Thursday, July 23, 2009

Italian Harlem's Police Report #1

Topic: Accused of Burning A Boy 1901

Joseph Brossi, an Italian laborer, thirty years old, of 446 East One Hundred and Fifteenth Street, was a prisoner in the Harlem Police Court yesterday morning charged with holding Charles Timmers, seven years old, of 1631 Avenue A, over a bonfire until the boy's hands were fright-fully burned and the hair on his head was completely singed off.Brossi has been working on a new building at Eighty-sixth Street, between First and Second Avenues.

On Saturday afternoon, as it was cold, the laborers built a bonfire, and little Charles, with his brother George, thirteen years old, and Eugene Canfield, twelve years old, of 413 East Eighty-sixth Street, played about it. The boys charge that Brossi lost his temper, seized the smallest and held him over the fire, while the other men refused to interfere. Brossi denied the charge and said that the boys were at the bonfire and commenced to kick the wood and stones. They were finally ordered away, and in running out of the place little Charles fell into the fire, thus burning his hands.Magistrate Meade said that he would give Brossi an opportunity to get witnesses and he held him in $1,000 ball for further examination this morning.The father of the injured boy said that he had positive proof that the Italian held the boy in the fire and that the boy did not fall as the prisoner alleges.

The New York Times January 7, 1901

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