Woman Outwits Cops In Baby Sale Probe


Two detectives investigating an alleged Florida-to-New York black market in babies were thrown for a loss at 1 P.M. yesterday when Mrs. Bess Bernard, 44, tossed a smart lateral pass to her spry old pappy and he broke through to a get-away with her little black book.

Mrs. Bess Bernard, of 825 West End Ave., had been fingered by a Miami newspaper as the "principal assistant" to Irwin Slater, a 37-year-old Manhattan lawyer arrested Thursday night as head of the ring.

But with only her empty handbag and assorted scratches and bruises to show for their trip to her apartment, the two sleuths could charge her only with felonious assault, attempting to prevent service of a warrent and preventing an officer from performing his duty.

Admits Officers to Home

The daunted detectives were James Cashman and William Boehm, of the District Attorney's Office. They reported that Mrs. Bernard readily admitted them when they called at the apartment, armed with a search warrent signed by Magistrate Vernon Riddick. Also present were her daughter, Caryl, 17, and her father, a vigorous man in his 60s who was identified only as a Mr. Weiner.

All went smoothly enough until Boehm started searching Mrs. Bernard's handbag and pulled out a notebook containing a lot of addresses and phone numbers. Before he could read any of the names, he said, Mrs. Bernard pounced upon him, scratching and kicking, wrested the book away and threw it to Weiner.

Weiner bolted for the door. Cashman dashed after him, but, with his head start, the older man was able to outrun the officer. Weiner darted down the back stairss and out of the building. When Cashman reached the street, Weiner was nowhere to be seen. A hurry call brought a radio car from the 100th St. station, but a search of the neighborhood proved fruitless.

Matron Held at Station

The daughter took no part in these athletic activities. Mrs. Bernard was booked at W. 100th St. and then removed to the women's lockup at the W. 30th St. station.

Lawyer Slater, who lives at 13 70th St., Brooklyn, and has offices at 67 W. 44th St., Manhattan, was held in $1,000 bail Friday in Mid-Manhattan Court for a hearing Nov. 4 on a charge of violating the state social welfare law.

The specific complaint involved the asserted "sale" of a baby for adoption for $2,000.


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