Walking The Beat Through East Harlem's "Little Italy" #1

Serious Charge Against An Italian 1878

On Wednesday night two young women, named Rose Heslin and Kate Rogers, (the latter married.) residing at No. 1947 Third avenue, were walking on Third avenue with the intention of buying some shoes, when they were accosted by a stranger, an Italian named Anton Gausepi, of First avenue and Ninety-eighth street, who asked them where they were going. They informed him of their errand, when he told them he could give them the shoes they desired very cheap. They went to his store, when he entered into conversation with them, and without their knowing it, locked the door separating the front of the store from his workshop. He then made improper proposals to Miss Heslin, so Kate Rogers says, and upon her resenting them, struck her and knocked her down. Kate Rogers took hold of his arm, and tried to prevent further violence, but the Italian threw her aside with an oath, and rushing over to his work-bench, seized a sharp shoemaker's knife and ran toward Rose. The latter fearing that he intended to stab her, sprang in affright from him, and leaped from the window, a distance of 15 feet, into the rear area, striking her head against a water-butt and falling to the ground bleeding and senseless. Gausepi then turned to Kate Rogers, and with another oath unlocked the door, told her to leave and threw after her her companion's hat, which had fallen from the latter's head as she sprang from the window. Great excitement arose among the neighbors, and an alarm being sent to the station-house the Police and an ambulance arrived on the scene. Rose was found lying insensible in the area, and was removed to the Ninety-ninth Street Hospi8tal, where she was pronounced to be suffering from a severe concussion of the brain. Officer Petit, of the Eighty-seventh Street Station, went in search of Gausepi, and captured him at his brother's house in Italian row, in One Hundred and Seventh-street. The prisoner was taken yesterday to the Harlem Police Court, where having expressed a wish to have counsel to defend him, he was remanded until today for examination. The injured girl's injuries are so critical that it is feared she will be unable to leave the hospital for some time. (1)

Three Convivial Italians 1884

Three Italians sought to be convivial on Sunday night, and they went into the apartments of a woman named Sand, at No. 409 East One Hundred and Twenty-fourth-street, to play cards. She objected to their invading her premises, and one of the men, Michael Arretti, flourished a pistol over her head and sent a bullet whizzing through the ceiling, while Franc Fleumbi hurled a chair through the front window. A fourth Italian, Salvator Balgoni, hastened to the assistance of the woman, who was screaming lustily for help. He was knocked down and his scalp laid open with a heavy shovel by Secola Massi. Arretti and Fleumbi were arrested yesterday and arraigned in the Harlem Police Court before Justice Welde. Arretti was put under $500 bonds for three months, and Fleumbi paid a fine of $10. Massi is still at large.  (2)

Threatening to Cut Her Throat 1884

An Italian barber, Paul Bocculino, was arrested by Officer Haas, of the Harlem Court, yesterday, on a charge of felonious assault made by a young married woman, Hildred Glatt, of No. 1779 Third avenue. She says that on Monday night the accused came to her apartments, and, finding her alone, seized her by the hair, and, drawing her head back, threatened to cut her throat with a razor if she did not submit to his desires. She resisted despite her terror, and he finally left the house.

Bocculino denied the story and said that instead of trying to injure the woman he had for sometime been a benefactor to the family. He said that her husband had been out of work for some time, and that he had loaned money to them until they owed him $15. He had been a visitor to the house, and the charge had been brought against him to evade the payment of the money. Justice Welde held him in $2,000 bail for trial. (3)

An Italian Stabbing Match 1885

An Italian gathering at the residence of two brothers named Carmine and Louis Falconi, No. 420 East One Hundred and Thirteenth street, on Monday night, terminated in a stabbing affray which is likely to prove fatal to Carmine Falconi. Women as well as men were present, and the fight was caused by one of the women, who claimed that she had been insulted. The wounded man was taken to the Ninety-ninth street Hospital, where he was found to have been stabbed in the neck, abdomen, and right side, the latter wound penetrating his lung. He said that Benedict Retino and Michael Quarno, both residents of No. 433 East One Hundred and Twelfth-street, did the cutting, and they were captured by Policeman Eagan, of the Twelfth Precinct, with the assistance of two other officers. Retino is cut in the thigh, and he said that Louis Falconi stabbed him. Louis was also caught and was held to answer yesterday in the Harlem Court. The other two prisoners were held to await the result of Carmine Falconi's injuries.(4)

Police Nip A Murder Plot 1910

Vito Gurdo, 23 years old, of 339 East 108th Street, and Antonio Ignazio, 23, a pianomaker, of 335 East 108th Street, were held in $500 bail each for trial in the Harlem Court yesterday morning on a charge of carrying concealed weapons. The police are investigating the case.

The arrest of the Italians, on each of whom was found a loaded revolver, resulted from a tip that the Italian Detective Squad received that there was to be a murder at 108th Street and First Avenue at midnight on Saturday.

Detectives Cassidy, Valenti, and Cassatti hid themselves in doorways near the corner. A few minutes before midnight the two prisoners came skulking through the street, and at the corner stopped for a moment and glanced about. Both men had their hands in their pockets, and when their backs were turned for a moment the detectives pounced upon them.

On Tuesday last Antonio Valenti was standing at the same spot when a stranger came up suddenly, and, pushing the muzzle of a revolver into his face, fired. Valenti fell and died almost immediately. According to the tip which the police received, the murder which was to take place was the result of a feud in which Valenti was a victim. (5)

A Fatal Game of Ball 1884

The case of Michael Garrete, who is charged with being accessory to the murder of Francisco Canzone,who was killed at No. 423 East One Hundred and Eleventh street, on Oct. 5, came up yesterday before Recorder Smyth. The wit nesses who were examined testified that on that afternoon a number of Italians were playing ball in the yard of the house. The ball struck Francisco Canzone, one of the players, in the leg, hurting him severely. He picked it up and threw it over the fence. A quarrel there-upon arose among the players over the ball, and that led to a free fight. Canzone went into a room and soon emerged with a long stiletto in his hand. He made toward Garete, who was only armed with a stick. The latter said that he did not want to fight with knives, but would fight with sticks. Canzone kept advancing, however, and Garete struck the knife out of his hand; and immediately afterward Donato Demaso, another of the Italians, picked up the knife and stabbed Canzone in the back, and Rizzio, a third Italian, struck the wounded man with a board on the back of the neck.

Soon afterward Nicola Demaso, who had been hurt during the fight, went into one of the rooms, and he was followed by his brother Donato, who had stabbed Canzone. Donato took out of his pocket the stiletto, which was bloody, washed it, and put it into the coal scuttle. He then made his escape. The case is still on. (6)


Website: The History Box.com
Article Name: Walking The Beat Through East Harlem's "Little Italy" #2
Researcher/Transcriber Miriam Medina


1) The New York Times September 6, 1878; 2) The New York Times March 18, 1884; 3)The New York Times March 20, 1884: 4) The New York Times January 28, 1885; 5) The New York Times August 15, 1910; 6) The New York Times December 17, 1884
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