The summer before he was arrested for the murder of Dutch Schultz, Charlie (the Bug) Workman saved a horse from certain death.
Workman was a hitman for the Jewish mob under the leadership of Louis Lepke. It is believed he killed more than 20 men while he was an active gangster. (There is controversy regarding the existence of Murder, Inc. after Jerry Capeci published an article in Gang Land News on February 1, 1999, in which he wrote that Murder, Inc. was a myth created by the media and lays out the evidence.)
According to his son, Chuck Workman in his 2018 book, From Murder Incorporated to the PGA Tour: The Remarkable, Untold Story of Charlie the Bug Workman & His Son PGA Pro Chuck Workman, when he was four years old, he and his father were driving down Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn, New York when they noticed a large crowd at a stoplight. When they got closer, they saw that a horse had gotten its foot caught in a storm drain.
Workman stopped and assisted the other men working to get the horse’s hoof free from the drain. Their attempts failed and just as the horse was about to be put down by its handlers, Workman shouted, “Don’t shoot that horse!”
Instead, he offered money to purchase the horse on the spot which the handlers gladly accepted. Workman then paid another onlooker to make some phone calls for him at a nearby shop.
Shortly thereafter, several men showed up with tools to dismantle the storm drain. Within the hour, the horse was free. The Bug and his son boarded the horse at a nearby stable and gave him a new name – Chief.
But Chief the horse didn’t stay with Charlie the Bug for long. When he was arrested for Schultz’s murder the following year, Workman had to sell the horse he saved from certain death.
Workman was convicted and sentenced to life (avoiding the death penalty after changing his plea to guilty) and paroled in 1964.