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Boxer Sonny Liston Released on Bail in Philadelphia

Aug. 2, 1961 - Charles (Sonny) Liston was released on $500 bail today on a charge resulting from an incident in Philadelphia's Fairmount Park last June 12. The 26-year-old boxer, regarded as the strongest contender for Floyd Patterson's heavyweight title, had been arrested after a police chase in which one shot was fired. Liston and Isaac Cooper, also 26, were accused of forcing a woman motorist to the side of a road in the park. They then told the woman they were policemen. Magistrate E. David Keiser asserted today that their only crime was a mistake in judgment. Liston apologized to the woman, 39-year-old Dolores Ellis, but was suspended by the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission for "actions detrimental to boxing." Liston and his wife moved to Denver this summer. There, Father Edward Murphy, a Catholic priest, is teaching him to read and write as part of a rehabilitation program.


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