Mail Tribune 100, March 14, 1919


    News from 100 years ago

    The following news items were drawn from the archives of the Mail Tribune 100 years ago.

    March 14, 1919

    RIGGS RELATES STORY OF SHOOTING BY SPEED COP

    It was a pathetic scene in the Medford sanitarium today when Harrison Riggs who was suffering much pain from his seriously wounded shoulder, with much difficulty related his version of how he came to be shot by Speed Cop McDonald last Monday night.

    Riggs’ story of last Monday night’s affair varies widely from that told on Tuesday morning by Deputy Sheriff McDonald, and the wounded man declares he will bring suit against both McDonald and Jackson county for what he declares was the speed cop’s unwarranted attack on him.

    “Monday at 6 o’clock we quit work in the Frink orchard of which I am foreman and started in an automobile to go to Medford to get supper in a restaurant. There were four of us. But when we got in front of the Three Oaks orchard we stopped a while and finally changed our minds about going to Medford to supper and decided to go back home. All except one of our number were for going home, and he wouldn’t get back in the car and insisted that we go on to town.

    “We had had a little to drink but were perfectly sober, and we argued and argued with our friend to get back into the car and go on home with us. But he was stubborn. He just orneried and orneried. Finally we decided to go back without him. It was this fuss with him that probably made someone think that we were drunk and phone to town for a deputy sheriff.

    “Well, he continued ornery and so we decided to go back without him, and I started the car away. The first I knew of any one else being near was when McDonald appeared on the running board of our car with a gun in one hand and began shooting back of the car presumably at our friend in the road. At the same time he called out to me with an oath, ‘Stop the car or I’ll kill you.’

    “I was skeered because he was mad and shooting at some one outside the car and because I knew he had it in for me because of my having gone on Roy Hendrickson’s bail. Then too, coming down the stairs after Hendrickson’s trial last Saturday he was heard to say to some one, ‘I’ll get some of those fellows yet.’

    “I did not say a word to him. I had no revolver. I was so skeered for fear he would turn around and shoot me that I kept on ahead with the car. I did not strike at him with a bottle. Had none to strike with. None of us even had a pocket knife. I would be a fool to attack a man in any way who had a gun in his hand and was shooting.

    “Finally I turned my head around to get another look at McDonald and saw he was not on the running board any longer and was not in sight. About that time the windshield was shattered. I felt a pain in my shoulder and said to the boys, “He’s shot me!” They doubted my statement at first, and we ran the car to the home of a friend and phoned to Medford for a doctor. That’s all there was to it.”

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