Baltimore City Police Officers Injured In The Line of Duty
Authority for the issuance of the Citation of Valor lies solely with the Police Commissioner.
Retroactive Citation of Valor Program
Several years back, (about 8 at the time of this writing 2014), while watching the Military Channel with Patty (for those that don’t know Patty is my wife), a show came on about the Purple Heart and the number of injured that never received their awards. The show went on to explain a program that was set up to award these men and women their awards, “Retroactively”; it explained that there is a certain amount of closure involved when a solider is injured during combat, and get’s a Purple Heart, that those that are skipped over for the awards miss. When taken out of combat due to an injury and sent home, it gives a sense of never having completed the mission and as such there is never closure for these men and women. So for years they walked around feeling as if they never completed the job. Many blaming themselves for their brothers either being killed, or injured in their absence; bringing on a bit of survivors guilt, mixed with a lack of closure that could have been avoided with an award acknowledging their injuries, service, and sacrifice.
It was said to have caused issues that lead to alcoholism, homelessness, and other mental health issues in these soldiers. A program has since been started to retroactively issue awards to those that could prove they were injured during combat. The military went a step further, something Patty was not interested in, and talked over with me and several others extensively; but in the military program with proper documentation the award would be evaluated, and if approved, it would be “FREE” for the injured soldier. If it was not approved (lack of documentation), or provided postmortem to a family member, the award could be purchased for $75 dollars. Patty and other agree, if it is available for purchase, it takes the meaning of the ribbon down to nothing for those that have earned it, others would always wonder if the recipient earned it, or bought it. So in Patty’s program, it is only obtained for those injured LOD that have documentation.
Documentation, i.e. police reports, hospital reports, newspaper reports, and if that can not be found, a letter from someone that witnessed the incident. Using some of our resources we can often find what we need to help prove your case. So give any one or all of the above documentation and we’ll file for this award.
It took her 8 years, but her program up and running, so if our police were injured in the line of duty, and have injuries that have left them with permanent injuries, injuries that have them disabled they can write Patty or me through this website and we will work to get them their Citation of Valor.
Since starting the program Patty has been able to get three officers these awarded. The program is now in 100% perfect working order with all the kinks ironed out. So if you were injured LOD and forced to retired due to these injuries consider letting her file for these awards for you. The more of these we file, the better the chances of having the department starting to evaluate officer’s injuries before they retire so they can be given this award at the time of their retirement. On top of this other agencies are interested in this type program for their officers, so by filing we are actually helping other officers.
So again if you retired LOD and due to injuries that came about due to a struggle or other contact us, let us nominate you for this award. I know it isn’t easy filing or having someone file for you, but in this case, it is not just for you, it will help others. Because not only will it show others that your sacrifice was acknowledged, but it will go onto to help future officers in being recognized for their injuries, and help other agencies to recognize their injured, and disabled police. We could use your help in giving us officers to file for so if you were injured or know of someone that was, please contact Patty or me through this site.
Those that were injured and received the award are as Follows:
1. Ret. Det. Kenneth Driscoll – 5 April 2013 for injuries aquired on 10 Aug 2001
2. Ret. Officer Gary Lapchak – 3 Feb 2014 for injuries aquired on 28 Oct 1997
3. Ret Officer Daryl Buhrman – 3 Feb 2014 for injuries aquired on 8 Feb 1981
4. Ret Sergeant Bob Bigos – 18 June 2014 for injuries aquired 9 September 1995
5. Ret. Officer Robert Cirello – 18 June 2014 for injuries aquired on 7 September 2006
6. Ret. Officer Kenneth Driscoll – 18 June 2014 for injuries aquired on 25 June 1992
7. Ret Det. Lennell Robinson – 18 June 2014 for injuries aquired on 17 April 1997
Courtesy Mark Tomlin
A City Policeman stood before our God, for which we all must come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining just as bright as all his brass.
“Step forward Officer and tell me now, how should I proceed with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek… and to my church have you been true?”
The Officer cleared his throat then said, “I’m Sorry Lord, I have not always used restraint,
Those of us who carry our City’s Badge can’t always be a Saint”.
I’ve had to work most Sunday’s and I’m sorry I’ve been silent,
Sometimes I’ve been a little tough, but our City Streets are violent.
I have never ignored a call for help, and rearly shook from fear
I’ve never been too big a man, to weep or shed a tear
I know I don’t deserve a place among the people here.
They never wanted me around, except to calm their fear.
If you have a place for me O’Lord, it needn’t be too Grand
I never expected, or had too much… and if you don’t; I’ll understand.
There was a silence about the throne, and then he gave his nod
The officer waited quietly to hear the judgement of his God.
“Step forward Officer, you’ve stated your case, and stated it well…
I’m giving you a post on Heaven’s Streets. You’re done your time in Hell.”
