Food service slow, so customer shot up restaurant

2012-12-03T00:00:00Z Food service slow, so customer shot up restaurantGeorge H. Smalley Tucson Daily Citizen Arizona Daily Star
December 03, 2012 12:00 am  • 

This story was originally published on April 27, 1955.

Charley Hood had been an efficient peace officer, fearless in hunting down outlaws. He was a respected citizen until one day in Tucson when he went on a rampage and shot up the Saddle Rock restaurant. The ham and eggs he had ordered were slow in being served.

The cook resented the peremptory demands for speed, so Charley drew his .45 Colt and sent a few bullets in his direction. A number of patrons made hasty retreats, and the cook nervously finished preparing the ham and eggs.

The town marshal heard the shooting, and Charley was taken to Justice Meyer's court and fined $10 for disturbing the peace.

But there was a story in it for me, so I looked up Charley, finding him in one of the saloons where he was having a drink. When I made some notes about the affair, he said:

"If you write anything about that shooting I'll kill you, and I won't let the bullet hit all about you as I did this morning when I scared that cook."

He followed me about the streets renewing his threats, if I wrote anything. Later he appeared at the Citizen office. The story was in type, ready for the paper. Hood repeated his threat to kill me, and as he left I got my gun from the stockroom, put it on my desk and went on with my work.

When the paper was being made up Hood again appeared. I watched him as he crossed the street leading to the Citizen. He was waving a telegram from Herbert Brown, owner of the Citizen, who was in Yuma as warden of the territorial prison, and a good friend of Charley Hood's. The message read: "Advise Smalley not to write anything about you."

That was one story the Citizen did not publish.

This story was part of a column, "Pioneer Anecdotes," written by George H. Smalley, editor of the Citizen from 1898 to 1901.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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