“The final battle in which the bandits were killed was in front of 146 Dyckman Street. Here the bandits were overtaken in a taxicab driven by William Nugent and occupied by Patrolman Albert Walker of the Thirtieth Precinct, Patrolman Albert Morrell of Traffic Squad H and Detective William Kiley. The two patrolmen and the detective, standing on the running board of Nugent’s cab and using the car as a barricade, shot it out with the thugs. When the bodies of the gunmen were removed from their bullet-riddled car a revolver, five automatic pistols and a quantity of cartridges containing “dumdum” bullets were found on the floor.” (New York Times, August 22, 1931)
On a mid-August evening in 1931 the apartment dwellers of the Dyckman district had just begun to stream home for the weekend. This was Prohibition-era Inwood and a gangland shooting outside a speakeasy called The Mad Dot Boat Club, on Dyckman Street near Seaman Avenue, the previous spring, still had many on edge.
Teenager Phil Dickens was working a summer job at the hardware store on Dyckman Street, not far from Broadway, when he first heard the gunfire. The sixteen-year-old, who lived several blocks west on Payson Avenue, impulsively stepped outside to see what was happening.
James Cagney’s gangster tale “Public Enemy” was fresh in the theaters and, like many youths, Dickens wanted to witness some real life action.
That he was about to walk into a raging gun-battle never crossed his mind.
The decision nearly cost Dickens his life.
Looking west up Dyckman Street the teen watched with saucer-eyed amazement as a bullet-riddled taxicab zigzagged towards the Loews Inwood movie theater on the south side of the street.
On a mid-August evening in 1931 the apartment dwellers of the Dyckman district had just begun to stream home for the weekend. This was Prohibition-era Inwood and a gangland shooting outside a speakeasy called The Mad Dot Boat Club, on Dyckman Street near Seaman Avenue, the previous spring, still had many on edge. – See more at: http://myinwood.net/gangsters-on-the-dyckman-strip-1931-shootout-makes-national-headlines/#sthash.weQBmUai.dpuf
Read more: Gangsters on the Dyckman Strip: 1931 Shootout Makes National Headlines.
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