Today’s bit ‘o’ Greenpoint Goodness…

May 14, 2007 by
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

In case you haven’t figured it out already, Monday is Greenpoint Crime Blotter Day here at New York Shitty. After learning about a hooligan on Green Street who has taken to throwing refuse at Magic Johnson’s trailer, I was reminded of a very special story from the August 16, 1897 edition of the New York Times. Not only does it feature trash throwing but it also includes attempted theft, extortion and a longhorn steer being fished out of Newton Creek. Right here in Greenpoint. Enjoy!



People in the progressive little suburb of Greenpoint were treated to the free view of a bull fight yesterday afternoon. The arena was Manhattan Avenue and the cross streets in the neighborhood of India Street. The matador of the occasion was a policeman. There were several long-horned wild-eyed Texas steers, but only two of them were game, and only one was killed.

Shortly after 1 o’clock, while a consignment of cattle were unloading at the North Ninth Street dock, seven of them wandered out upon the street and started a tour of sight-seeing. They reached Manhattan Avenue and met the small boy in large numbers. The small boy commenced by “shooing” them, and followed it up with throwing old shoes, tomato cans, stones, and other things that came handy. The steers became first frightened and then angry. Led by a big bay and dun, they rushed along Manhattan Avenue, scattering people right and left. While vehicles turned into the side streets. At Dupont Street the leader lowered his head and catching little Arthur Morgan on one of his long horns, tossed him high in the air. The boy fell on his head and was taken into a drug store unconscious and bleeding from a gash in his shoulder, which had been made by the sharp horns. He was afterwards sent to St. Catherine’s Hospital in serious condition.

While this animal was tossing the boy the rest went on, the lead being taken by another. The bay and dun steer followed to Franklin Street, down to which he turned to Greenpoint Avenue. There he made a lunge at Daniel Murphy, and caught him on the thumb with the point of his horn, tearing the thumb badly. Further on he charged a grocery store cart, upsetting it and throwing a boy out on the pavement. Then allowed himself to be guided into a vacant lot between two houses. At the back was a high fence.

The steer looked at the fence, then at the brick walls, and turned toward the street. Then he saw a mass of people behind ropes, which had been hastily stretched, and he stood still, shaking his head and stamping his feet, while his eyes blazed and the froth dripped from his handsome mouse-colored muzzle. He seemed at a loss what to do, but his hesitation did not last long. Policeman Hasselbrook crawled under the rope with a revolver, and advanced toward the animal. As he was about to pull the trigger the steer lowered his head and charged with a roar. The bullet hit the brute in the forehead, but did not check him. Hasselbrook has seen bullfights in Spain, and applying the knowledge gained there he leaped aside and pulled the trigger again. A bullet bored its was into the animal’s side just back of the shoulder. It did not stop the steer, however, and he tore through the rope and the crowd and dashed on up to India and Franklin Streets. There he suddenly paused, staggered, and fell to the pavement with a roar. Hasselbrook had followed, and borrowing a big knife from a butcher cut the animal’s throat. The bullet had pierced his heart.

In the meantime the other animals had kept on along Manhattan Avenue for some blocks, and then they all scattered down the cross streets except the leader. The latter continued on his way to Hunter’s Point Bridge. The draw was open, but gathering himself, he made mighty spring. He came down in the water 30 feet away. Some men in boats lassoed and took him ashore at Pottery Beach, where he was held last night for salvage… the others were captured without doing any damage, and one was out in the marsh last night. The capturers of the animals demanded $5 apiece for their trouble from the man who claimed to own them. This was William Meyers of 208 Ten Eyck Street, who said he had bought them, and was driving them to a slaughter house on Johnson Avenue. He said the dead steer did not belong to him. It is believed that Meyers is not the real owner of the animals.


Miss Heather

P.S.: Speaking of hooliganism, I want to give a shout-out to Gothamist for this. Bravo!


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