June 16, 1917

SWEET ARRESTED FOR PROWLING AT FEDERAL BUILDING

C. Sweet, the well known Jacksonville character, who was arrested by a soldier of Company I, while prowling around the federal building Friday night, was released from custody later and was taken back to Jacksonville by an acquaintance.

For some time past a man was seen prowling about the federal building at night time. The fact was reported to Postmaster Mims, who in turn informed the police. The attaches of the postoffices also kept watch for the stranger, and one night recently a clerk gave chase, but failed to catch the man. Night Policeman Timothy also tried to catch him.

On top of this, when, several days ago, Postmaster Mims received a black hand letter in which the writer complained that his mail was being held up and stated that he was going to call at the postoffice in person to see about it. Colonel Mims, connecting the black hand writer and suspicious night prowler together, wired the postoffice department the details and asked if the department wanted the unprotected building guarded at night.

The reply was that the building should be guarded and informed Postmaster Mims who was in communication with San Francisco in this regard. While waiting for a reply from San Francisco Col. Mims communicated with the commander of Company I and the latter detailed a solider to guard outside the federal building at night.

About 10 o'clock last night Sweet appeared at the building and began to walk around it. The soldier halted him with his gun and placed him under arrest. Postmaster Mims interviewed Sweet later at Company I headquarters. Sweet admitted prowling around the building nights and that he had written the black hand letter. He said he did this because his mail was being held up. Sweet gets his mail at the Jacksonville postoffice, but this fact seemed to make no difference to him in his story.

Postmaster Mims and others who interviewed Sweet decided he was harmless and not of sound mind, so he was permitted to go back to Jacksonville.