A picture of the gazebo in Manor Park

 

1922
Year in Review

 

CRIME
 

The Hip-Toters and Bootleggers

Raiding the Chicken Farm




from "When the Bootlegger Special Comes to Town" by L. F. Van Zelm. This cartoon was published in the Larchmonter-Times in 1922.
 

Larchmonter Times, July 20, 1922

MAY FORSAKE BROADWAY AND HAUNT WESTCHESTER

Larchmonter Times, September 7, 1922

Prohibition agents think high-flyers will do their future hip-toting in this county. Roadside Inns to be closely watched from now on.

Within the next four weeks the activities of a large proportion of the 250 enforcement agents attached to the New York State Prohibition Department will be transferred to Westchester County. Plans now in secret preparation at headquarters here indicate that the Federal authorities believe that section will see the future nightlife of gay Manhattanites. Their principal campaign however, will not be directed against conditions in the larger cities and towns, but against the numerous road houses lining Pelham Parkway, the Boston and Albany Post Roads, and other thoroughfares leading from the city.

Officials are all the firm opinion that a rigorous enforcement of the new anti hip-toting edict will sooner or later drive the high-flyers from the carefully watched Broadway cabarets to the more secluded inns of Westchester County. Both Director Ralph A. Day and Zone Chief John B. Appleby have announced their intention of turning the Great White Way into the "Great Tight Way." Westchester comes into the limelight because neither of them as any idea of allowing its conversion into a bootlegger's paradise if he can prevent it.

In commenting on expected results of the new pocket regulation two weeks ago, Director Day informed the writer that he expected it would put the cabarets out of business if they can be forced to comply with it. He declared, at the same time, that his demand would give as close attention to the Westchester and Long Island as to Manhattan. Appleby, who was in charge of a group of general agents working out of Washington, was equally forceful in his statements.

There has been a vast amount of speculation, in bootlegging as well as official circles, as to how the ruling is going to work. Many of the Cabaret owners claimed that they are hardly able to make a living without being made responsible for the sins of their patrons. Most of them have raised the cover charge of two dollars and even higher a person. It formerly ranged from $1 to $1.50.

The majority of the cabarets are tame to what they were in pre-Volstead days, but the proprietors of a number opened since, some of them even within the past few months, have let no grass grow under their feet, in the matter of collecting cash. They are perfectly willing to serve their patrons with liquor - good liquor too - at their price - $25 a quart. Agents investigating these resorts have completely satisfied themselves that all bandits do not use guns.

According to the best information available the proportion of such complaints against Westchester in this is very small. The campaign planned there is a measure of precaution more than anything else. The effect of the ruling against hip-toting will be more apparent when the Fall season gets under way that it is at present with most of the free-spenders at summer resorts.

Today Yonkers has received the lion's share of the attention of the Federal authorities. Seven big raids and dozens of scattering visits have been made there. The most successful occurred last November when Easy Einstein and Moe Smith descended upon thirty-four and restaurants with 105 agents. Sixty arrests were made and two truck-loads of liquor confiscated. A more spectacular raid made earlier this year by 150 agents was a complete failure. Nearly every one of the forty-five places against which search warrants had been issued was warned the night before by a bootleg wire and little liquor was found when the agents arrived the following afternoon. Only a dozen arrests were made. Several weeks later, agents John Kerrigan and Peter Reager, who secured the evidence for the ill-fated expedition, were attacked by a mob while raiding several of the places that had been on the previous list. And then one of the cafe owners even went as far as to lodge a warrant charging assault against Kerrigan.

Next to Yonkers, New Rochelle has probably received the most attention. A number of raids were staged there by Kerrigan and Reager. White Plains has only had two visits since early in the year. A week ago a restaurant proprietor was charged with selling wine to agents. Wednesday night two arrests were made in a pool room. The crusade now planned will take care and all the places that most of the other raids neglected - those resorts where the "nice people" go.


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