NEW YORK TIMES, JUNE 7, 1 943
28 ZOOT SUITERS SEIZED ON COAST AFTER CLASHES WITH SERVICE MEN
Subdued and no longer ready to do battle, twenty-eight zoot-suiters, stripped of their garish clothing and with county jail barbers hopefully eyeing their flowing duck-tail haircuts, languished behind bars today after a second night of battle with of fleers and service men.
The arrests came after a “war” declared by service men, mostly sailors, on zoos-suit gangs which have been preying on the East Side as well as molesting civilians. Impetus was given to the clean-up campaign when the wives of two sailors were criminally attacked by the youths.
Cruising in taxicabs and cars, and occasionally spearing into enemy territory on foot in precise platoon drill, the service men routed the gangs, depriving them of crude weapons.
Favored for fighting by the youths were lengths of rope weighted with wire and lead, tire chains and wrenches, hammers and heavy bottles, some with the tops broken off. Deputy sheriffs and police riot squads patrolled the “No Man’s Land,” breaking up fights where possible.
Sixteen Mexican youths, all armed with some sort of bludgeon, were arrest-ed. They were said to have tried to keep Deputy Sheriffs Foster Kellogg and E. N. Smith from arresting one of their number. The entire lot was booked in the county jail on riot charges after flying squadrons of officers arrived on the scene.
The suspects, who were in a truck, said they were on their way to “have it out” with a bunch of sailors who had sent word they would be at California and Temple Streets to accommodate any of the zoot-suiters who thought Uncle Sam’s fighting men were not just that.