Stephen F. Austin State University

1953 Capture of Notorious Gang Members (January 2015)


By Ann Middleton

On June 4, 1953 The Bossier City Planters' Press published the following account of how a Bossier City traffic officer captured two notorious members of the 10th Street Gang of Fort Worth, Texas.

"Officer Jimmy Walker gave chase to the gang members when they ran a red light in Bossier City and attempted to escape when Walker gave chase."

"Bossier City Police Chief James L. Cathey identified the two as Joe O'Toole, 18, who is under a five year suspended sentence in California district federal court for violation of the Mann Act and the Dyer Act and who is wanted in Fort Worth on a stolen automobile charge."

Also identified was "Dwain Fisher, 17, who was recently released from Gatesville, Texas reform school and who is described as a "police character" by Fort Worth officials."

"Cathey, who announced the arrest of the pair Thursday morning, said that a hitchhiker, Rueben L. Bass, 20, of Carlo, Ga., was with the pair when they were arrested. Bass, who recently was released from the Amarillo, Texas, detention home, was picked up by Fisher and O'Toole at Texarkana. He was released after being questioned."

Police Captain J. S. Jones and Deputy Sheriff Maurice Miller talked with FBI agents and with Fort Worth detectives who reported that O'Toole and Fisher were members of the 10th Street Gang which is "Fort Worth's toughest bunch of hoodlums. O'Toole had a small cross with three dots tattooed on his left shoulder which is the insignia of the gang."

"Patrolman Walker began to chase the pair when they ran a red light on East Texas Street. When O'Toole who was driving became aware that he was being chased turned left onto Hamilton Lane."

"At the Illinois Central Crossing, he stopped quickly in an attempt to cause Walker, who was close behind, to crash his motorcycle into the rear of his car."

"Walker narrowly avoided the accident. He then pulled his gun, ordered O'Toole to drive to the police station and told him that if he tried to pull anything else he would start shooting."

"O'Toole was released on an out-of-state parole by federal authorities in California last March. He recently was arrested in Fort Worth for auto theft and jumped a $1,000 bond. He is known a known 'panderer' according to Fort Worth authorities."

"The automobile in which the men were riding is believed to have been stolen. O'Toole admitted that the license plates were stolen, but he claimed that the car was owned by Fisher's brother."

"Officers said that they were concerned that Bass was not connected with Fisher and O'Toole. Bass' first act they said was to contact his parole officer in Amarillo and get permission to continue his journey to Georgia."

To learn more about the exciting history of Bossier Parish, come to the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center.