AMAZING STORIES: Shot at a Picnic and Dies in Field - JuniperCivic.com
Serving Middle Village and Maspeth since 1938.

Originally published in the March 2012 Juniper Berry Magazine

AMAZING STORIES: Shot at a Picnic and Dies in Field

July 21, 1913 ‒ New York Times • Leo Cotter, living with his parents at 100 Baltic Street, Brooklyn, was shot at the outing of the Charles Allen Association, from Wallabout Market, Brooklyn, held in Clinton Park, Maspeth, Queens, late on Saturday night and died of his wounds an hour or so after the shooting alone in a field where he had fled to escape his assailants. He was found by Louis Miller of 90 Maspeth Avenue and George Sommers of 76 Maurice Avenue, who were on their way home and were attracted by his moans. The wounded man tried to tell them something, but his speech was unintelligible. They telephoned the police, and when Ambulance Surgeon Kraus from the German Hospital got there Cotter was dead.

Charles Allen, head of the Allen Association, identified the dead man at the morgue and said he was a driver for Henry Lichtenstein, a truckman at the Wallabout Market. He could give no details concerning the shooting, as he was at the gate taking tickets when the shots were fired.

Clinton Park is at Betts and Maspeth Avenues, Maspeth. It was once the country residence of Gov. DeWitt Clinton whose old homestead is still standing.

Mr. Allen said that there were about 150 men and women at the picnic, and that the shooting, which occurred in the refreshment room off the dancing pavilion, was witnessed by dozens of men and women. The police say that Cotter was evidently a giant in strength, and they appear to have no doubt that a gang went to the park for the purpose of killing him The affair was what is known as a dollar picnic, were $1 paid for admission, dancing and free beer.

It was shortly before 9 o'clock when the music struck up for another dance. There was a rush for the dancing floor. Then three shots were fired in quick succession, Women screamed, and there was a frantic rush of men. It was evident that no attempt was made to apprehend the culprits who had surrounded Cotter. Two of the bullets struck, and at the same time he was stabbed in the back. The knife wound was not severe. It would indicate that he received the thrust while running.

In a frantic dash Cotter got through the room, across the platform where the frightened dancers, pausing in their giddy whirl, opened a path for him, and out of the park and across Betts Avenue, where he disappeared from view in the darkness and fell in the vacant field.

Capt. Graham and his detective force feel certain of capturing the slayers. Mr. Allen said that while Cotter was big and strong, he was peaceful and good-natured. Andrew Cotter, brother of the dead man, went to Queens last night to claim the body.