Bat Masterson Quickly Freed

Famous old west gambler, Bat Masterson, was arrested for running a cheating Faro game in New York City in 1902. He was discharged by the local magistrate due the poor preparation by the government.


7/30/20221 min read

Bat Masterson Quickly Freed

June 9, 1902

Magistrate Crane decides there is no case against men accused of swindle

Prosecution not ready

Charge of having gambling implements of no effect because detective could not tell about school houses “Bat” Masterson and his three friends who were arrested Saturday and given a free carriage ride to police headquarters, where, it was said the men were concerned in a big “brace” Faro swindle, we're discharged from custody today by magistrate Crane.

Detectives Gargan and Pinker, the former carrying a green baize cloth bundle containing the alleged “brace” Faro box and other gambling paraphernalia came into court prepared to see that the laws work was done and well done. They were reinforced by assistant District Attorney minor, who had been assigned to the case five minutes before. Gargan and Minor were engaged in a conversation when the case was called, but they were not aware of it. Magistrate Crane was on the point of discharging the prisoners forthwith when he caught sight of minor and the detective. “If you don't come up here and attend to this case I will let these men off right away”, said the magistrate sternly. “What evidence have you to show that these men have committed a crime”, he asked.

“I don't know”, answered Mr. Minor, “but under section 361 I think they can be held for having gambling tools in their possession.”

“Have you looked up the law?” asked the magistrate of Mr. Jerome’s young man. Minor turned to Gargan, asking if he knew whether the alleged gambling place visited by detectives was near a schoolhouse, church or public building. The detective confessed he could not answer the question.

“Oh, you fellows haven't got a case against these men”, Magistrate crane said. “They are discharged.”

“Bat” Masterson asked if he couldn't recover his big revolver, which the police had taken from him. He was told that it had been sent to the property clerk and would probably be sold at auction with the other confiscated property. “Well I'll bid on it then if it takes $40”, said “Bat” as he left the court.