Cop’s Guest Beaten; Colsey Probes Row

Party Fight - AI Stock Photo

Camden Courier-Post – February 22, 1938

Youth ‘Blackjacked’ at Party; Father Retains Lawyer, to Investigate

Police Chief Arthur Colsey yesterday detailed three detectives to investigate a street row early Sunday at Fourth and Mechanic streets in which a Fairview youth and a Camden policeman were involved.

The youth, Walter Callahan, 21, of 1375 Roanoke Road, is confined to Cooper Hospital with a slight brain concussion and head cuts he said he received when “blackjacked” by Policeman Earl Cunningham, of 448 Mechanic street.

Chief Colsey removed Cunningham from duty yesterday afternoon pending completion of the probe.

The investigation ordered by Colsey followed after Walter Callahan Sr., father of the youth, retained an attorney for the purpose, he said, “of getting at the bottom of this.” Chief Colsey said that young Callahan had refused to talk to detectives at the hospital.

The elder Callahan, a Gloucester druggist, said he had learned that his son was “more or less of an innocent bystander” in a row that started in the Cunningham home and that he received a “severe beating” from Cunningham and the latter’s son, “Bud.”

“My son went to a party at the Cunningham home,” Callahan said, “and there, I am told, a row started between young Cunningham and a girl. My son objected to a remark passed to the girl and then Cunningham and his son jumped on my boy and beat him.”

“I have retained Charles A. Cogan, a Camden attorney, and have instructed him to make a thorough investigation preliminary to proceeding with court action.”

Prefers Drunk Charge

Detectives Clifford Carr, Donald Switzer and John Opfer were named by Colsey to make an investigation for the police department.

Cunningham, who caused a detainer to be lodged against Callahan on a charge of being drunk and disorderly; told his superiors he was forced to use his blackjack on Callahan when the youth attacked him and tore his shirt and underwear.

According to the policeman, who was off duty at the time, Callahan attended a party in the Cunningham home celebrating the policeman’s wedding anniversary. Cunningham said Callahan left the house and became engaged in a noisy argument with two girls outside. He said the youth attacked him when he came out and sought to quiet Callahan.


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