In The Line of Duty
The deepest sympathy of the community goes out to the wives and sons and daughters of all of the officers that have died while performing their public duty. Families of all of our injured and disabled officers, officers that have lost their vision, their ability to walk, use of arms etc. some will need, seeing eye dogs, and other types of service dogs, wheelchairs, or other specialized equipment to help these men, and women continue their lives.
Every one of these men, and women were injured, or killed while working to make things better for us. Each of them were fulfilling their job of protecting our lives, and property, a job that is dangerous at all times, and deadly all too often. 135 or more times since the department was founded in the 1729 and the first Watchman took to the streets to protect the public from those that would do us harm, Baltimore police have been killed in the line of duty; a tragic reminder of the risks to which we ask, and expect the men and women in our police department to expose themselves to daily, and especially during the nights in the city.
No day is safe, New Years Eve/Day 1938, Christmas Day of 1964 we lost officers; Valentine’s Day 1935 and 1954, Memorial Day 1962 and 1993, Independence Day 1889, Halloween 1935, and on Good Friday 1976 we lost an Officer. The violence that stalks our streets is often underrated; Rookies and Veteran Policemen alike have found the deaths and unseen but constant presence as they go about their rounds. Add to this the number of serious injuries, injuries that disable, often crippling our police at such an alarming rate that there are no actual records kept.
For years the sun paper has been critical of police operations in the city, but claims to have never minimized the difficulties with the dangers of police service. The ordinary patrolman in particular has one of the most trying, and thankless jobs that public service has to offer, and certainly one of the most essential reports the Baltimore Sun. They went on to say, their concern is and has always been with the slipshod police management; the brass, in a top heavy department that makes the individual police efforts; “less effective than they might be, and thereby distracts from the courage and dedication of the men and women on the street”.
The criticism will continue, but never without a continued, full awareness and respect, “We all owe, to such selfless guardians as the slain, the disabled, and all those that have worn, currently wear, or someday will wear; the Badge of a Police Officer for the Baltimore Police Department.
Blinded Patrolman Wins Full Pension
The Sun (1837-1987); Dec 18, 1970;
BLINDED PATROLMAN WINS FULL PENSION
A Central District Patrolman who was blinded in a 1967 gun battle has won his flight for a 100% disability pension.
The Board of Trustees of the fire and police pension system awarded Ret Officer Joseph B. Hoffman, 43, a $10,044 a year pension for life Wednesday. It was the first full pay disability award made by the trustees under the new ordinance that was passed primarily because of efforts of Patrolman Hoffman.
In November, he picketed City Hall, arousing the sympathy of nearly every politician inside. The pension ordinance, which had been languishing for two years, was quickly resurrected and passed. It went into effect early this month.
Patrolman Hoffman – on full paid medical leave since he was blinded – was scheduled to be pensioned off under the an old system that would have given him only about $6000 a year the new pension system will allow him to retire at full pay.
“My family is really happy. My family is really happy,” patrolman Hoffman repeated over and over again at his Glen Burnie home yesterday. “That’s why I got out and walked and did what I did to have it the old pension system changed.”
Patrolman Hoffman, the father of three children, said he plans to get trained and find a job. He has yet to decide what job to take.
He was wounded in the head October 3, 1967, while trying to capture a burglary suspect. The wound force the removal of both eyes.
His plight prompted a visit and a pair of cufflinks from then Gov. Agnew, and a fund drive by the police wives association that collected $21,000. The patrolman’s case gained further prominence in February a year ago when the police wives association charged at six Baltimore restaurant refused to serve him because he was accompanied by his seeing-eye dog Ritchie.
The restaurants later apologized when informed of the state law permitting service to blind persons with Seeing Eye dogs.
Firefighter Edward had tried, a pension fund board member, set a fireman and a policeman Lieut. also are being considered for full disability pension.
Full disability under the ordinance is described as brain damage, or the loss of two arms hands eyes feet legs or any combination of the two.
Disabled & Injured Police Officers The disabled men and women of our law Enforcement community are truly our Forgotten Law Enforcement Heroes. It has been said that our sacrifices in Iraq is to great a price to pay for our freedom and safety, and to prevent a repeat of 911. We pay that price every year in injury and death to our Law Enforcement personnel. Should we pull our Police off our streets because the price is to high to pay for our safety? We need to support, not abandon, those who fight for our freedom and safety where ever they serve
Baltimore policeman shot in line of duty survives once again
Gene Cassidy gets life-saving liver transplant
By Andrea K. Walker, The Baltimore Sun
8:14 PM EDT, September 14, 2012
Gene Cassidy thought he was lucky to survive being shot in the head twice 25 years ago when he was a Baltimore policeman, so a second near-death ordeal recently seemed unreal.
Just 27 years old, Cassidy lost his sight after a man he was trying to arrest on an assault warrant fired at him.
