THE UNUSUAL CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING THE CAREER AND 1923 SHOOTING DEATH OF OFFICER FREDERICK G. STANGE BY DETECTIVE THOMAS O’DONNELL;  AND THE BIZARRE  SIDE STORIES TO THIS AFFAIR. THERE WAS APPARENTLY A LOT GOING ON THAT THE POST DID NOT PUBLISH, INCLUDING THE STANGE SHOOTING ITSELF UNTIL TWO DAYS LATER, THE ACTUAL OWNER OF THE STOLEN BUMPER WAS NEVER IDENTIFIED,  THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN STANGE AND O’DONNELL AFTER THE POLICE BRUTALITY  LAWSUIT BUT BEFORE THE SHOOTING, AND WHY OFFICER DOWNS ATTACKED AN ON DUTY  DEPUTY U.S. MARSHAL YEARS LATER. THERE MAY BE MORE INFORMATION IN THE OTHER NEWSPAPERS OF THAT PERIOD THAT ARE NOT AVAILABLE ON-LINE.

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WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE DATED SEPTEMBER 7, 1899, PAGE 10

CLUBBED A DETECTIVES HEAD

Policeman Stange Unfortunate Blow in a Dark Alley.

Detective Howlett, stationed at the Pennsylvania Railroad depot, was the victim of an unfortunate accident Monday night. He had pursued a man whom he wanted to arrest for disorderly conduct into Jackson Hall alley, some blocks from the station, and was running through the dark alley, when Policeman Stange, who had been called to the scene by cries of “Stop thief,” met Howlett. He did not recognize him in the darkness, and grasped the detective by the coat.

Howlett was somewhat out of breath with his long run, and could not at once answer Stange’s question as to who he was. Howlett went to throw back his coat, however, to expose his badge, and Stange thought the unknown he held was trying to pull a gun. Stange struck Howlett on the head with his club, inflicting a severe cut, which was dressed at the Emergency hospital. Both officers realize the affair was an unfortunate accident. Detective Howlett was on duty again yesterday.

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WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE DATED AUGUST 11, 1922, PAGE 12

CHARGES POLICE BROKE SKULL, LEG, AND RIBS

Beaten Senseless, Man Says, When He Objected to Search of House.

William Green, 1252 Union street southwest, yesterday filed suit against Policeman Frederick G. Stange and Thomas D. O’Donnell, of the Fourth precinct, for $25,000 damage for alleged personal injuries. Green charges that the policemen entered his home July 4, in search of liquor, and beat him so severely that he suffered a fractured skull, two broken ribs, and a fractured leg.

Through Attorney’s Paul B. Elcan and E. Hilton Jackson, Green asserts that the policemen entered his home without search warrants required by law and when he objected they beat him into unconscious. Green claims that he has been permanently injured and says his doctor’s bill amounted to $2000.

O’Donnell once before was charged with exceeding his authority by Russell Murray, who told Police Judge Mattingly that O’Donnell and another arrested him on a charge of threats, when he remonstrated with them for riding about the city with his wife at midnight. The officers said they were seeking a search warrant in order to raid Murray’s home for liquor. The case, in which Mrs. Murray was complaining witness, was dismissed.

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WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE DATED MARCH 2, 1923, PAGE 1

GRAND JURY HEARING IN FATAL POLICE SHOT

O’Donnell Held in $5000 on Homicide Charge in Death of Fellow Officer.

Precinct Detective Thomas O’Donnell was held under $5000 bond to await action of the grand jury on a homicide charge, following a verdict of death caused by shooting returned by the coroner’s jury late yesterday afternoon in the inquiry into the cause of death of Policeman Fred G. Stange.  Stange died at Emergency hospital Wednesday night as result of a wound received when shot by O’Donnell. The coroner’s jury deliberated less than 3 minutes before returning the verdict holding O’Donnell responsible for Stange’s death.

Policeman Stange was shot by O’Donnell during a chase through the city after an attempt had been made by two men O’Donnell said, to remove a bumper from an auto mobile standing in front of the First precinct station.

