S UNDAYDI S P AT C H
, S UND AY , J UL Y 3 1 ,2 0 1 1 P A G E
Inflationhasincreasedthecostof constructing a town hall inWyoming Borough a wee bitover the last110 years.On Friday the ribbon was cuton a new two-story, 3,200-square-foot, $600,000 buildingwhich replaces one built in1905for $5,600, not including $126for a vault door and $96 for twosteel cells.Theeventdoubledasamemo-rialforRalphDaleyandEdward Brennan, the chiefs of police of West Wyoming and Wyomingwho were shot and killed 93years ago on July 28 and 29,1918.Thenewbuildingwasded-icated the Chief Edward Bren-nan Public Safety Annex. Theribbon was cut by FlorenceJumper, 98, a niece of Chief Brennan, the only officer in bor-ough history killed in the line of duty (see story below.) Jumper still lives in Wyoming near thespotwhereherunclewasgunned down.Given that the old buildingwas the oldest active municipal buildinginthecounty,olderthanthe county courthouse by eightyears, some consideration wasgiventopreservingit,butathor-oughinspectionshowedthatres-toring the building and bringingit up to code would have costthree to five times more thandemolition and new construc-tion.The old building was demol-ished last year, but to preservesome of its structural integritysome of the original stone, in-cludingthecornerstone,wasre-used on the first floor and win-dow sills. The cornerstone is in-set into a corner of the buildingnext to the entrance to the policeheadquarters on Breeze Street.Thenewbuildingalsofeaturesastoneinlaidwithasilhouetteof the Wyoming Monument in thecenterofthefrontofthebuildingfacing Wyoming Avenue. Theornamental spire, or pinnacle,atopthecenteroftheroofwasin-spired by the original bell tower.Money for the old buildingcame from a voter-approved bond issue. Money for the new building came from the Mohe-gan Sun Casino.TheDepartmentofCommuni-tyandEconomicDevelopment’s
New Wyoming ‘cop shop’ honors slain chief
Building replaces oldest active municipal building in county
By Jack Smiles
PHOTO BY BILL TARUTIS
Florence Jumper, niece of Chief Brennan, cuts the ribbon during the Chief Edward Brennan PublicSafety Annex as Wyoming Police Capt. Chris Mercavitch, left, school board member John Marianac-ci, Mayor Robert Boyer, and Police Chief William Ragantesi assist.
See ANNEX, Page 26
Patrolling on foot on the nightof July 28 in1918, West Wyom-ingpoliceChiefRalphDaleyen-counteredagroupofyoungmenloitering outside an ice cream parlor blocking the sidewalk onWest Eighth Street between 10and 11 o’clock. As he had beenordered by the borough’s bur-gess, or mayor, to crackdown ongangsblockingsidewalks,Daleyasked the men—described as“Italians” in police reports and newspaper articles – to move.When they refused Daley“gently”,asdescribedinonever-sion of events, pushed one themenwhowasidentifiedasLouisMancino, 24. Mancino either pushed back or punched Daley.Daley hit Mancino either in thehandorheadwithhisnightstick.At that instant the ice cream parlor lights went dark and twoshots rang out. One of the .32caliber steel-tipped bullets fired hit Daley just above his shield, passed through his heart and outhis back. He fell to the sidewalk and bled to death in minutes, asthe group of men scattered intothe darkness.The police immediately iden-tified Mancino as a suspect and learnedhewasonthelamwithafriend, Antonio “Tony” Rizzo,20. Three hours later around 3a.m. on the morning of the 29th,Wyoming Police Chief Edward Brennan and Officer HiramLongwerestoppingvehiclesand teams on Wyoming Avenue as part of theinvestigationintoDa-ley’s slaying, when they weretoldthesuspecthadbeenseeninthe area of First Street.Telling Officer Long to con-tinue the road block, Brennanwenttoinvestigate.Minuteslater two shots were heard. WhenBrennan did not return to theroad block, Long thought Bren-nan had fired the shots and waschasing the suspects. But Bren-nan may not have been armed.His niece Florence Jumper, 98,was five then. She said Brennanhad been rousted out of bed by a phonecallafteradayofblueber-ry picking and hurriedly left hishouse on Fourth Street withouthis gun and holster.Meanwhile a posse of all 45statepolicemenfromtheWyom-ing Troop P, private policemen(what we would call securityguardstoday),countydetectives,and hastily deputized citizenswere scouring the area in auto-mobiles, on horseback and onfoot, while borough police inExeter and West Pittston set up perimeters. One of the state po-licemen found Brennan dead in bushes along the avenue. LikeDaley he had been shot throughin the heart and neck.Into the early morning hoursthepossesearchedtheWyomingflats through corn fields, cab- bage fields and swamps, whereStateTrooperMcGeefoundRiz-zo near the river’s edge around 6a.m. and subdued him with hisnight stick. He was described ashaving a “bedraggled appear-ance.” His pants were wet to theknees and his shirt torn. He wasnot armed. Mancino was notwith him. Rizzo said he was vis-itingfromBuffaloandwasinthecornfield because he had no-where to sleep.In the light of day Mancino’sshirtwasfoundbytheriverlead-ing police to theorize he swamacrosstherivertoPittstonwherehe was being harbored byfriends.That evening Rizzo, after anintense grilling, confessed tokilling Daley and was arraigned for murder. Mancino’s “comely”16-year-old wife Grace Manci-no, testifying through an inter- preter, said she was at home not
The strange case of the murdered police chiefs
By Jack Smiles
Former Wyoming BoroughChief of Police Edward Bren-nan, who was shot and killedon duty in1918. The newWyoming Borough Police Sta-tion was dedicated in his nameFriday.
See BRENNAN, Page 33