TESTIMONY OF THOMAS ALEXANDER HUTSON

The testimony of Thomas Alexander Hutson was taken at 9 a.m., on April 3, 1964, in the office of the U.S. attorney, 301 Post Office Building, Bryan and Ervay Streets, Dallas, Tex., by Mr. David W. Belin, assistant counsel of the President's Commission.
Mr. BELIN. Would you stand and raise your right hand, please. Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Mr. HUTSON. I do.
Mr. BELIN. Will you please state your name?
Mr. HUTSON. Thomas A. Hutson.
Mr. BELIN. And your occupation?
Mr. HUTSON. Police officer for the city of Dallas.
Mr. BELIN. How old are you, Mr. Hutson?
Mr. HUTSON. Thirty-five years.
Mr. BELIN. How long have you been a police officer?
Mr. HUTSON. Nine years.
Mr. BELIN. Go to school here in Dallas?
Mr. HUTSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN. High school?
Mr. HUTSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN. Graduate of high school or not?
Mr. HUTSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN. What school?
Mr. HUTSON. Forest Avenue High School.
Mr. BELIN. Where did you go when you got out of high school?
Mr. HUTSON. Went to work for Texas & Pacific Railway in the general office at Elm and Griffin Street as a mail clerk.
Mr. BELIN. How long was that?
Mr. HUTSON. That was in 1947, in July----that is in January of 1947, and I worked there continuously until July of 1948. when I enlisted in the U.S. Army.
Mr. BELIN. How long did you serve in the Army?
Mr. HUTSON. Four years.
Mr. BELIN. What did you do there?
Mr. HUTSON. I went to Fort Ord, Calif., for basic training, and from there

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I went to Germany and joined the 1st Infantry Division, and I joined them in October of 1948.
I landed in Germany and I stayed with them in Germany until May of 1951, when I returned to the United States and was stationed at Fort Sam Houston.
Mr. BELIN. What did you do, basically, in Germany?
Mr. HUTSON. I started out in the Infantry, and when I left Germany I was in a more or less administrative part of my Infantry company, doing mail and administrative work in the sergeant's office. Plus, of course, you are primarily an Infantry soldier anyway.
Mr. BELIN. You got back to the States?
Mr. HUTSON. Right. In May of 1951, and I went to Fort Sam Houston, Tex., where I was promoted to Infantry sergeant, platoon sergeant, and there I gave instructions in Infantry tactics.
Mr. BELIN. And eventually you were discharged?
Mr. HUTSON. I went to Camp Pickett, Va. and we were there this was during the Korean war when I started to train men in Camp Pickett, Va., and I got an extended year from a 3-year enlistment, and I was discharged in July of 1952.
Mr. BELIN. Honorable discharge?
Mr. HUTSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN. Then what did you do?
Mr. HUTSON. I returned to Dallas and went back to work for Texas & Pacific Railway as an interchange clerk in the accounting office.
Mr. BELIN. How long did you stay with them?
Mr. HUTSON. I stayed with Texas & Pacific for approximately a year, and at this time I resigned and a lifelong friend and I went into the service station business at Harwood and Grand here in Dallas.
Mr. BELIN. How long did you stay in the service station business?
Mr. HUTSON. We stayed in the service station business 18 months. I sold my interest to him around February the 5th, and I went to work for the Dallas Police Department.
Mr. BELIN. What year?
Mr. HUTSON. 1955.
Mr. BELIN. What were your duties in the Dallas Police Department in the fall of 1963?
Mr. HUTSON. I was a 3-wheel motorcycle officer.
Mr. BELIN. Would that have included November 22, 1963?
Mr. HUTSON. Yes, sir; it would.
Mr. BELIN. Did you have anything to do in connection with the Presidential motorcade on November 22?
Mr. HUTSON. Yes; I did.
Mr. BELIN. What did you do?
Mr. HUTSON. I was in charge of "no parking" on all of North Harwood Street and Main Street to Field on both sides of the street.
Mr. BELIN. After the motorcade passed down Main, what did you do?