The shooting, and his survival, made Cassidy a legend in Baltimore police ranks and became fodder for “Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets,” the book by David Simon, and later a TV series, about crime in Baltimore.
Last year, bad news struck again. This time Cassidy was diagnosed with end-stage cirrhosis of the liver caused by hepatitis C. He contracted the disease from blood transfusions while being treated all those years ago — in the days before blood was tested for the disease.
Once again, Cassidy faced death. And again he has survived.
In June, the now 52-year-old Cassidy received a desperately needed liver transplant. He shared his story Friday at a news conference at University of Maryland Medical Center, where the surgery was performed.
It wasn’t an easy journey. He had to wait months for a transplant, and Cassidy said his body and mind deteriorated. He refused to give up and tried to stay positive, continually telling himself he was a fighter; that he would continue to live.
“You keep going and swinging away,” he said.
Cassidy and his family began to suspect something was wrong in May 2011. His entire body was swollen and his feet hurt so much that he couldn’t walk. Doctors couldn’t figure out what the problem was until a blood test revealed the hepatitis.
He became one of the thousands of baby boomers who contracted the slow-progressing disease unknowingly and have been walking around with it for years. It is so prevalent that the federal government recently called for all members of Cassidy’s generation to be tested for the disease.
After the shooting, Cassidy learned to live without sight. He earned a master’s degree from the Johns Hopkins University and went back to work teaching at the city’s police academy. His presence was a powerful message to recruits about what could happen in the line of duty.
His children, Lauren and Kevin, now 24 and 21, respectively, hadn’t been born when their dad was shot. All they knew was the strong father who took them to Ravens games and loved his job.
“He was like any other dad, except he couldn’t drive,” said Lauren, who works for a staffing agency.
Kevin said his dad didn’t allow negative talk.
“He always told us to stay positive and to never give up, no matter what it is,” Kevin said. “He would tell us there is always someone in a worse position than you.”
It was rough watching their dad succumb to hepatitis, they said. He dropped 60 pounds from his muscular frame, developed over years of daily workouts. He was always tired and eventually had to stop working.
Despite his illness, Cassidy kept the rest of the family hopeful.
“Every time we would get down, he would say it’s just a bump in the road,” said his wife, Patti.
Simon chronicled Cassidy’s story in a March article in The Baltimore Sun. As he interviewed Cassidy, the once-vibrant man looked gray and weak. Simon said the sight of Cassidy worried him. But Cassidy himself wasn’t worried.
“We were scared. Gene wasn’t,” Simon said. “There is something very Zen about the way he’s dealt with everything since the shooting.”
As the disease progressed, doctors said Cassidy needed a transplant to survive.
But getting a transplant is not easy. There aren’t enough donated livers for everyone who needs one. Nearly 16,000 Americans, including 500 in Maryland, are waiting for a liver transplant, said Dr. John LaMattina, Cassidy’s transplant surgeon.
The medical community uses a scoring system to give livers to the sickest patients as the organs become available. Cassidy was never sick enough to get an organ.
His doctors suggested he try living organ donation as an alternative. For this procedure, a living person donates half of his or her liver. The liver halves eventually regenerate, allowing both people to live. These donors need to be the healthiest people and are often family members or close friends.
There was no shortage of people willing to give Cassidy a piece of their liver. Lauren, Kevin and Patti all wanted to, but couldn’t for various reasons. Lauren’s liver was too small, for instance. Hundreds of police officers also came forward — all claiming to be his brother.
“It was the most tremendous outpouring of support I have ever seen,” LaMattina said.
Meanwhile, Cassidy’s health continued to decline. He was disoriented and became confused when talking to people. His abdomen was constantly swollen, even as the rest of him became skeletal.
When a living donor was located finally, Cassidy’s body was too frail for the operation. Meanwhile, his sickness moved him higher on the list for a traditional liver donation. He would just have to wait.
“People have to be so sick to get a transplant,” LaMattina said.
The wait worried the doctor. Without a transplant soon, there was a chance of death, LaMattina said. But one became available in June.
Before the surgery, Cassidy told his family, “We will win.”
He told the team of doctors: “You know I’m a fighter.”
“I heard you are a fighter,” one responded.
The surgery went well, and LaMattina said Cassidy should live a normal life.
The jaundice he had been suffering from disappeared right after the surgery. Cassidy has had some complications common with transplants, including a hernia. And he will have to take drugs for the rest of his life to prevent his body from rejecting the new organ.
But those are small inconveniences, he and LaMattina said.
“Taking the medicine will become like brushing his teeth,” said the doctor.
Those who know him said Cassidy has a natural resiliency.
“If anyone was going to pull through this, it was going to be him,” said Terrence Patrick McLarney, a detective sergeant in the homicide unit when Cassidy was shot.
