Archiver > NYBROOKLYN > 2002-12 > 1040618108

From: Margaret Ransom <>
Subject: [Bklyn] Brooklyn Standard Union,July 20,1931-News Article
Date: Sun, 22 Dec 2002 23:35:08 -0500

Brooklyn Standard Union
July 20, 1931

News Article


Hangs Half Hour Waiting for Aid—Burglars Scared Away

Hanging for half an hour to a cable at the top of a 70-foot elevator shaft
after crashing through a skylight while investigating a burglar alarm at 63
Flatbush avenue early today, Patrolman John HEANEY was rescued by a police
emergency squad which passed a rope down around his waist and drew him up to
HEANEY was among the patrolmen who under Detective Caesar BONNANO answered
an alarm at the above address when a neighbor telephone the Bergen street
station that the gong in Gunther’s clothing store was ringing. The burglars,
who evidently fled upon the ringing of the alarm without obtaining any loot
from the $25,000 stock of men’s clothing on the premises at the time, must
have spent from three to four hours in gaining entrance to the building.

Chop Through the Roof

They first forced an entrance to the four-story brick structure next door
at 61 Flatbush avenue, and going to the top floor, went through a trap door to
the roof. Then they dropped onto number 63 which is a three story brick
building and began to chop a way through the roof. As the neighborhood was
well patrolled last night and there were numerous passersby, police believe
that the men worked only when the clatter of the passing Fifth avenue and
Culver avenue elevated lines drowned out the strokes of their axes.
Although they gained an entrance after this laborious work, they had no
chance to take anything of value as the contents of the building were still
When the police had arrived, HEANEY was sent up through 61 and then dropped
down onto the roof of 63, following the route evidently used by the robbers.
But in dropping he struck a glass skylight, crashed through it and as he
continued to fall, caught at a wheel and hung there for a moment. He then
slipped down until he grasped the cable of the 70-foot elevator shaft and
there he clung. Companions who were with him summoned Police Emergency Squad
15 and called for HEANEY to hold on.


When the squad arrived, it first spread a net at the foot of the shaft so
that if HEANEY should lose his grasp, his fall would be broken. He managed to
hold on, however, for half an hour while the squad was at work.
At the end of that time a rope was successfully passed down and about the
patrolman’s waist and he was pulled up through the skylight. Although his
hands were badly torn by the tight hold he had to keep on the cable to save
himself from dropping to his death, he received no severe injuries from the
fall, which he had broken after dropping from the roof of the building at 61.

Transcribed for the Brooklyn Information Pages by Margaret Ransom

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