Memorable Events

Reprinted from the Cleveland Plain Dealer - June 13, 1939

Bratenahl Police Toil, but Get Their Goats 


Bratenahl Police Always Get Your Goats
Bratenahl Police Always Get Your Goats

At 3:01 yesterday afternoon (June 12, 1939), two goats named Doc and Billy leaped over a five-foot high-wire fence surrounding the children’s play yard at the Bingham Britton home, 10316 Brighton Road, Bratenahl. When they were brought back two hours later in the Bratenahl police cruiser, they cut quite a swath.

Practically everybody in Bratenahl tried to catch the agile animals, including numerous small boys on bicycles, but it was clear early in the chase that it was a matter for the police.

The police cruiser, under the command of Sergeant William P. L’Estrange and manned by Patrolmen William Creegan and Alexander Andrews, took up the chase, but the goats were not intimidated and continued to scoot in front of traffic and over railroad tracks. The police saw immediately that these were no ordinary goats and returned to the station house, where they procured two long lengths of rope, which they fashioned into lariats.

“We chased the goats down Corning Drive,” related Sergeant L’Estrange, still laughing so much he could scarcely talk. “We chased them down as far as the lake. Well, the animals roamed around the beach for a while, and every time we got near them, they broke into a gallop. Then they started back through Corning’s Woods, and over the boulevard, they went. When they came to a six-foot fence, they leaped right over it and continued on their way.”

“This brought them to the New York Central tracks, but they didn’t stop them. They ambled across the tracks into the filter beds. There’s a park there, you know, at the foot of E. 110th Street, in Cleveland. Three ball games were in progress.”

At this point, the sergeant was interrupted by laughs he could not stifle. With difficulty, he proceeded.

“So the goats started wandering around the ball diamond - all three of them, and the players were pretty much baffled. Patrolman Creegan got into action here. He shouted to the children to help catch the goats, and the ball games broke up immediately as about 300 youngsters rushed to the pursuit,”

“We chased the goats to Eddy Road, and there, adjacent to the Enamel Products Co., is a field inclosed with a high finance ant equipped with a gate. We slammed the gate and thought we had them. But say, those goats took the fence like Grant took Richmond. They ran down Taft Avenue, and we chased them. By this time, we had about 1,000 kids helping us. “

“The goats turned suddenly into a back yard at the home of John O‘Brien, 487 East 124th Street. The kids formed a big circle. And Patrolman Creegan said: ‘Sarge, let me handle this.’”

“It was at this point that Mrs. Harold S. Lloyd, O’Brien’s daughter, looked out of her window and saw three policemen creeping through her yard, two of them with lariats.”

Patrolman Creegan swung his lariat around his head three times and let it fly some twenty feet distant at the goat. It was a perfect shot. The goat struggled a little and looked baffled but secured. The other goat rushed into an open garage. Sergeant L’Estrange, looking very stern, ran right after it. When he came out, his hat was cockeyed, but he had the goat.

Both of the animals were placed in the police cruiser.

“Oh, the poor goats,” said an adult witness.

“Poor goats, nothing!” responded Patrolman Andrews. “How about the poor policemen?”

The police returned the goats to the Brittons, very likely saluting smartly and saying, “The Bratenahl police department always gets you goats.”

The two white goats, Mrs. Britton explained, once belonged to her. They came from Georgia and were presented to Mrs. Britton by her cousin, Miss Pansy Ireland. They were a little hard to catch and hitch, and they had a deplorable habit of chewing on the Britton’s trees. At any rate, they were in turn presented to Gail and Lloyd Williamson of Chesterland.