Simon said it would have been a tragedy if a liver hadn’t been found for Cassidy — someone who has made such an imprint on Baltimore.
“We would have failed him if we had not gotten him a liver,” Simon said.
Cassidy doesn’t have a long bucket list now that he has eluded death twice. Throughout his latest ordeal, he said, all he wanted was a sense of normality. And it is still the simple things he looks forward to doing again, like going back to work and attending Ravens games, as he has every season since the team came to town.
He’s not sure when he’ll be strong enough to do either, but he hopes it is soon.
“You never know how many miracles you may see,” Cassidy said. “I have to say I’ve seen one with this transplant.”
Courtesy Sergeant James Fisher (Son) MAN SHOOTS POLICEMAN IN FACE, FLEES Arresting Officer Had Just Called For Wagon For Suspect 1956 A suspected automobile thief whipped out a gun at a police call box at North and Greenmount avenues and fired into the mouth of a traffic patrolman late yesterday after the policeman had summoned a patrol wagon to pick up his prisoner. The officer, Patrolman Donald E. Fisher, 37, fired four shots at his Negro assailant, who escaped south on Greenmount and west on Lanvale street. Patrolman Fisher was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital, where it was reported the gunman’s bullet had ricocheted off a denture, split the policeman’s tongue, entered the roof of his mouth and lodged near his right ear. The hospital said last night he was in satisfactory condition and resting comfortably. It said the bullet had not been, recovered. Fires At Pursuers Witnesses at the scene of the shooting said the escaping car thief fired twice at men who pursued him on Greenmount. Preliminary reports were that two young men driving south on Greenmount toward North Avenue spotted a car stolen from one of them Monday night and forced them to the curb. The men, Harold S.Tabb,27,of the 3300 block Avondale Avenue, and Alan Gross, 27, of the 3900 block Maine Avenue, pulled the negro occupant from the car and turned him over to Patrolman Fisher. Patrolman Fisher called for a patrol wagon at 5:26 P.M. from the box at the Southwest corner of North and Greenmount. Second Call Comes A few minutes later a second came in from the box, this one asking for assistance. It was followed almost immediately by a third call for an ambulance for Patrolman Fisher. A police car reached the intersection before the ambulance and took the wounded officer to St Joseph’s Hospital. Police said last night they did not know who had put in the second and third calls. They said there had been a scuffle at the call box after the first call, in which James C. Pierce, of the 400 block East North avenue, assisted Patrolman Fisher. Mr. Tabb and Mr. Gross. As police pieced together the next moments, the man under arrest who already had been frisked by the patrolman, pull a gun from his belt suddenly and fired. They said the assist call apparently had been placed during the struggle which preceded the first shot. Two bullets fired in the shooting hit the back window of Mr. Tabb’s car. The stolen car belonged to Mr. Gross. Bullet Picked Up One spent bullet was picked up near the call box and sent to the crime laboratory. Police said it might be from a .32 caliber weapon. As the gunman ran south on Greenmount Avenue, Patrolman Frank Wrzosek of the Northeastern District, jumped in the Tabb car with Mr. Tabb, and they chased him two blocks before he disappeared. As soon as it was known Patrolman Fisher had fired at the man who shot him, police put out an order for a check of all hospitals and doctors on the chance the gunman had sought medical treatment. He was described as about 28 or 29 years old and 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighing about 175 pounds. Wearing Jacket Witnesses said he was wearing a brown leather jacket and a gray hat. Central District police checked a house in the 1700 block Barclay street last night following a report that a man answering the description of the escaped gunman had been seen there. The Barclay street man was seen leaving the house in a black and white plaid jacket, a light hat with a black band and muddy shoes, and police relayed this information by radio to supplement the description already moved in connection with the city wide search for the gunman. Converge On Area Later police converged on the area north of the Pennsylvania Railroad’s North avenue bridge at the Falls road. A Central District post patrolman had reported seeing a man who looked like the suspect there. Soon afterward police received further word that a man resembling the gunman had been seen leaving a shack on a Pennsylvania Railroad siding and running north on the tracks. Mrs. Fisher, wife of the patrolman, and their two sons, Donald,12 and James,11, arrived at the hospital at 6.15 P.M. in an inspector’s car. After seeing her husband, Mrs. Fisher said he appeared to be doing all right. The Fishers, who live at 1608 Montpelier Street, have a third child, Barbara Ann, 14. Patrolman Fisher has been on the force for twelve years. He is a Motorcycle Officer. His denture is the result of his tangle last year with a young burglar armed with a chisel.