Mr. HUTSON. I was at Main and Ervay Avenue, and after the motorcade passed, I began to pick up my "No-parking" signs.
Mr. BELIN. Were you at Main and Ervay when the motorcade passed?
Mr. HUTSON. Right.
Mr. BELIN. To direct traffic?
Mr. HUTSON. I Was trying----we were trying to hold the noon crowds back that was surging in the street.
Mr. BELIN. After the motorcade passed, then you started picking up the signs?
Mr. HUTSON. Yes.
Mr. BELIN. What did you do after that?
Mr. HUTSON. As I was picking up the signs, I heard a Signal 19, involving the President of the United States at Elm and Houston.
Mr. BELIN. Now had you heard anything ahead of that time?
Mr. HUTSON. I saw this squad car go by me with the siren on.
Mr. BELIN. All right.
Mr. HUTSON. And as I got back to my motorcycle from picking up the signs, I heard the Signal 19, involving the President of the United States at Elm and Houston. I immediately made an emergency run to this location.

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Mr. BELIN. What did you do when you got there?
Mr. HUTSON. I pulled up in front of the Texas School Book Depository and got off my motorcycle and took a position up on the sidewalk in front of the main entrance.
Mr. BELIN. Now there are a few steps between the sidewalk and the main entrance. Were you at the bottom of the steps?
Mr. HUTSON. Yes; I was at the bottom of the steps.
Mr. BELIN. What did you do at the bottom of the steps?
Mr. HUTSON. I stopped people and screened them from trying to enter, and prevented anyone from leaving if he got through the other two officers.
Mr. BELIN. You were there with two more officers?
Mr. HUTSON. Yes, Sir.
Mr. BELIN. Where were they?
Mr. HUTSON. They were at the top of the stairs at the door.
Mr. BELIN. Do you know the names of these officers?
Mr. HUTSON. I am not positive, but the best of my knowledge, it was J. B. Garrick and H. R. Freeman.
Mr. BELIN. Were those officers there when you got there?
Mr. HUTSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN. Were they motorcycle officers or not?
Mr. HUTSON. Solo motorcycle officers.
Mr. BELIN. How long did you stay there?
Mr. HUTSON. I don't know the exact amount of time that I stayed there.
Mr. BELIN. What is your best judgment?
Mr. HUTSON. Thirty minutes.
Mr. BELIN. Why did you leave?
Mr. HUTSON. I was relieved by my sergeant.
Mr. BELIN. Did you let people go in that said they were employees within the building?
Mr. HUTSON. No, sir. One lady came up that was an employee. to let anyone enter except police officers.
Mr. BELIN. Did you see anyone leave the building?
Mr. HUTSON. No, sir.
Mr. BELIN. Was your back to the building?
Mr. HUTSON. Yes, sir. I refused.
Mr. BELIN. Now there were lots of people milling around at that time, I assume?
Mr. HUTSON. Not at the entrance, there wasn't when I first got there. There wasn't a big crowd around that building, but all the sirens coming in, that is what brought the big crowd.
Mr. BELIN. Could you hear any witnesses say they had seen a rifle or anything from the building?
Mr. HUTSON. No; I didn't.
Mr. BELIN. Well, you left. What did you do when you were relieved from duty?
Mr. HUTSON. As I was being released, I heard the radio dispatcher come on the radio and give a Signal 19, and that a shooting involving a police officer in the 500 block of East Jefferson, and he came back on shortly and said to check both 500 East Jefferson and East Tenth, that they weren't sure on the exact location.
Mr. BELIN. Was this at about the time you were being released?
Mr. HUTSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN. Now when you first got the signal to go to Elm and Houston, did he say Elm and Houston?
Mr. HUTSON. Elm and Houston, that is the location I heard.
Mr. BELIN. How long do you feel that it took you to get from where you were on Main at that time?
Mr. HUTSON. I was in the 1800 block of Main Street, eastbound, and I made a turn and used my siren and red lights, and the maximum amount of time it could have taken me would be 3 minutes.
Mr. BELIN. So you got there in 3 minutes, and within 3 minutes after you heard the signal you were stopping people from going in?

