Somnambulist with revolver, german emigrant. At the Hull Police Court on Monday, Herman Laman, a German, who appeared in the dock with his head in bandages and his clothes bespattered with blood, was brought before Mr. Travis, stipendiary magistrate, charged with being a suspected person, and also with assaulting Police Constable Wright.
Somnambulist emigrant sitting on the roof
From the officer’s statement it appeared that the prisoner is a native of a small village in Westphalia, and arrived at Hull on Sunday afternoon, in company with other emigrants, en route for New York. At eleven o’clock the same night, Amos Moss, emigrant agent and boarding-house keeper, residing in Grimsby Lane, Hull, reported to the police that Laman was missing, and he requested assistance in seeking him, as he could not speak a word of English, and giving an amount of money in his possession, he elt anxious concerning him.
A search was instituted and subsequently Police Constable Wright discovered him sitting on the roof of a house in Barker’s Entry, off Grimsby Lane. It was raining very hard at the time, and he (witness) called to him, but received no answer. With the assistance of Police Constable Porter, Wright obtained a ladder, and ascending to the roof, he requested the prisoner to come down.
Instead of answering him the man shot at him with a revolver, but fortunately missed him. The officer repeated his request, and the prisoner shot at him again. This time the bullet struck Wright on the metal part of his belt, and glanced off harmless. Finding that further parley was useless, witness hurled a brick that happened to be lying with others on the roof and hit him on the head, inflicting a serious wound. He then got upon the roof, and advanced to the prisoner, who shot at him a third time.
Witness gave him more bricks and part of a chimney pot (renewed laughter), and after Laman had fired five shots, none of which hit him, he managed to knock the weapon out of his hand. Determined not to be conquered, prisoner also had recourse to the bricks, and a ‘pitched battle’ was fought with bricks and tiles on the roof at two o’clock in the morning. Ultimately the German, finding he was getting the worst of it, tore up some tiles and let himself through the roof of a house occupied by a Mr. Beecroft, and concealed himself between the ceiling and the roof.
Other policemen having arrived on the scene, the party got into the house, and after making a large hole through the ceiling they succeeded in capturing the prisoner, who was weak with loss of blood from the wounds on his head. He was secured by ropes, lowered from a window, and conveyed to the police-station in a handcart.
Dr. Kitching’s assistant dressed six severe wounds on the man’s head at the station house. Wright was but little hurt. The prisoner, who is a powerful looking fellow, stated through Dr. Jacobsen, the interpreter, that he was about to emigrate, and it was usual for emigrants to carry revolvers.
He was a somnambulist and did not know how he got on the roof. When the officer came up to him he thought that robbers were after the money he had about him, and he fired his revolver. Mr. Travis expressed his doubt as to the prisoner’s sanity, and remanded him.