School Crossing Guard struck January 29th, 1970 School Crossing Guard Helen Mackall On January 29th, 1970 School Crossing Guard Helen Mackall was struck by an automobile while performing her duties at Lafayette and Wheeler Avenues. As a result of the injuries sustained in the accident, Mrs. Mackall’s right leg was amputated just below the knee on February 6th, 1970 at Lutheran Hospital. In an effort to express their concern for Mrs. Mackall, the School Crossing Guards organized a fund raising campaign aided by Sergeant Charles Hellams of the Western District. The fund was presented to Mrs. Mackall by representatives of the School Crossing Guards on April 2, 1970. “Medal of Honor Recipient”
Fisher Tells Of Shooting
Burglar, Chisel, False Teeth Save Patrolman Donald E. Fisher
Fisher was struck in the mouth by a bullet from a small, brass revolver fired by a suspected car thief he had caught.
The burly officer should be dead. He definitely is not. He sat up yesterday in his bed at St. Joseph’s Hospital to greet his attractive wife, Anna, for the bullet was deflected by his denture and fell out of his mouth..
He has the denture, because on New Year’s Day, 1954, a burglar he had apprehended lambasted him in the mouth with a 10 inch steel chisel, knocking all but four of his teeth out. A month later the police department paid for a full upper plate and a partial lower one.
“It’s a funny thing, but I owe my life to that burglar“, Officer Fisher said yesterday.
The burglar was caught, tried and sentenced to a five year term, Fisher said. Even with all his teeth out, the tough policeman refused to let to let go of him.
Mrs. Fisher, who received the news that her husband had been shot in the bluntest, most cruel fashion, adds another coincidence to the case.
She says: “All I can say is thank God, and I hope he never has to the corner of Greenmount and North Avenues again. That sure is a bad luck corner for us.”
That’s the corner where Fisher was shot Tuesday afternoon: It is also the corner where 10 years ago Fisher, while on motorcycle duty, was struck by a car.
He was chasing a speeding car on his motorcycle and was struck by another car which crashed the red light at the intersection. He received a concussion and was hospitalized for four days, Mrs. Fisher Said. “I asked him the other day to get transferred away from that corner and now he gets shot there.” Mrs. Fisher had gone down that ill-fated corner to pick up her husband when he got off duty at 6 P. M. I saw all the commotion and asked what happened. Some fellow came over and said ‘If you’re waiting for Fisher, you might as well go’.” As shocked and as frightened as she was by this remark, she was even more so, she said, when she climbed into the inspector’s car and heard over the radio that her husband had been shot. It was not until later at the hospital that she learned he was not seriously hurt. The bullet which struck Officer Fisher in the mouth hit his denture, rattled around in his mouth, lacerated his tongue and fell to the ground. It was found the next day on the sidewalk. Neither of the Fishers know whether it was a steel denture or not. It looked like an ordinary set of false teeth. Dr. Linwood Ortel, dentist, who did the surgical and dental work on Fisher after his first injury, said his plates were made of acrylic resin, a material which is a member of the plastic group.
This material, Dr. Ortel said, is very hard, light and durable. It certainly proved so when Fisher was shot. Dr. Ortel said Fisher has a complete upper denture made of this material and a partial lower denture. Fisher, who talked like a man with a sore tongue, said the shooting occurred when he was called by two men who had caught a Negro. They claimed the Negro had stolen their car.
Courtesy Sergeant James Fisher (Son)
Wounded patrolman consoled by wife
Patrolman Donald E. Fisher, shown with wife, Anna, credits denture with saving his life.
Man, 29, Being Questioned In Shooting Of Officer
Police are questioning a 29 year old man arrested early today in connection with the shooting of Patrolman Donald E. Fisher late yesterday. Patrolman Fisher was reported in “satisfactory” condition at St. Joseph’s Hospital today. He was shot in the mouth by a suspected automobile thief at a Police call box at North and Greenmount Avenues. The suspect, a Negro, was taken into custody by two Traffic patrolmen at Calvert and Twentieth Streets at about 10 A.M. He was taken to Central District Police Headquarters for questioning. The shooting occurred yesterday at about 5:30 P.M. minutes after the alleged car thief was turned over to Patrolman Fisher by two men who said they had pulled him from a stolen automobile, Police gave this account of the shooting: Harold S. Tabb, 27, of the 3300 block Avondale Avenue, and Alan Gross, 27, of the 3900 Maine Avenue, were driving south on Greenmount Avenue toward North Avenue when they saw a car stolen from Gross Monday night.
On Traffic Duty
They forced it to the curb near the corner of North Avenue, collared its occupant and turned him over to Patrolman Fisher, a motorcycle officer who had, been on traffic duty at the intersection.
After frisking the man, Patrolman Fisher put in a call for a patrol wagon. The initial call was followed within minutes by two more calls, one requesting assistance and the second an ambulance for Patrolman Fisher.
Piecing together the chain of events following the first call; police said the suspect apparently began scuffling with the patrolman, Tabb and Gross and James C. Pierce, of the 400 block East North Avenue, who was attempting to assist the officer.
