Look up Deedy in Websters Dictionary and you will see the following definition - \Deed"y\, a. Industrious; active. [R.] --Cowper. But to me Deedy is simply my last name and not a very common one at that. My Father always said "find yourself in a strange city? Open a phone book, find a Deedy and give them a call - chances are they are a relative." So, for all the Deedy's out there hello and welcome.

Maurice Sullivan's Most Thrilling Experience

At least that is what the newspaper article reports in this interview of my Great-Grandfather, Srgt. Maurice Sullivan of the Boston PD. I am so lucky that this interview was published - it shows just how dangerous his job could be. While the article found does not have a date on it, the incident most likely occurred in the late 1800's and the interview done in the early 1900's.

“My Most Thrilling Experience”
Exciting Moments in the Lives of Boston Policemen
As Related to Harry McCormick, Traveler Police Reporter

No. 127 – Patrolman Maurice Sullivan.

In Patrolman Maurice Sullivan of the Hanover street station one will find an interesting person. In 26 years of service in that section he has seen many changes. As a young man he patrolled many of the worst “beats” in the dear old North end. In those days of few policemen a man had his work cut out for him. Being arrested for intoxication was treated as a more serious offence than it is now. A man then would put up a fight before he would submit to arrest, for arrest meant a heavy fine or imprisonment.

Office Sullivan’s most thrilling experience came when he had been a member of the department a few months. It was a fight with a drink maddened man near the old gas house on Prince street.

“I was standing on Lafayette avenue, near Prince street, about 1 o’clock in the morning, 26 years ago, when this chap, who was known as a fighter, rushed over to me and started a fight. His attack was so sudden that he got a good hold on me.

“He started to pummel me, and, of course, I fought back, for a I knew that I could expect no mercy from a man like him. In those days there was a pretty tough crowd at the gas house, and scores of men came to where we were fighting and encouraged the man.

“They would have liked to have seen me ‘done up.’ Lafayette avenue has an incline and the street was then paved with round cobbles. Many times my head went banging against these stones and so did the other fellow’s, for that matter. We had been battling for almost half an hour when by a strong push the man bowled me over. He came with me, however, and I managed to get on top when we landed on the street. We rolled down the incline to Endicott street, while the hooting, jeering crowd followed, often waiting for me to get mine. While locked together in the street the man sunk his teeth into my ear and started to rip it off. I felt the teeth sink in and believe me the thrill I received then, thinking my ear was gone, was awful.

“But that act of his put new strength into me and I fought on in a more desperate manner. I think if another officer had not arrived I would have killed the man. Fortunately the fellow did not get his teeth in deep enough and Dr. Eliot patched it up for me. You can still see the scar there now, and I never look at it in the mirror without thinking of that fight.”


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