Salina Police Department
The Petticoat Bandit
Shortly after 7:00 P.M. on December 28, 1950, a call was received at the police station, stating that the Hendricks Liquor Store at Ellsworth and Santa Fe was being robbed. Officer Smith, who at that time was on his way to dinner, reported to the station that he was near the scene and that since Officer Roy Rodgers, who lives next door to the liquor store, was at home he asked that Rodgers be called to assist him.
Upon Smith’s arrival at the liquor store he found that one man was sitting in front of the store in a 1950 Dodge Coronet, with the motor running and a woman was in the liquor store. Smith took the man from the Dodge and as he did so, he saw the woman start from the store toward the car. As she reached the car, Smith saw Rodgers coming around the building from the north, with his revolver in his hand. Smith called “Watch that woman.” However, just as he called, she leaned into the car and brought out a sawed-off .410 shotgun and, taking deliberate aim, fired at Rodgers and hit him in the right upper arm and chest. Rodgers was knocked from his feet into the street but in falling, managed to transfer his gun from his right to his left hand and fire it toward the car. In the meantime, the woman had entered the car and was driving off. Mr. Hendricks, owner of the liquor store, had come out to the scene and he fired three times at the car with a shotgun and Officer Smith, handicapped by the struggling prisoner he was holding, was also trying to hit the driver.
Officer Smith apprehended Maurice Bradley at the scene. Officers of the Newton Police Department apprehended Bradley’s accomplice, Teddy Pearsall, the following day. Teddy Pearsall was dubbed the “Petticoat Bandit” for his impersonation of a female robber. Both men were charged with robbery and assault with intent to kill and eventually sentenced to the state penitentiary.
Officer Rogers’ injuries to his arm and shoulder were extensive and his right lung had multiple punctures. Rodgers eventually began to respond to treatment, however was never able to return to work. He retired in May 1951.
Man’s Best Friend?
In September 1976, a fugitive was placed on the desk of Chief Woody. Immediately there was a nose to nose and eye to eye encounter. Woody blinked and smiled, and “Patty” became part of the force. Patty was a 1 and one half-year-old English bulldog, who the Humane Society brought to the chief, reportedly because of their mutual resemblance. “It was love at first sniff,” reported one anonymous official at the time.
As the official police mascot, Patty was given the run of the station. Despite, or perhaps because of a face that would stop a high speed chase, she was blessed with an amiable temperament and was popular with her “fellow” officers.
When not out for a walk with one of the secretaries, Patty could be found behind the booking desk, and therein was the serious aspect of her job. When disturbances arose, the booking area usually was the scene. One look at Patty’s unhappy face usually slowed down troublemakers.
Patty was probably best known for her role in the movie, “Up the Academy,” filmed in Salina in 1979. Through the years Patty wore many hats. Police dressed her to play Santa Claus during Christmas season, and fitted her with countless other outfits. She was probably best recognized at the police station for ruling the place with an “Iron Paw.” She had a wall shaking bark that often rumbled through the hallways. But she was quite playful. Her favorite pastime, besides dozing in the sunlight, was playing tug-of-war.
One time Patty decided to play tug-of-war with a man who stopped by the station for directions. His mistake was removing his hat and slapping it against his leg – a move that sent Patty streaking for him. The terrified man leaped onto the windowsill overlooking the desk sergeant and got punched back into the hallway by the startled officer, who thought he had been attacked.
Patty roamed the hallways of the law enforcement center for six years until her death from a stroke in 1982. Police mascot, movie star, athlete, friend of the children and terrorizer of many unsuspecting souls who walked the halls of her domain, Patty was truly man’s best friend.
Once a Cop, Always a Cop
Glen Soldan had left police work after a year on the force to pursue other interests. The thrill of police work, however, drew him back into the fold. On the afternoon of his 31st day back on the job, Officer Soldan lay bleeding in a motel parking lot, shot four times at close range after stopping a man suspected in a hit-and-run accident.
The incident began with a hit-and-run accident on Ohio Street where the suspect vehicle left the scene. A short time later Officer Soldan responded to the Vagabond Motel on South Broadway where the driver of the hit-and-run vehicle was supposed to have been dropped off by a taxicab. He located the subject and advised him he needed to talk with him. The man was defensive and did not want to talk. There was a brief scuffle before the subject was walked back to the patrol unit.
The suspect placed his hands on the hood of the patrol car. As Officer Soldan looked over the suspects left shoulder he caught sight of a stainless steel revolver which the suspect had pulled from a paper sack. Soldan grabbed for the weapon as the suspect turned and fired shots in rapid succession. Soldan went down. When the suspect fired four rounds from a .38 caliber pistol, three bullets wounded Soldan in the chest and one hit his right thigh. While Soldan was trying to grab the pistol, two of the bullets that struck his chest also ripped through his right hand. As the suspect stood over the injured officer there was a fifth click of the gun, but that bullet misfired.
The suspect fled on foot across the lot towards a residential area. Three citizens who saw the shooting took chase and followed the suspect until officers could move in. Maurice Barnard Moore, of Washington, D.C., was arrested within five minutes of the shooting. Moore was eventually sentenced to 30 years to life.
Officer Glen Soldan recovered from his injuries and remains a patrol officer with the department.
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