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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. XII - Page 345« Previous | Next »

(Testimony of Sgt. A. Putnam James)

Mr. Hubert.
Why don't you Just use the street directions. Main Street ramp ?
Sergeant PUTNAM. Main Street ramp, but by the "ramp" I don't mean the incline, where it flattens out.
Mr. Hubert.
I understand. On that fiat part.
Sergeant PUTNAM. That's right. So, I had to get out of the car and move them back to prevent hitting some of them.
Mr. Hubert.
How many people were in that area do you think?
Sergeant PUTNAM. I would estimate 15 to 25.
Mr. Hubert.
And they were standing shoulder to shoulder?
Sergeant PUTNAM. I didn't get--this impression. They were standing in wait of the expected departure of Oswald, and they were Just mingled, and you know how reporters. act and operate in trying to position themselves.
Mr. Hubert.
It wasn't enough that you were able to blow the horn, you had to get out?
Sergeant PUTNAM. We didn't even attempt to blow the horn to cause confusion. First of all, this is the entrance and not the exit. They are not expecting a vehicle coming out of there, they are not paying attention to us. They are looking in the direction they expect Oswald to come out from, so, I got out and--
Mr. Hubert.
When .the path cleared up, you got back in again
Sergeant PUTNAM. Right.
Mr. Hubert.
Was the window on the right down?
Sergeant PUTNAM. The window was down.
Mr. Hubert.
Now, when you got to the top of the ramp, what happened? That is when you got to the Main Street, the sidewalk area, and, of course, the street area, would you describe in your own words just what happened? What did you see?
Sergeant PUTNAM. I saw Officer Vaughn and about six persons.
Mr. Hubert.
Where was Vaughn now when you first saw him?
Sergeant PUTNAM. In front of our automobile about the middle of the sidewalk.
Mr. Hubert.
What did he do?
Sergeant PUTNAM. He stepped to the right and about to the curb, or just off of the curb, glanced to his right and looked back and waved us on.
Mr. Hubert.
You went into Main Street and turned left?
Sergeant PUTNAM. Right.
Mr. Hubert.
Did he go very much out into the street to assist you to get out?
Sergeant PUTNAM. No, sir.
Mr. Hubert.
You say he stepped off of the curb, though?
Sergeant PUTNAM. Possibly one step off of the curb.
Mr. Hubert.
And then he looked to his right and his left? How did he do that?
Sergeant PUTNAM.
Mr. Hubert.
How was he standing? With his back to you?
Sergeant PUTNAM. My impression was he was facing us and my impression was that he glanced to his fight, which would be to the westbound traffic and Lieutenant Pierce, the driver, was on the left and in a position to see the east-bound traffic.
Mr. Hubert.
In other words, turned his head so that the back of his head would have been towards the Main Street ramp?
Sergeant PUTNAM. Yes, sir.
Mr. Hubert.
And he stepped off of the curb just about 2 feet?
Sergeant PUTNAM. Well, I would say in one step, 2 feet.
Mr. Hubert.
Didn't go into the middle of the street ?
Sergeant PUTNAM. No, sir.
Mr. Hubert.
And he waved you on ?
Sergeant PUTNAM. He immediately turned back and glanced like this [indicating], and turned back, and was walking back to his position on the sidewalk
Mr. Hubert.
Would you say from the time you all reached the Main Street exit point to the time that Vaughn started to walk back to his position, it took only a matter of 3 or 4 seconds?
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