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Three men were arrested as the result of a fracas which took place in Queen Street last evening. The trio appeared before Mr. F. H. Levien, S.M., in the Police Court this morning.

Two brothers, Thomas Albert Priestly (30), a soldier, and John Henry Priestly (17), a painter, for whom Mr. K. C. Aekins appeared, were each charged with - disorderly behaviour while drunk.

Sub-Inspector Sparks said that about 5.30 Sergeant Miller noticed J. H. Priestly on the verandah of Milne and Choyce's premises. He was trying to take down a flag and was told by the sergeant to leave it alone, but did not heed this advice. Then T. A. Priestly climbed on to the verandah and assisted his brother to remove the flag, which hung over the verandah, to the amusement of the big crowd below.

"The passions of the crowd were inflamed by the actions of these two men, who were under the influence of liquor," added Mr. Sparks. "After seeing the caretaker of the building, Sergeant Miller climbed through a window on the first floor, but the men still declined to hand over the flag. The sergeant tried to reason with them, without result. Some of those in the crowd in the street then began to throw bottles 011 to the verandah, one going through a window. After further trouble the sergeant finally used a fire escape ladder to get the men inside the building. It was necessary to send for police reinforcements, because of a general fracas which started in the crowd."

Mr. Aekins said T. A. Priestly, who was on final leave, had been celebrating. "These two brothers did not realise that the innocent act of climbing on to a verandah would lead to the trouble it did," he said. "It seems to be a habit of some people when they are happy to climb on a verandah and amuse the crowd. There was nothing else yesterday to entertain the big crowd in Queen Street. One can hardly blame these men for the crowd getting out of hand."

It was stated by Sub-Inspector Sparks that as a result of the trouble damage to tlie extent of £100 had been done, while two persons had been rather seriously injured and sent to hospital.

"I would have thought it might have been better to leave these two men up there," said the magistrate; in convicting and discharging the two brothers. Prison For Obstructing The other man arrested, Douglas McGill (28), a linesman, when charged with obstructing Seregant W. S. Hughes while in the execution of his duty, pleaded not guilty. "I had occasion to arrest a man for assaulting a naval rating who came to the assistance of the police, said Sergeant Hughes. "McGill caught hold of me, causing me to loose my prisoner. At one time McGill was on my back. About this time bottles were being thrown by other persons, and two went through Milne's windows. McGill was most aggressive and hostile to the police. He had taken some liquor but was not drunk."

McGill, who had nothing to say, was sentenced to one month's imprisonment. A second charge of resisting Senior Sergeant J. Southworth was withdrawn by the police.

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Bibliographic details

FRACAS IN CITY, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 193, 16 August 1945

Word Count

FRACAS IN CITY Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 193, 16 August 1945

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