Police believe the suspect then pulled a gun from his belt, which Patrolman Fisher had failed to notice, and shot the officer in the mouth at close range. The bullet crashed into a denture in Patrolman Fisher’s mouth, split his tongue and entered the roof of his mouth.
The officer drew his own gun and fired four times at the fleeing man Witnesses at the scene reported that the man returned the fire, shooting twice as he fled south on foot down Greenmount Avenue.
Shots Fired In Pursuit
He was pursued by Patrolman Frank Wrzosek, of the Northeastern District, and Tabb in the latter’s automobile. One of the shots fired by the fleeing man struck their car and was later found on the floorboards.
Suspect Freed In Fisher Assault
Police investigating the shooting of Patrolman Donald E. Fisher released a 29-year-old man, yesterday afternoon after questioning him for several hours.
The man, a Negro, had been picked up by two traffic patrolmen about 10 A,M. at Calvert and Twentieth streets.
Patrolman Fisher was shot in the mouth by a suspected car thief late Tuesday at a police call box at North and Greenmount Avenues. St. Joseph’s Hospital reported last night he was “doing very well.”
Policeman’s Hard Luck Continues
Patrolman Donald E. Fisher described by fellow traffic officers as ”’the hard-luck guy.” last night suffered a possible heart attack as he was preparing to go on duty. The 37 year old motorcycle officer only recently recovered from a gunshot wound in the mouth he received while arresting a suspected automobile thief in March.
In January 1955, he was struck, in the face “by chisel when he and another patrolman arrested a burglar attempting to break into a tailor shop.
Fellow officers rushed the stricken patrolman to Mercy Hospital from the Police Headquarters Building in a squad car.
A hospital physician, who described his condition as fair, said Patrolman Fisher had a possible coronary attack.
Fisher Better After Attack
Baltimore hard luck patrolman, Donald E. Fisher, thirty- seven, was reported in “satisfactory” condition in Mercy Hospital today after suffering a heart attack as he prepared to, take his post last night. He only recently recovered from a bullet wound in his mouth. He received it as he arrested a suspected auto thief in March. His denture miraculously saved his life. Eighteen months ago, he was struck in the face with a chisel when he another policeman arrested a burglar.
Motorist Is Arrested After 7-Mile Chase
Anne Arundel county police reported early this morning that following a 7-mile chase from near the Baltimore City line to Sunset Beach. John J. Cleckner, 23, was apprehended as he jumped from his car near his home on Stoney Creek Road, Sunset Beach.
According to Police, Cleckner was seen traveling at a high rate of speed on Pennington Avenue by Traffic Officers, James Devoe and Donald Fisher. Radioing ahead to Anne Arundel County Police to meet them in the chase, the two officers attained a speed of over 70 miles an hour, they said, before arresting Cleckner at his home.
Taxi Driver Fined
Louis Horowitz, 1700 block Ruxton Avenue, whose cab was alleged to have caused injury to Motorcycle Patrolman Donald Fisher at Greenmount Avenue and Thirty-Fifth street on December 16, got off with a $5 fine for making a left turn from a right-hand curb,
It was testified that both cab and motorcycle veered sharply in opposite directions, to avoid collision and that, the motorcycle overturned. Horowitz was charged with reckless driving, but was dismissed on that count.
“However,” Magistrate Barrett said, “When you make a left turn from a right curb you can’t escape the consequences.”