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Mr. HUTSON. Yes.
Mr. BELIN. You are nodding your head, yes?
Mr. HUTSON. Yes.
Mr. BELIN. Do you know how many minutes after the shooting you heard the first notice over the police radio?
Mr. HUTSON. No, I don't.
Mr. BELIN. At times you were working away from your police radio while you were picking up the signs, is that correct?
Mr. HUTSON. Yes; and you can't hear the radio from a distance.
Mr. BELIN. When you heard this news about this shooting in Oak Cliff----by the way, where was your regular station ordinarily?
Mr. HUTSON. I worked west of Vernon on Jefferson.
Mr. BELIN. Is that Oak Cliff?
Mr. HUTSON. Yes; that is West Jefferson Boulevard.
Mr. BELIN. What did you do after you heard about the shooting?
Mr. HUTSON. I got on my motorcycle and I proceeded down through the triple underpass and up onto R. L. Thornton Freeway to Oak Cliff.
Mr. BELIN. Where did you go?
Mr. HUTSON. I exited off Jefferson and went to the 400 block of East Jefferson Boulevard and began a search of the two-story house behind 10th Street where the officer had been shot.
Mr. BELIN. All right.
Mr. HUTSON. And after we searched this area, I got in the squad car with Officer Ray Hawkins, who was driving, and Officer Baggett was riding in the back seat.
Mr. BELIN. Why did you get inside the squad car?
Mr. HUTSON. The clutch on my motorcycle was burned out and I couldn't get any speed and I just barely made it over there, and I didn't know whether I would be able to start and go or not.
Mr. BELIN. Then what did you do?
Mr. HUTSON. We proceeded west on 10th Street to Beckley, and we pulled into the Mobil gas station at Beckley and 10th Street.
Mr. BELIN. That is a Mobil gas station?
Mr. HUTSON. Yes.
Mr. BELIN. All right.
Mr. HUTSON. And Officer Ray Hawkins and Officer Baggett went inside of the Mobil gas station. And I am not positive, but I think they used the telephone to call in.
I am not positive, but I believe they gave us a call for us to call. I mean their number to call in.
At the time they were in the service station, I heard the dispatcher give a call that the suspect was just seen running across the lawn at the Oak Cliff Branch Library at Marsalis and Jefferson.
I reached over and blew the siren on the squad car to attract the officers' attention, Officers Baggett and Hawkins, and they came running out of the service station and jumped in the car, and I told them to report to, I can't remember, Marsalis and Jefferson, the suspect was seen running across the lawn at the library.
We proceeded south on Beckley to Jefferson, and east on Jefferson to Marsalis, where we hit the ground and searched the area at the library for the suspect who was---a teenager had run across the lawn and into the basement of the library.
At this time, after we found out that this person wasn't involved, we returned to the squad car and began to drive west on Jefferson, west on East Jefferson, and as we approached the 100 block of East Jefferson, the dispatcher said on the radio, that a suspect was just seen entering the Texas Theatre.
Mr. BELIN. Now the suspect in the library, do you know who he was?
Mr. HUTSON. No; I don't. There were several officers at the location, including some constables from the constable's office in Oak Cliff at Beckley and 12th, and there were four or five persons that came out from the basement with their hands over their head.

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One of them was a young boy there, and another officer or two checked him. A sergeant was there.
Mr. BELIN. Was that young boy the one that they thought was a suspect?
Mr. HUTSON. Yes.
Mr. BELIN. Do you know what the young boy said he was doing there?
Mr. HUTSON. No, sir; I didn't interrogate him or talk to him.
Mr. BELIN. Then you heard about another report on the suspect, you say?
Mr. HUTSON. Yes, sir. Then we left that location as we were proceeding west on East Jefferson, and as we approached the 100 block of East Jefferson, the radio dispatcher said that a suspect had just entered the Texas Theatre.
Mr. BELIN. All right, now, prior to that time had there been any recovery of any items of clothing?
Mr. HUTSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN. When did that occur?
