Grey, Deputy Ernest C.

Policeman Profile

END OF WATCH: July 16, 1919
Willoughby Township Marshal’s Office

Weather; Fair-Wed. P.M. and Thr., Temp. Rising Thursday with moderate N. winds, becoming variable on Thursday. Tribe open, with the Red Sox at League Park, Babe Ruth is on roster of players to play that day with the Red Sox.

Early Wednesday morning Marshall Maloney was notified by the Cleveland Police that a car stolen from Cleveland might have headed their way. A woman from the outskirts of town informed Marshall Maloney that there was an unidentified auto abandoned on Lost Nation Road. Thinking that it was stolen, Marshall went to investigate. Upon seeing the auto, he thought it might belong to the incident called in earlier by Cleveland Police. He then called Willoughby for assistance.

Deputies Gray, McCarthy and Gilmore responded, with Gray driving. George Gilmore sat on the left side, and Barney McCarthy was sitting on the right in the back seat.

With Marshall Maloney they went on a search for the driver or drivers of the stolen car. As the deputies were approaching Sheehan’s Hill (Plains Rd.) they passed two men eating cookies out of a bag, one wearing a long driving coat and the other was carrying his over his arm. They decided to investigate, so Gray put the car in reverse and backed up. As he was backing the car, the bandits noticed the guns the deputies were carrying. One bandit opened fire and a fierce gun battle took place. When the smoke cleared, there was one dead and 2 wounded. Gray had been fatally shot in the head, Gilmore received a flesh wound to the head, and McCarthy was shot through the back.

The Bandits made their escape through nearby woods. Marshall Maloney brought the dead and wounded back to Willoughby for Dr. Thomas Moore to attend. On the way he stopped to warn the Mayor. Soon fire bells and factory whistles blew, and the whole town turned out to take up the chase for the bandits.

500 men, some in machines (autos), others in wagons and on horse back and afoot filled the roads. Farmers left their fields and guns bristled on every side. At Painesville a posse was hastily organized and headed towards Willoughby to intercept the murderers. Cleveland was notified and Chief Smith headed a police detail from the city, while Sheriff Hanratty, Chief Deputy Ball and a detail of others all armed with shotguns and rifles, started east.

It was the Painesville Posse that caught the fugitives. The posse found them exhausted from their two mile flight over rough country fields, their weapons thrown away and ready to surrender to save their own lives. The round up was effected on Bieldlers Farm, about two miles east of Willoughby on Euclid Ave. at stop 35 (street car stop).

Marshal Maloney’s group reached the scene just after the posse from Painesville made the capture. The bandits made a full confession and were immediately bundled into an automobile and taken back to Willoughby. The town was so aroused that officials feared for the lives of the two. The townspeople wanted to lynch the pair so the two were taken to the Painesville jail where extra deputies guarded the entrance to protect the murderers from the townspeople.

Grey left a widow and four children.

By David C. Horvath, Great Grandson