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The Groom Who Kept Getting Mistakenly Arrested On The Day Of His Wedding

A young couple had their big day ruined by a bizarre series of brushes with the law

Andrew Martin
3 min readNov 29, 2023

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With few exceptions, one’s wedding is one of the most significant days in a person’s life. With any luck, the ceremony symbolizes that soulmates have been found and bonded together forever. After vows are exchanged, the ensuing reception is the culmination of the start of the marriage. Unfortunately, in 1934, one Chicago man nearly missed his reception after he kept getting mistakenly arrested for crimes he did not commit.

The story of Sam Altobella was a strange one indeed. It was reported in the January 29, 1934 edition of the Chicago Tribune that the 24-year-old and his wife Marie had just gotten married. Although the wedding ceremony went off without a hitch, the journey to their wedding dinner party that night was just beginning.

Prior to the start of the dinner, Sam was out on the streets, trying to raise extra money for that evening’s festivities. Accordingly, he was selling raffle tickets for a radio. In the midst of his efforts, he was detained by police, who asked him to verify that he actually had a radio to give to the winner. He gave them the address where the radio was, but after they determined the location was a vacant storefront, they arrested the groom. He argued that they went to the wrong address, but it was to no avail, as he was hauled into the police station.

It appeared that Sam was on the verge of missing his own reception when his tearful and determined new wife showed up. Although the young woman was facing off against the Chief of Detectives, known as “Hardboiled Shoes” Schoemaker, she held her own and insisted that keeping her husband behind bars was not possible, especially on that day of all days.

Given the relatively inconsequential nature of the crime Altobella was suspected of, the Chief decided to let him go for the time being so he could complete his wedding festivities. However, before the couple could leave the station, police received a call from a distressed young woman, demanding that they find her husband, Sam Altobella, who had run out on her and their two children.

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Andrew Martin

Dabbler in history, investing & writing. Master’s degree in baseball history. Passionate about history, diversity, culture, sports, investing and crypto.