With Stange at the time he was shot was Policeman Ruby Down’s, who is now charged with larceny. Attorney James O’Shea represented O’Donnell during the hearing before Coroner T. Ramsey Nevitt.

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WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE DATED MARCH 23, 1923, PAGE 2

LINK POLICE SHIFT TO STANGE KILLING

Observers Point Out 5 of 6 Transferred From 4th Were Witnesses in Case.

REPLACED FROM OTHER UNITS

Bremmerman, Gray, Maloney, Berry, Allan and Lowery Change Precincts

Following the fatal shooting of Policeman Fred G. Stange by Precinct Detective Thomas O’Donnell, and said to be a result of that affair, six men of the Fourth precinct have been transferred to other precincts effective at 8 o’clock this morning.

Recommendation of the transfers was made by Maj. Daniel Sullivan, superintendent of police, and approved and announced yesterday by the commissioner in charge of police. One lieutenant, two sergeants, a precinct detective and two privates were transferred.

Witnesses in Killing

The transfers were made “for the good of the service,” Maj. Sullivan said, and neither he nor the commissioner would make further comment. All the men transferred from the Fourth precinct, except Private C.F. Lawery, were witnesses at the coroner’s inquest into the death of Stange.

Those transferred from the precinct were: Lieut. C.H. Bremmerman, to the Eighth precinct as night inspector of detectives; Sergt. J.O.B. Gray, to the Ninth precinct; Sergt. J.C. Maloney, to the Fifth; Precinct Detective C.A. Berry, to the Sixth; Private L.E. Allan, to the Tenth; and Private Lowery to the Third precinct.

Stange was shot in the head by O’Donnell while riding home in an automobile with Policeman Downs. O’Donnell said he suspected Stange of carrying away a bumper taken from an automobile parked in front of the station house, and pursued him in an automobile. O’Donnell was suspended pending the outcome of Stange’s injuries. Stange died a few days after he was shot, and the coroner’s jury held O’Donnell for action of the grand jury.

Transferred to Fourth

Men transferred from other precincts to replace those moved from the Fourth precinct are: Lieut. W.E. Holmes, of the first precinct, now assigned as night inspector; Sergt. T. T. Dalhouse, of the Fifth; Sergt. J.H. Lee, of the ninth; Precinct Detective Thomas Nully, of the sixth precinct; Private M.W. Carpenter, of the tenth precinct; and Private Carlton Tailey, of the third precinct. Talley was named a precinct detective at No. 4.

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WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE DATED MAY 25, 1923, PAGE 2.

Detective Acquitted In Policeman’s Death

After deliberating less than two hours, the jury sitting in the case of Thomas O’Donnell, Fourth precinct detective, charged with killing Policeman Frederick G. Stange, yesterday brought in a verdict of not guilty. The detective was indicted on a charge of manslaughter.

Stange and Policeman Ruby Downs were driving away from the Fourth precinct in Downs’ automobile, with a bumper, removed from a confiscated automobile, police say. O’Donnell gave chase and fired at the car containing Downs and Stange. The later was shot through the head.  Downs has since been indicted for the alleged theft of the bumper. Attorney James A. O’Shea defended O’Donnell.

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WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE DATED JUNE 12, 1923, PAGE 1

POLICEMAN DENIES LARCENY

Downs Pleads in Case in Which Stange Was Killed

Policeman Ruby Downs, of the Fourth precinct, driver of the automobile in which Policeman Frederick G. Stange received a mortal wound on February 28, yesterday pleaded not guilty to charges of larceny from the District of Columbia when arraigned before Justice Bailey in criminal court.

The indictment resulted from the alleged theft of a bumper from a machine confiscated by prohibition agents. In the chase after Downs and Stange the latter was shot by Detective Thomas O’Donnell, and died. O’Donnell recently was acquitted of a charge of manslaughter.

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WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE DATED NOVEMBER 1, 1923, PAGE 13

BUMPER TO BE EXHIBIT IN TRIAL OF POLICE

Auto Part, Which Caused Death of Man, Will Be in Court Today

An automobile bumper, which was the innocent cause of the death of Policeman Frederick (G.) Stange on March 2,  last, will be shown in criminal court No. 2 this morning before Justice Hoeling, when Ruby Downs, former policeman of the Fourth precinct will be placed on trial on a charge of stealing the bumper.

