Sun, Aug 16, 1908 – 1 · The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts) ·

NORWOOD, Aug 15—A policeman and a bandit had their heads split open, and another of the bandits was shot in the head, though perhaps not seriously, tonight, when the scene of the pursuit of the yeggs was shifted to this town and a posse of citizens and policemen, armed with all kinds of weapons, turned out and beat the bush.

After the bushwhacking was done the posse raided the row of tenement houses on Dean st and arrested three men who were found in the house at 29 Dean st, where one man was found suffering from a split head and where the policemen also found a bloody shirt concealed under a bed.

Great excitement prevailed in this town all night. Already there are four prisoners at the town lockup and the police are out searching the woods for more.

It was about 9:30 o’clock when Chief Sackett was informed by telephone that a gang of suspiciously behaving, rough looking characters were lurking in the woods near the Junction of Washington and Dean St. Immediately he sent patrolman Emerson Webber to Dean st and patrolman Henry Fales to Washington st. He told the men not to be afraid to use their revolvers if necessary.

Almost as soon as patrolman Webber went into the bush he started up three men, one of whom was very large and powerful. Immediately, the three men rushed at patrolman Webber and tackled him, putting up a determined fight. Webber struck one over the head with his club, inflicting a severe scalp wound. The blow cut the scalp as clean as a knife cut and the flow of blood blinded the man for a moment.

Special officer Emerson Webber (right) pictured with his daughter and granddaughter (photo courtesy of the Webber and Curtis family, colorized by the Norwood Historical Society)
Special officer Emerson Webber (right) pictured with his daughter and granddaughter (photo courtesy of the Webber and Curtis family, colorized by the Norwood Historical Society)

The three men then ran away through the bush in the direction of Washington st. As they sped on patrolman Webber fired a shot after them, at the same time commanding them to halt. This served only to make them run faster. When they came out upon Washington st patrolman Fales tackled them immediately.

Police Pistol Fails to Work.

Fales commanded them to halt, at the same time pointing his revolver at them. The large man of the company rushed at Fales and grappled with him, and in the fight succeeded in getting Fales’ club out of his belt. He struck Fales a blow upon the head, making a wound several inches long. The other two men fled Into the woods and the big man soon wrestled himself from Fales and also disappeared.

Patrolman Fales snapped his revolver at the man several times but as has often been the fate of policemen in the recent man-hunts, the police revolver, of inferior make, refused to explode the cartridge. and the all attempts at shooting were of no avail.

When the three bandits had disappeared the two policemen came together and Webber helped Fales to the station for reserves, and in a short time he personally led a posse angry citizens, all armed, and a band of 10 policemen, to the scene of the shooting and fighting. J. Brown Hanscom of East Walpole, Lieutenant of the coast artillery, carried Chief Sackett and his policemen to the scene in his big touring car and the Globe reporter also went along.

The posse surrounded the woodlands near the scene of the battle, and after circling about for a time the policemen noticed a man in their company who was a stranger to all of them and who was behaving suspiciously. He was a foreigner of very dark complexion and kept his hand in his pocket all the while.

He was questioned, and when his hand was pulled from his pocket quickly by Chief Sackett it was discovered that it was badly cut and bleeding. Because he could not give a satisfactory explanation of his injury, he was sent to the police station in charge of two officers and locked up.

Later the posse began a raid upon the houses along Dean st. which are occupied by Letts, Poles and Finns. The officers were refused admittance at number 29, and they attempted to break down a door but were unsuccessful, so they forced a window and went into the house in that way. In one room they found six men sleeping together. A bloody shirt was found under the bed and a collar, saturated with blood, was found in a corner of the room.

Two of Prisoners Wounded

A great pool of blood was also found in a shed, and all of the inmates of the room seemed greatly excited. They constantly jabbered in a language which no policeman was able to comprehend.

A large man who was in the company and who gave the name of Tony Vita, was suffering from a severe scalp wound. From appearances the policeman said it was the opinion that he was the man who patrolman Webber had first encountered and struck with his club.

Paul Kruche, who was also found in the same room, had what appeared to the policeman to be a bullet wound on his scalp.

One other man who was taken out of the house appeared to be unable to give a name for himself.

The man who was arrested on the street, and who has a badly lacerated hand, gave the name of Dominic Jonusis.

The police thought at first that these might be the men who held up and robbed a young man named Collier m the Dedham woods on Friday noon, but Collier saw the prisoners tonight and was unable to identify them. He was taken back to the station house again, however, and at a late hour was still looking the prisoners over.

The policemen engaged In the battle with the three men were Chief Sackett and patrolmen Readel, Breen, Holman, Fales, Webber and Hogan. The officers are still looking for other suspicious characters.