Mr. HUTSON. That occurred while we were searching the rear of the house in the 400 block of East Jefferson Boulevard at the rear of the Texaco station. Behind cars parked on a lot at this location, a white jacket was picked up by another officer. I observed him as he picked it up, and it was stated that this is probably the suspect's jacket. The original description was that he was wearing a white jacket.
Mr. BELIN. What kind of jacket was it?
Mr. HUTSON. It looked like a white cloth jacket to me.
Mr. BELIN. Was it the zipper type?
Mr. HUTSON. I didn't see it that close. I was approximately 25 yards away from the officer who picked it up.
Mr. BELIN. All right, go ahead, continue with your story. You heard about the suspect going into the Texas Theatre?
Mr. HUTSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN. Then what happened?
Mr. HUTSON. I told Officer Hawkins to drive west on Jefferson. He didn't know the exact location of the Texas Theatre. And from west on Jefferson to north on South Zangs Boulevard, and to make a left turn to travel west on West Sunset the wrong direction, which is a one-way street, and then to cut back in across the parking lot at the rear of the theatre to the fire exit doors at the rear.
Mr. BELIN. All right.
Mr. HUTSON. We pulled up to this location and I was the first out of the car to hit the ground. As I walked up to the fire exit doors, Officer Hawkins and Baggett were getting out of the car, and the door to the theatre opened, and this unknown white male was exiting.
I drew my pistol and put it on him and told him to put up his hands and not to make a move, and he was real nervous and scared and said: "I am not the one. I just came back to open the door. I work up the street at the shoestore, and Julia sent me back to open the door so you could get in."
I walked up and searched him briefly and I could see by the description and his clothes that he wasn't the person we were looking for.
Then I entered the theatre from this door, and Officer Hawkins with me, and Officer Baggett stayed behind to cover the fire exit door.
We walked down the bottom floor of the theatre, and I was joined there by Officer Walker by me, and as we walked up the north aisle from the center section, I observed Officer McDonald walking up the south aisle from the center section, and we observed two suspects sitting near the front in the center section.
Mr. BELIN. You were on the fight center or the left center?
Mr. HUTSON. I was on the left center.
Mr. BELIN. That would be the left center, and McDonald on the right center aisle?
Mr. HUTSON. Yes; and Officer Walker was with me on the left center aisle.
Officer McDonald and Walker searched these two suspects, had them stand up and searched them while I covered.
As soon as they were searched----well, I left out that part about the number

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of people sitting in the theatre on the lower floor. When I walked in, I noticed there were seven people I observed sitting on the lower floor.
Mr. BELIN. Did you count them?
Mr. HUTSON. Yes, sir; I counted them.
Mr. BELIN. All right, seven people. There were two people you noticed toward the front of the center section, right?
Mr. HUTSON. Right.
Mr. BELIN. Then where were the other five?
Mr. HUTSON. There was two sitting in the center section near the front, and directly behind them, five rows from the back, and three seats over, I am not sure whether that was the third row----I put it in my report.
Mr. BELIN. You say you put it in your report. Is that your report dated December 3, 1963?
Mr. HUTSON. The third row from the back and the fifth seat.
Mr. BELIN. Was there another person there?
Mr. HUTSON. That was another person.
Mr. BELIN. Who was that?
Mr. HUTSON. That was Lee Harvey Oswald.
Mr. BELIN. You didn't know it at the time?
Mr. HUTSON. I didn't know who it was; no, sir.
Mr. BELIN. Then who else?
Mr. HUTSON. And directly behind him sitting against the back of the theatre was another man.
Mr. BELIN. In the back of the last row of the center section?
Mr. HUTSON. Yes.
Mr. BELIN. That accounts for four people. Where were the others?
Mr. HUTSON. There were two young boys.
Mr. BELIN. Where were they?
Mr. HUTSON. They were sitting back on the same row as that man, back row.
Mr. BELIN. Right center or left center?
Mr. HUTSON. They were sitting in the left as you face the screen, left center section.
Mr. BELIN. All right, that accounts for six of them, and the only other people was one person sitting over here to the right side toward the rear?
