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18810625 - More Rowdyism and Fighting: Constable Collier Severely Beaten

Cleveland Lakeside Press
06/25/1881, Article

More Rowdyism and Fighting: Constable Collier Severely Beaten

June 25, 1881

Ed. Lakeside Pres.

   Last night about 10 o'clock, the noted 'Honicky' Best and Winn Barnard were engaged in a drunken scuffle, when officer Collier came up and undertook to arrest them.  Barnard broke away, but he seized Best, who of course showed fight.  He is a powerful fellow, and it was a difficult matter for the constable to master him.  Several young Clevelanders were looking on, and the officer called on them to assist, but instead they yelled and hooted at him, and when Best got an advantage over the constable, they clapped their hands and hooted still more.  As the officer struggled with his prisoner up Railroad street toward the depot.  Charley Best, the prisoner's brother, rushed out, and while Collier and Best were both struggling on the ground, struck the officer several blows in the face, and kicked him in the body, considerably injuring him, and then cleared out with the rest of the gang in the darkness.

   The constable finally managed to take Best home with him; but toward morning he managed to escape by finding his way into the cellar and so out.

   This morning, the constable obtained warrants from Justice Immon against the two Bests and Barnard; and we understand will also have the other parties who refused to assist him brought up before the court.

   Charley Best started for Oneida this morning, but a telegram was sent to have him arrested there, which was done; and Collier started on the noon train to bring him back.  He is expected to return this afternoon.

July 2, 1881

   The case of Charley Best charged with assult on officer Collier, came up before justice immon last Saturday night about 9 o'clock, the constable having brought the prisoner back from Oneida on the evening train.  After a consultation with lawyer Wilder, Best plead guilty and the Justice fined him $7 or 80 days in jail; and his counsel advanced the money.  Best was very lucky in getting off so easy, for it was quite a serious matter. 

   Monday morning, William, alias Honicky, Best was arrested by constable Collier on a warrant issued by Justice Audas, charged with drunkenness and disturbing the peace.  The prisoner''s council, Wilder, demanded a jury trial and officer Drum was dispatached to hunt up jury.  After consuming about half a day in the effort, the following were accepted; N.A. Gardner, W. Whaley, Louis Ritter, Nehemiah Carroll, Dan Odell and F.J. App.  Lawyer Gallagher appeared for the prosecution. 

   While the charge of drunkenness was not fully sustained, that of disturbing the peace, etc., it appeared to us was clearly shown; and the decision of the jury in acquitting the prisoner, is far from the right way to check street scuffling, rowdyism, and the many disgraceful exhibitions that have of late been too frequent.  Far better uphold an officer who is trying to do his duty as well as he can, and nip these minor offences in the bud before they blossom into some shocking and perhaps deadly ___.

Owner/SourceCleveland Historical Society
Date25 Jun 1881
Linked toCharles Best (Legal); William H. Best (Legal)

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