Pancoast Frees Nude Bathers, Scores Those Causing Arrest

Judge Gavel and Book Stock Photo

Camden Courier-Post – June 24, 1933

Boys and Young Men, However, Are Asked to Carry Bathing Suits on Next Visit To Cooper River

Fourteen boys and young men arrested as nude bathers Thursday as the sequel to a city commission meeting, were freed yesterday by Judge Garfield Pancoast with the advice that they wear bathing suits when swimming.

The nude bathers were apprehended in Cooper river in the vicinity of Tenth and Pearl streets after Frank J. Hartmann, Jr., secretary of, the New Jersey Congress of Civic Associations and of the North Camden Civic Association, complained at the commission meeting Thursday that shocking conditions exist among the male bathers’ in the river, causing women in the neighborhood to protest.

With two of the youthful bathers excused because they had to attend the final classes of the term in school, Police Judge Garfield Pancoast suspended sentence on the others at a hearing yesterday after advising them to wear bathing suits when swimming again. The boys had been released in their own recognizance after their arrest late Thursday by John Taylor, a policeman, who was sent to the bathing spot by Acting Chief Golden.

Pancoast Sarcastic

Taylor, under questioning of the court, testified that the nearest house to where the youths swam was a block away, and that while there were boathouses across the creek, he did not know whether they are occupied. The boys themselves testified that no women pass the “swimming hole,” which, they said, is three blocks from State Street and almost two squares from Tenth street.

After Taylor informed the court he did not know who made the complaint to Mayor Stewart, Pancoast said the complainant “is probably the same man who, at the age of these boys, did nothing in the Summer but read the New Testament.”

“He probably is the same man who never went swimming when the temperature went up to 92 degrees,” the court commented, “and is probably the same man who does not know that the cost to the taxpayers for every arrest in the city averages $3.87.”

Appeals to Boys

“I have nothing to say to you boys, but appeal to you to take a bathing suit with you the next time you go swimming, because someone might be passing who does not like to see your nude figure.”

The bathers: Leslie Bayne, 26, of 503 Royden Street; Harvey Howell, 16, of 429 Washington Street; John Grady, 19, of 578 Benson Street; Roscoe Davis, 15, of 253 North Eleventh street; James Evans, 15, of 601 North Second Street; William Dempsey, 12, of 1030 Lawrence Street; Albert MacFarland, 13, of 1112 Federal Street; Roland Garber, 15, of 537 Birch Street ; Edgar Grundlock, 14, of 318 North Tenth Street; Frank Garwood, 13, of 717 Bailey Street ; Eugene Dodelin, 13, of 309 Cole Street; Ralph Skill, 13, of 512 North Seventh street; Robert Rudd, 15, of 642 Linwood Street, and Richard Evans, 14, of 601 North Second Street.

Rudd and Garwood were the boys excused by Judge Pancoast from appearing in court so they would not lose credit for being absent from school.


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