One Police Officer Killed One Officer shot and seriously wounded April 24, 1970 Officer Stanley Sierakowski Officer Stanley Sierakowski, a fifteen year veteran of the department, assigned to the Central District was shot and seriously wounded on Friday April 24, 1970 while working in the 1200 blk. Myrtle Ave. His partner Officer Donald W. Sager, a twelve year veteran, was shot and killed in this incident “Medal of Honor Recipient”
Traffic Officer Hurt September 9th, 1970 Officer Alphonso Wright On September 9th, 1970, Officer Alphonso Wright, assigned to the Traffic Enforcement Section, suffered extensive in juries while assisting a stalled motorist in the 3300 block of S. Hanover Street. Officer Wright had spotted the vehicle at about 8: 10 on the morning of the 9th. After pushing the automobile out of traffic, he left, and returned with a small container of gasoline which he used in an attempt to restart the vehicle
Officer James L. McFillin Officer Daniel J. Calhoun
TWO OFFICERS WOUNDED October, 1970 In recent unrelated incidents two young police officers were injured by gunshot wounds within a fourteen hour span of time. Both officers were involved in what might be considered routine patrol efforts: however, the results were far from routine Officer James L. McFillin, Jr The first incident started casually enough, when Officer James L. McFillin, Jr., Tactical Section, attempted to stop an out-of-state automobile. An auto chase resulted and, after several parked cars were struck, a foot chase began. The chase ended in an alley and, in an exchange of gunfire, both Officer McFillin, and the suspect were injured by gunshot wounds. Fortunately, Officer McFillin suffered only superficial body wounds, while the suspect was rushed to the hospital in poor condition Officer Daniel J. Calhoun The second incident was the result of a call for service to which Officer Daniel J. Calhoun, Southern District, responded and was felled by another assailant’s bullets. The officer was taken to the hospital with a serious chest wound and the suspect was treated at a hospital for wounds suffered in a subsequent exchange of shots by other officers. Officer Calhoun has progressed very well and is on his way to complete recovery. The two incidents underline the fact that the most routine police matters can suddenly become an issue of tragedy and suffering
This is the story of a retired Officer (P/O Frederick Dickens) who waited 43 years to receive his Citation of Valor for being shot on 17 July 1971. He was shot three times (one in each leg, and one in his right shoulder) through our program he was awarded his Citation of Valor yesterday at the Academy. He stopped in with his paperwork in his hand and ask if they could just give him the ribbon for on his chest. When they found out, what had happened to him, they ran around and threw together an ad hoc ceremony since the department does not include OUR retirees in the awards process. Officer Fred Dickens was introduced to our new casino unit and when they learned that he waited 43 years for this award, THEY PAID FOR IT!!! He broke down a little as they gave him a standing ovation and took pictures with him as he told his story. He did this with both training class and they too gave him a hero’s sendoff with full salutes.
I want to congratulate Officer Frederick Dickens for this honor, along with all the other officers that have received this award retroactively.
I also want to thank Officer Bob-Carisa Himes for not forgetting a retired hero, is still a hero… God bless you brother
Officer Frederick Dickens Officer Charles P. Smith
Officers Wounded In Line Of Duty JULY 1971 Tragedy was averted in mid-July when two Baltimore Police Officers were seriously assaulted in unrelated incidents Officer Frederick Dickens On Saturday, July 17, 1971Central District Officer Frederick Dickens was working Car No. 141 in the vicinity of Laurens Street and Jordan Alley. About 7 :28 P.M. he was approached by a young child who reported that there was a man in the alley armed with a gun and allegedly threatening two citizens. Officer Dickens entered the alley in his patrol vehicle and immediately observed a man fitting the description given by the child. As the suspect began walking away from the scene, Officer Dickens left his vehicle and ordered him to stop. Without hesitation the suspect turned and fired two shots, both of which struck the Officer’s legs. Rushing towards him, the assailant attempted to again shoot the Officer in the head. Despite being wounded a third time, Officer Dickens managed to pull his service revolver and fatally wound his attacker. The twenty-three year old Patrolman was transported to Maryland General Hospital where he was admitted in fair condition. Officer Dickens has been a member of the Department less than two years Officer Charles P. Smith, 31 years old, was on routine patrol in the rear of the 3200 block of Reisterstown Road on Monday, July 19, 1971when he surprised two suspects attempting to break into a building. After spotlighting the subjects and calling for assistance, Officer Smith ordered them against a wall where he began searching them. During the search one of the subjects turned and grabbed the Officer’s service revolver. A struggle ensued and the gun discharged wounding Patrolman Smith in the left side. Both suspects immediately. fled the scene. The Officer was transported to Provident Hospital where he was admitted in good condition at about 4:30 A.M. He was satisfactorily released from the hospital on Wednesday, July 21,1971 Officer Smith, a Randallstown resident, is a ten year veteran of the Baltimore Police Department Courtesy Officer Kenneth Hayden
