Thursday, June 16, 2005

Officers Kill Man As Prowler

June 15, 1947
China City

Pity Wanzy Patterson of 1312 W. 37th Street. The night watchman, 29, somehow came to the conclusion that his job demanded he shimmy over the transom of the bar at 777 Quang Yn Court and relieve the establishment of some of that pesky joy juice. This had been going on for some time, so officers C.A. Stromwell and M. Herman secreted themselves within the establishment, guns aready for when the liquor bandit made a repeat appearance.

Soon enough ol' Wanzy dropped in, and laid his paws upon several handy bottles. The cops revealed themselves and Wanzy moved as if to retrieve a gun. Bang! 11 shots pierced the hapless Wanzy, and more'n likely the bottles he so loved.

1 comment:

Larry said...

Looks like an off night for The Times and a certain unfortunate watchman whose name was indeed Wanzy. One of the officers in question was actually Clarence Albert Stromwall, all the more confusing since his father was Detective Lt. Albert C. Stromwall of the robbery detail and appears in The Times fairly often.

The mangled address was actually Quan Yin Court, named after the goddess of mercy. Alas, while Quan Yin Court and Quan Yin Road are listed in the usually reliable Thomas Bros. 1945 edition (Grid 44, E-2)—and Quan Yin Road appears in the 1951 reverse directory—the streets are not to be found. A check of the 1944 and 1949 Yellow Pages in search of the bar was equally unhelpful.

While making my search, I was more than a little surprised to discover “Negro Alley” still appearing on the Thomas Bros. map of downtown in the 1940s, however. This infamous 19th century lane, sometimes referred to as “Calle de los Negros,” led from Aliso to the Plaza, east of Los Angeles Street, and figured in the Chinese Massacre.

Upon his retirement in 1967 after 21 years with the LAPD, Clarence Stromwall became a municipal judge and ran for the Superior Court in 1978 against incumbent Florence Picard. He died in 1996.

Bonus factoid: the 1949 Yellow Pages lists bars under “Beer Parlors.”