Philadelphia Inquirer


U.S. Marshals Beaten While Serving Warrant

December 17, 1952

Two deputy U.S. marshals suffered minor injuries yesterday in a scuffle when a woman and two men tried to obstruct the serving of a warrant in a building on 16th St. near Vine.

Three persons, who the deputies said tried to prevent them from serving the warrant, were arrested after one of the Federal agents, John J. Gericke, had to draw his gun. Later they were arraigned before U.S. Commissioner Kerny P. Carr in the Federal building and held in bail for the grand jury.

Three held in bail* Arrested were Mrs. Helen O'Brian, also known by her maiden name of Helen Naugerbaumn, who was held in $1000; her husband John O'Brien, reputed owner of the 16th st. building, who was held in $1500 bail, and Ernest Kish, of Summer St. near 16th st. Kish's bail was set at $2500. The O'Briens gave an address of Nole st. near Race. According to Gericke, he and Levi. P. Gordon, went to serve the warrant on L. Ron Hubbard, 41, founder of Dianetic Mental Health Movement, to appear as a witness in a bankruptcy case being heard before Judge Alan K. Grim today.

As they entered the building, Gericke said, he and Gordon learned that Hubbard was on the second floor lecturing to about 20 persons, Gericke and Gordon said they went upstairs past Mr. And Mrs. O'Brien and met Kish who struggled with them. A few minutes later the lecture audience began milling about them, the marshals said. Gericke drew his gun and quieted the crowd.

Bankruptcy Case* In the scuffle, both marshals were bruised on the head and face and had their shirts torn. A patrol wagon from the 20th and Buttonwood sts. station took the O'Briens and Kish to the Federal building. The deputies Hubbard there when he was released for appearances as a witness in the bankruptcy case today.

Hubbard, who became prominent two years ago as the founder of the mental health movement which he called dianetics, gives his address as the Explorers Club, New York City. He is known as a civil engineer, mathematician, philosopher and science-fiction writer.