Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

True Love: Man Risks Being Shot To Visit His Sweetheart

On this Valentine's Day, it seems appropriate to reproduce a rather curious story about a lover who risked life and limb by visiting his sweetheart in North Pelham on the evening of October 19, 1902. The poor man, who did not speak English, left his lover's home late in the evening and encountered what he thought was a ruffian. He ran, only to be chased by the man he had encountered -- a North Pelham policeman who shot at him. The newspaper story below described the encounter.




Ernest Schmid's protracted visit with his sweetheart on Sunday night, in North Pelham, came near costing him his life. After the couple had parted and Schmid had started for his home, in Mount Vernon, he encountered Policeman Smith in the dark, and, supposing he was some ruffian, started to run. The policeman, who mistook Schmid for a burglar, gave chase and commanded him to halt. Schmid was too scared, so the policeman fired four times at him, but luckily the bullets did not take effect. After a chase for over a mile, in which a score of villagers participated, Schmid was found moaning in a ditch. At first it was thought that the supposed burglar had been shot, but examination showed that he was suffering from exhaustion.

As he could not speak English, he was unable to explain why he had started to run. Schmid was taken up to his sweetheart's house, where the family was aroused, and the young woman had to come to the door in her night robe to identify the prisoner and explain the circumstances. After a satisfactory explanation Schmid was allowed to go with a warning not to start running again."

Source: Shot At For Running, New-York Tribune, Oct. 21, 1902, p. 14, col. 3.

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