scene. He had heard the shot and did the same as the chief and detective, got his revolver – also his trousers.
 
Chief Takes No Chances.
 
The citizen saw Chief Martinson and Detective Ohman in fast progress down the avenue and opened fire. The chief sized up the situation and stopped. By this time the whole neighborhood was aroused and dozens of frantic telephone calls sent riot messages to Central station. Whereat, Captain Merrick and an auto load of detectives hurried to the scene, just in time to see the chief shyly withdrawing to his screened boudoir, while a half dozen residents, a la Vera Cruz snipers, had their heads out the second story windows with firearms drawn for action.
 
A rebuilt but still grimy-looking motorcar carried traffic on Blaisdell Avenue at 35th Street in about 1904. (Photo courtesy mnhs.org)

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