Thursday, 15 November 1888
During yesterday several persons were detained by the police on suspicion of being concerned in the Dorset-street murder, but they were, after a short detention, allowed to go away. During the afternoon a City constable had an uncomfortable walk along the Commercial-road. The officer, who was in mufti, and was wearing a low broad-brim hat of rather singular appearance, was quietly walking along the road when suddenly some persons called out that he was "Jack the Ripper." Within a few seconds some hundreds of people surrounded the constable, who tried to evade them by increasing his pace, but the quicker he went the faster the mob followed, until he was hemmed in on all sides. The results might have been serious for him had not some constables of the H Division come up, and the man making known his identity to them was got away from the mob. One arrest caused more than usual excitement. A man stared into the face of a woman in the Whitechapel-road, and she at once screamed out that he was "Jack the Ripper." The man was immediately surrounded by an excited and threatening crowd, from which he was rescued with some difficulty by the police. He was taken under a strong escort to the Commercial-street Police station, followed by an enormous mob of men and women, shouting and screaming at him in the most extraordinary manner. At the police-station the man proved to be a German, unable to speak a word of English. He explained through an interpreter that he arrived in London from Germany on Tuesday, and was to leave for America to-day, and confirmation of this statement having been obtained he was set at liberty.
An arrest was made in the Old Kent-road yesterday evening, but the man, whose movements excited suspicion, does not answer to the description of the person who is wanted. Attention was drawn to him by his leaving a shiny black bag at the Thomas a Becket publichouse. The police were communicated with, and on the bag's being examined it was found to contain a very sharp dagger, a clasp knife, two pairs of very long and vary curious looking scissors, and two preservers. Meanwhile the man had gone to a pawnbroker's, and on emerging from the shop was taken into custody in order that inquiries might be made.