Mr. HUTSON. Yes; toward the rear.
Mr. BELIN. Do you remember how many people were upstairs, or didn't you count?
Mr. HUTSON. I couldn't tell, so many people up there, and so many policemen when I looked up. I don't have any idea
Mr. BELIN. Then what happened after you saw these two people towards the front of the center section? Were they searched?
Mr. HUTSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN. Then what?
Mr. HUTSON. Then I proceeded up the aisle toward the back of the theatre, and McDonald was walking toward the back of the theatre in the right center section aisle.
As he approached this person sitting in the same row of seats, he approached this person. I approached from the row behind.
Mr. BELIN. You approached from the second row from the back?
Mr. HUTSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN. All right, then what did you see happen?
Mr. HUTSON. I saw this person stand up, and McDonald and him became engaged in a struggle.
Mr. BELIN. Did you see who hit whom first?
Mr. HUTSON. No.
Mr. BELIN. You are shaking your head, no.
Mr. HUTSON. No, I didn't.
Mr. BELIN. Okay.
Mr. HUTSON. The lights were down. The lights were on in the theatre, but it was dark.
Mr. BELIN. All right.

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Mr. HUTSON. Visibility was poor.
Mr. BELIN. Then what did you see happen?
Mr. HUTSON. I Saw McDonald down in the he seat beside this person, and this person was in a half standing crouching position pushing down on the left side of McDonald's face, and McDonald was trying to push him off.
Mr. BELIN. This person was right-handed? You have used a motion here that he was pushing on the left side of McDonald's face?
Mr. HUTSON. Right.
Mr. BELIN. All right.
Mr. HUTSON. And McDonald was trying to hold him off with his hand.
Mr. BELIN. All right.
Mr. HUTSON. I reached over from the back of the seat with my right arm and put it around this person's throat.
Mr. BELIN. All right.
Mr. HUTSON. And pulled him back up on the back of the seat that he was originally sitting in.
At this time Officer C. T. Walker came up in the same row of seats that the struggle was taking place in and grabbed this person's left hand and held it.
Mr. BELIN. Okay.
Mr. HUTSON. McDonald was at this time simultaneously trying to hold this person's right hand. Somehow this person moved his right hand to his waist, and I saw a revolver come out, and McDonald was holding on to it with his right hand, and this gun was waving up toward the back of the seat like this.
Mr. BELIN. Now you had your left hand, or was it McDonald's left hand, on the suspect's right hand?
Mr. HUTSON. McDonald was using both of his hands to hold onto this person's right hand.
Mr. BELIN. Okay.
Mr. HUTSON. And the gun was waving around towards the back of the seat, up and down, and I heard a snapping sound at one time.
Mr. BELIN. What kind of snapping sound was it?
Mr. HUTSON. Sounded like the snap of a pistol, to me, when a pistol snaps.
Mr. BELIN. Do you know which way the pistol was pointing when you heard the snap?
Mr. HUTSON. Was pointing toward the back of the seat.
Mr. BELIN. It was pointing toward the back of the seat?
Mr. HUTSON. Yes; toward the screen in the front of the theatre, in that direction.
Mr. BELIN. Wait a minute, now. Toward the screen?
Mr. HUTSON. Right.
Mr. BELIN. Toward the front of the theatre, or the back of the theatre?
Mr. HUTSON. Toward the front of the theatre, we will call, facing the screen.
Mr. BELIN. Was it aiming at anyone in particular?
Mr. HUTSON. No; not any officer in particular. The only one that could have came in the line of fire was Officer Ray Hawkins, who was walking up in the row of seats in front.
Mr. BELIN. Did you hear any people say anything? Did you hear the suspect say anything?
Mr. HUTSON. I don't remember hearing anybody say anything.
Mr. BELIN. Did you hear Officer McDonald say anything?
Mr. HUTSON. No.
Mr. BELIN. You are shaking your head no.
Mr. HUTSON. No, sir.
Mr. BELIN. All right, what happened then?
