Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Officer Tom Ryan is criticised

This story appeared in The Daily Ypsilanti Press of Wednesday. April 1, 1908.

Because Patrolman Tom Ryan took Alice Johnson, a 14-year-old girl from her home at a late hour of the night to the office of the chief of police and did not return her to her home until after midnight, that officer has been the subject of much criticism. Indignation is felt and has been expressed that Ryan should call in Jim Fulton, ex-bartender, at that time when the girl was placed in the sweat box. Chief of Police Gage says he was not notified that night.

Alice Johnson is the daughter of Mrs. Mae Johnson, the widow on Florence street whose three little children are objects of pity because of the awful condition of the home. Alice is confined in the Industrial School for girls in Adrian where she was sent by Judge Leland.

What Ryan said to the little girl and how he treated her the night he had in the Savings Bank Building (where police headquarters was in 1908) is told in two stories: Ryan says he was called by Mrs. Johnson who told him she couldn’t control the girl and that he took her to the office to frighten her, and did and said nothing that was wrong.

County Agent Childs, of Ann Arbor, who investigated the case, told the (words missing) said Ryan shook his fist in her face and swore at her. Mrs. Johnson states that Alice told her Ryan used vile and grossly insulting language to her.

Chief Gage says Alice denied in his presence and that of Ryan the stories she told her mother and others about the night Ryan had her out.

Judge Leland has promised that he will sent to Adrian and have the matron of the Industrial school question Alice closely concerning her experience with Ryan. As she will have no one to fear and no favors to expect, it is thought that she will make a frank statement of the whole affair.

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