Early Edition - Tuesday, May 29
At approximately 3:40 on the morning of May 29, Mount Airy police officers took one Kenneth Shabbinski, of No. 8 Lionel Street, into custody. He was subsequently charged with breaking-and-entry and assault at the Jehovah Precinct Station. Mr. Shabbinski was seen to have had bruising on his face and a broken finger on his left hand.
Deputy Police Commissioner Dimple told our reporter that officers were called to the Playdium Theater at 1958 Front Street in the early morning hours by a complaint from the owner of a neighboring establishment, the Bells & Whistles. The complaint concerned “strange noises, like moans and shrieks” issuing from the Playdium. The complainant, who had stayed open late for the holiday, said that he knew the Theater had closed for the night and that no such noises should be heard on its premises while not open for business.
Upon entering the premises, the officers encountered one Sgt. Roman Janus, of No. 4 Raynham Road, who claimed he was “investigating a spirit infestation” at the Playdium. The officers recognized the sergeant as Mount Airy’s well-known “spirit-breaker,” a reputed hunter of ghosts, and a frequent police consultant. Determining that Janus was not the source of the noises, they were then confronted with Mr. Shabbinski and a lady friend, Miss Idalene Montrose, of no fixed address. The gentlemen told the officers that he and Miss Montrose had been imbibing heavily not an hour or so before and that they had “slipped into the Theater for a bit of fun.” He further explained that this was the source of the odd sounds heard by the owner of the Bells & Whistles. Sgt. Janus then reportedly informed the officers that Mr. Shabbinski was, in fact, lying and that he was on the premises to rob the Playdium’s box office of its receipts. These accusations were supported, said Janus, by “messages from the spirit world,” given to the sergeant on the spot.
Mr. Shabbinski took umbrage to the accusations and assaulted the sergeant. Before the officers could act, Janus had defended himself and produced bruising on his assailant’s face and broken his finger. Mr. Shabbinski was then taken into custody and later charged. Miss Montrose was also apprehended and charged with aiding and abetting. Bail has not yet been set for either of the accused.
After the incident, Sgt. Janus told the police that “the Playdium is a vortex of immeasurable super-natural proportions” and that it “must be sealed off for fear of further spirit infiltration.”
All content (c)Jim Beard 2012
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