Mr. HUTSON. The gun was taken from the suspect's hand by Officer McDonald and somebody else. I couldn't say exactly. They were all in on the struggle, and Officer Hawkins, in other words, he simultaneously, we decided to handcuff him.
We had restrained him after the pistol was taken, but he was still resisting arrest, and we stood him up and I let go of his neck at this time and took hold

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of his right arm and attempted to bring it back behind him, and Officer Hawkins and Walker and myself attempted to handcuff him.
At this time Sgt. Jerry Hill came up and assisted as we were handcuffing.
Then Captain Westbrook came in and gave the order to get him out of here as fast as you can and don't let anybody see him, and he was rushed out of the theatre.
I was in the row of seats behind. I saw Officer Walker and Sgt. Jerry Hill had ahold of him, and that is the last I ever saw him.
Mr. BELIN. Did you ever see him down at the police station thereafter?
Mr. HUTSON. Oswald?
Mr. BELIN. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUTSON. No, sir; I never did see him again.
Mr. BELIN. How do you know this was Oswald?
Mr. HUTSON. After we finished up in the theatre, I went downtown and went into the office where they were writing up the report, and to tell them the part I took in the arrest of him, to get the information, and at this time they had his name, Lee Harvey Oswald, but all we knew is, he was probably the suspect that shot the officer.
Mr. BELIN. In the theatre did you know that he had any connection with the assassination?
Mr. HUTSON. No, sir.
Mr. BELIN. When did the police stop hitting him?
Mr. HUTSON. I never did ever see them hit him.
Mr. BELIN. You never saw any police hit him?
Mr. HUTSON. No, sir; I didn't.
Mr. BELIN. Is there anything else that you can think of about this incident that you haven't related here?
While you are thinking about it, I am going to get a piece of clothing here for a minute and I will be back.
Anything else, Officer, you can think of?
Mr. HUTSON. I can't think of anything else right now.
Mr. BELIN. I am showing you Commission Exhibit 162, which appears to be a jacket with a zipper. Does that look like the Jacket you saw?
Mr. HUTSON. That looks like the jacket that was picked up by the officer behind the Texaco service station, behind the cars parked on the lot.
Mr. BELIN. How far were you from the officer when he picked it up?
Mr. HUTSON. Approximately 25 yards.
Mr. BELIN. Did you hear what he said when he picked it up?
Mr. HUTSON. I heard something----someone make the statement that that looks like the suspect's jacket. He has thrown it down. He is not wearing it now.
Mr. BELIN. Where is this Texaco station?
Mr. HUTSON. It is in the 400 block of East Jefferson at the intersection. It is on the northeast corner of the intersection of Crawford and Jefferson.
Mr. BELIN. How far north of Jefferson would this jacket have been when it was found?
Mr. HUTSON. One-half block.
Mr. BELIN. Do you know the name of the officer that found it?
Mr. HUTSON. No, sir; I don't know.
Mr. BELIN. What happened to the jacket?
Mr. HUTSON. The last time I saw this jacket, the officer had it in his possession.
Mr. BELIN. Do you know who he gave it to?
Mr. HUTSON. No, sir; I don't.
Mr. BELIN. You don't know if he gave it to Captain Westbrook?
Mr. HUTSON. I don't know. Captain Westbrook was there behind the house with us, and he was there at the time this was picked up with the man, but I don't know who had it in their hands. The only time I saw it was when the officer had it.
Mr. BELIN. Showing you Commission Exhibit 150, have you ever seen this before, or not?

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Mr. HUTSON. It looks like the shirt that the person was wearing that we arrested in the theatre.
Mr. BELIN. Officer, you have the right, if you want, to come back and read your deposition and sign it, or you can waive the signing and let the court reporter send it to us directly in Washington. Do you desire to do either one?
Mr. HUTSON. I will go ahead and sign it.
Mr. BELIN. The court reporter can get in touch with you at the Dallas Police Department, is that correct?
Mr. HUTSON. Yes.
Mr. BELIN. We want to thank you very much for your cooperation, and please convey my thanks to your sergeant or captain, whoever is in charge.
Mr. HUTSON. All right, nice to have seen you all.