The bumper belonged on a confiscated automobile, said to have been used by bootleggers. Downs owned the automobile in which the bumper is said to have been placed. Stange and Downs drove away from the Fourth precinct on February 28,, supposedly with the bumper. Detective Thomas O’Donnell gave chase. Later Stange was killed by a bullet alleged to have been fired at the car by O’Donnell. The latter was tried on a charge of manslaughter and acquitted. Downs was arrested.

The indictment is in two counts. One count charges that the bumper belonged to Detective Charles A. Berry, of the Fourth precinct, and the other charges that it belonged to the District Government. A large number of members of the police department will testify as character witnesses for Downs.

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WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE DATED NOVEMBER 6, 1923, PAGE 9

DOWNS ACQUITTED ON LARCENY CHARGE

Commissioner to Investigate Policeman’s Case With View to Reinstatement.

Ruby Downs, suspended policeman, detailed to the Fourth precinct, yesterday was acquitted by a jury in criminal court 2 on a charge of larceny.

Downs was alleged to have stolen an automobile bumper from a car which was seized as having been used by bootleggers. The car was parked in front of the Fourth precinct. Downs and Frederick G. Stange, another Fourth precinct policeman, were alleged to have driven away in Downs car with the bumper. Detective Thomas O’Donnell gave chase. Stange was killed by a bullet said to have been fired by O’Donnell. The latter was tried on a charge of manslaughter, but was acquitted. Attorney Lucien Vandoren appeared for Downs.

Investigation, with a view in reinstatement, of Downs will be made immediately, the commissioner in charge of police said when informed of the verdict. Downs was suspended without pay. If reinstated the payment of pay for the time he was suspended is discretionary with the commissioners, it is said.

“I believe that if a man is not guilty of the crime for which he is suspended he is entitled to prompt reinstatement,” the commissioner said.

Doubt as in the payment of the back pay was expressed by Daniel J. Donovan, District auditor. “While it is true such payment is discretionary with the commissioners, it is also true there will enter into the commissioners decision the question of payment for services not rendered,” he said.

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WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE DATED APRIL 15, 1937, PAGE 13

D.C. Policeman Is Suspended in Attack Story

Federal Charges Follow Alleged Clash With U.S. Marshal.

Ruby Downs, 54, for a 29 years a patrolman on the Metropolitan Police Force, was suspended from duty yesterday following an alleged assault on Michael E. Broderick, a United States marshal who swore out a warrant charging the patrolman with interfering with a Federal officer in the line of legal duty.

Downs pleaded not guilty to the charge before United States Commissioner Needham C. Turnage yesterday. Bond was fixed at $2000.

According to Broderick, on March 20 he was assigned to go to the home of Mrs. Emily B. McCoy at 1210 Green street northeast, to recover the child of Mrs. McCoy, estranged from her husband when Patrolman Downs appeared at her doorway and attacked him. He had a writ of habeas corpus.

Broderick said he fended off Downs blows, then returned to his headquarters without the child, Nancy Anne, 9, who is still in her mother’s possession. The writ was obtained by the girl’s father, Channing H. McCoy, salesman with the Connelly Outdoor Advertizing Co., 54 Independence avenue southwest.

After Broderick swore our a warrant against Downs, the patrolman was arrested at his precinct, No. 7, while in uniform, the warrant being served by Deputy Marshal Clayton D. Gasque.

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WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE DATED APRIL 7, 1939, PAGE 5

Deputy, Who Hit 2 Policemen, Fined

For assaulting two policemen, when stopped for speeding, Michael E. Broderick, former United States deputy marshal, was fined $35 in Police Court yesterday.

Broderick is alleged to have struck Policeman E.M. Brown and E.C. Moore, at the Eighth Precinct station, February 5, after being stopped by Brown for speeding on Connecticut avenue northwest. Suspended when the charge was made, Broderick resigned.

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