The Sequel to the Track Greasing Incident of July 3

Acting chief of police M. D. Creed this week placed under arrest several of the boys indicted by the grand jury for greasing the street car tracks near the subway on the night before the Fourth. While a great deal of natural sympathy will -be expressed for these lads who were intending evidently only a little boyish mischief, it was in its effects the most terrible piece of boyish mischief ever perpetrated in town and only as it seems by a miracle was there an avoidance of a tragedy with a shocking loss of human life. As it was several persons were injured, one or two pretty seriously. Two persons had a narrow escape from losing their lives.

The true story of the affair as now developed is as follows: The night before July 4 eight boys in a spirit of mischief daubed with soap the tracks of the Old Colony street railway on a small but steep hill which leads from a siding in front of the Norwood Press down through the subway where the electric cars pass under the N. Y., N. H. & H. railroad tracks. The plan of the boys evidently was to have the sport of watching the car from East Walpole struggle to climb the soaped track and fail. However, soap did network, as the next car passed up the hill without difficulty. The boys then obtained some car grease from freight cars on the railroad tracks and proceeded to grease the rails. This accomplished the purpose as the next car was unable to climb the hill.

The crew of this car sent a request for assistance to the car from Forest Hills, which was then waiting on a siding at the top of the hill in front of the Norwood Press. The motorman started the car down the hill slowly. It gained speed so fast that something was known to be wrong. The motorman made desperate but vain attempts to stop the car, sticking to his post bravely in the face of a certain collision as the car shot rapidly down the steep hill. Then the crash came as the car from Forest Hills dashed into the car at the foot at the hill. Motorman Flanagan and Passenger Patrick J. Burke of East Walpole were very seriously injured. Several of the passengers were more or less hurt.

An investigation by the street railwaymen was made and it was found that the track on the hill had been heavily greased, so that the car coming down could not be controlled. The news of the accident caused intense excitement in Norwood and surrounding towns. Since the occurrence, there has been a continual demand for the discovery and punishment of the perpetrators of the outrage. The police have been quietly working on the case ever since the occurrence and a great deal of especially valuable work has been done by Officer Creed assisted by the inspectors of the street railroad.

From first to last difficult aud peculiar detective work has been required. Now and then a thread would be picked up which apparently led to nothing; then the same clue would bo taken up again and found to be really valuable. The final result is that eight boys, ranging in age from fifteen to twenty years, are likely to come before the courts to answer to a very serious charge. The boys accused of the deed are William Fulton, Daniel Brennan, Paul Stuntzner, Albert Meyers, Richard Leary, Fred Buttrick, Charles and John McDonald.

The arrest of these boys or findings from the grand jury, while it cannot fail to be a great grief to their relatives and friends, will afford a great deal of relief to Norwood people in general, some of whom Jia re not hitherto felt quite sure that their own children did not have a hand in the affair. It also disposes of the persistent rumors that there were girls engaged in the affair. Such does not appear to have been the case. Above all it removes a certain stain from the good name of the town. It had come to be talked outside that any sort of deviltry was tolerated here on the Fourth and that the recent outrage was to be condoned. It is pleasant to know that dangerous as was the boys’ prank it was in its intent a mere piece of boyish mischief. The court will now furnish a sequel to the affair and it is probable that the boys will be made to feel the seriousness of the offense they Jiavo committed.
In the district court at Dedham Wednesday ‘William K. Fultou, Albert Meyers, Daniel Breunau and John W. McDonald, Jr., were arraigned and placed under 81000 bail each. It is not known just when the remaining boys will be arrested. The cases will probably come up for trial sometime this month.

(All articles originally published in the Norwood Messenger)

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