Officer Commandeers Car to Pursue Fugitive

This is a wild story we dug up in the Washington Post. It was published on June 5th, 1938.

Private Ernest Cullenber, of Park Police, yesterday made a story-book arrest.

Clinging in the running-board of a commandeered automobile, he pursued a wanted motorist along Mount Vernon boulevard to Alexandria and back to Washington at speeds that sometimes touched 70 miles an hour. He got his man after two automobiles had been struck by the fleeing motorist.

With Private Philip Birch, he stopped Paul A. Pullman, of 1832 Ingleside terrace [sic], at Mount Vernon Overlook on the boulevard to give him a speeding ticket. While he was writing it, Birch drove off in pursuit of another speeder, leaving Cullenber afoot.

Then, police said, Pullman drove away, Cullenber commandeered an automobile and went in chase.

At the north end of Highway Bridge, Pullman’s machine struck a light sedan operated by Mitchell T. Murkerson, of Fort Belvoir, Va., driving it against the R. F. & P. embankment.

At Fourteenth and Water streets southwest, Pullman’s car struck another light sedan driven by Paul H. Parrish, 28, of 151 Clifford avenue, Alexandria, and containing Parrish’s wife and baby. There Cullenber caught up with the fugitive.

Pullman was lodged in Fourth Precinct Station on a charge of reckless driving.

I guarantee you’re not going to see anything remotely close to this today, but you might see a car chase every now and then. But, of course, this is no L.A.

Here’s a photo from 1938 to give you a feel. This is not from D.C., but rather, New Mexico.

1938 policeman from New Mexico
1938 policeman from New Mexico

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