On Wednesday, July 10, a man entered the house of Rev. A. P. Stockwell, Pastor of the Dutch Reformed Church at Gravesend, Long Island, in a wild and boisterous manner, and threatened to kill Mr. Stockwell and other inmates of the house. After creating considerable disturbance, he took refuge in a closet, and when told to come out he refused to do so. He fought fiercely, and was only overpowered and put out of the house after a desperate struggle. The following day Mr. Stockwell caused the man's arrest, on a warrant issued by Justice Voohies, and he was arraigned before the magistrate. He said that his name was William Slavin that he had no visible means of support; that he lived at No. 226 North Fifth-street, Williamsburg, where, before going to Sheepshead Bay, he had worked for a boss mason named Quinn. Slavin was born in Ireland, and came to this country nine years ago. He drank heavily, and was arrested once before for intoxication. After taking Slavin's statement, Justice Voorhies adjourned the case until the following Monday, July 15. In explanation of his strange conduct subsequently, Slavin said that he had been pursued by a crowd from Williamsburg to Sheepshead Bay, where he took refuge in a boat; that his mother suddenly appeared and induced his pursuers to allow him to go; that he started with his mother to return to Brooklyn, when they were again attacked by the crowd, and he ran into Mr. Stockwell's house, thinking that his mother was there, dying from the effects of a blow given her by one of their assailants. Slavin was locked up in Raymond-street Jail, and Dr. Shepard, the consulting physician of the jail, was asked to give his opinion as to the prisoner's mental condition. Dr. Shepard said he thought Slavin was insane, and on the strength of the Doctor's opinion, Justice Voorhies concluded not to call the case for trial for two weeks, instead of one. Yesterday was the day last fixed for the trial, when the court was opened, Mr. Stockwell appeared and asked leave to withdraw the complaint, saying that he had become convinced that the man was insane when he committed the act, and he had come to the conclusion not to prosecute him. Justice Voorhies allowed Mr. Stockwell to withdraw the complaint, and then discharged the prisoner.
New York (New York) Times, July 23, 1878.