Gunman Kills 5, Wounds A Police Officer at paintbrush factory here November 23, 1971 An employee of a Southwest Baltimore paintbrush factory opened fire inside the plant yesterday afternoon killing five co-workers and wounding a sixth and a policeman before being critically wounded by police bullets. Police said the gunman who carried two rifles and wore green military camouflage fatigues, apparently went berserk and moved from “building to building and shot everyone he saw” The killer was “yelling as he shot, laughing, wild hysterical laughter,” an officer said. But the gunman calmly asked one witness to help him get out of the plant with his rifles. The assailant was identified as Raymond D. Ferrell-el, 30, of the 1300 block Upton Street. He was shot once in the stomach and was listed in critical condition at St. Agnes Hospital last night. Four of the victims were pronounced dead at the scene, the PPG Industries factory, in the 3200 block Frederick Avenue. The fifth died at St. Agnes Hospital shortly after admission. The dead were identified by police as: William Cook, Sr. 30, of the 200 block South Fulton Street. Vernon Ferguson, 23, of the 3100 block Leeds Avenue. Allen Ringley, 37, of the 4400 block Old Frederick Road. Edward Yienger, 35, of the first block Bremmer Drive, Glen Burnie. Listed in serious condition with gunshot wounds of the chest was Robert Lock,45, of the 500 block South Longwood street. Officer Treated Patrolman Kenneth Hayden who was wounded in the left knee, by Mr. Ferrell-el, was treated at St. Agnes Hospital and released. Police said the assailant was a Vietnam veteran, was armed with a 30-30 semi-automatic hunting rifle and an M-1 carbine. No one could offer a rational explanation for the shootings. Russell L. Smith, the plant manager, said he knew of no conceivable motive for the outburst. He said Mr. Ferrell-el was formerly a teacher’s aide in the city school system and had worked six months for PPG during which time he had not been disciplined and had not shown hostility toward his supervisors. Arthur W. Ricker, manager of financial services, gave the following account of the shooting. Mr. Ferrell-el called in sick for his 7:30 A.M. job dipping brush handles in vats of lacquer. About 3 P.M. he was seen on the first floor of the shipping department, where he shot Mr. Fergson, who was leaving a rest room. The suspect then ran through the shipping department, as a fire alarm was sounded, into the alley in the rear of the complex, where a dozen employees gathered after evacuating the building. The gunman then raced to the dipping room building and climbed the stairs to the second floor, where he shot Ringley, Mr. Cook, and Mr. Yienger. He crossed the catwalk back to the second floor of the shipping department building, where he shot Mr. Gilbert. Mr. Lock hearing the shooting ran up the stairs to the second floor, confronted the killer, and was shot twice in the chest. Mr. Lock fell down the stairs and was helped to his feet by Mr. Smith, who had also come to investigate. Police said that one employee struggled with the gunman during the shooting and broke one of the rifles. The gunman then ran down the staircase, across the inner court complex to the main office building and out the front door, crossing the street to a fire station. The rifleman reloaded on the open sidewalk, fired several shots at the PPG plant and shot Patrolman Hayden, who arrived in a squad car in front of the plant. Police said one bullet struck the left fender of the car. After exchanging several shots with police, the assailant was felled by a single shot to the stomach by Patrolman Richard Mioduszewski, who happened on the incident on his way to work. Mr. Smith said he saw the gunman with a rifle and a pistol, but Police could not find the handgun. They said a receipt for the M-1 carbine was found in Mr. Ferrell-el’s jacket pocket, along with a bag of candy. Herbert Russell, another employee who saw the gunman run to the rear of the plant during the shooting, said he, “looked very dazed, strictly a dazed expression.” But he offered no comment on the reason for the shooting. Officer Kenneth Hayden is a “MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENT” This was one of the largest mass murders in Baltimore City.
Traffic Officer Injured October 24, 1972 Officer Ronald Tuefer was thrown from his horse on Tuesday, October 24, 1972 in the 200 block of Cross Street and received severe injuries to his head. The incident occurred in mid-afternoon when the Officer’s horse, “Zeik,” reared up for no apparent reason, back stepped, and then fell over backwards, onto Officer Tuefer. The Officer was rushed to Mercy Hospital where he was X-rayed and treated by four staff physicians. He remains confined there, on the 12th floor. He is recovering satisfactorily. The Officer has been a member of the Mounted Unit since 1968
Police Officer Ambushed September 1973 Officer Thomas E. Whalen In early September 1973 it begins getting dark a little bit after 7:30 p.m. and by 8:00 o’clock the shadows have lengthened and night-time begins to shroud many of the daylight forms of the city. The woods in Cylburn Park were outlines in the headlights as Northern District Officer Thomas Whalen drove slowly up the narrow roadway which leads through the woods to Greenspring Avenue. Just as the homes, which sit across the street from the park, came into view Officer Whalen heard someone shout; “Hey Officer, wait a minute!” Thinking that someone needed assistance he backed partially off the roadway and was approached by two men. As he turned toward the window to speak to the man approaching from the drivers side Officer Whalen perceived a handgun being pushed into his face. In one instant it took the suspect to fire the weapon Officer Whalen, in the confining area of the driver’s seat, was able to jerk his head back and slightly to the side, a move which undoubtedly saved his life. The bullet struck him just over the bridge of the nose and exited near the right temple. Officer Whalen immediately took additional evasive action, to avoid further injury, by rolling out of the patrol car, across the roadway and into a grassy area. In the dark, and away from the lights of his vehicle he fired a shot, then made his way back to the car where he radioed for assistance. Northern District Officer Clyde Andrews was walking his foot post in the 4900 block Poe Avenue when he heard, on his handi-talkie, calls for assistance in the woods of Cylburn Park. He flagged down a passing taxi cab and arrived at the scene to find his fellow officer, bleeding from the grave head-wound. The cab driver transported Officer Whalen to Sinai Hospital just a few blocks away. Officer Andrews began the follow up work immediately. Within moments after the shooting units from the Northern, Northwestern, and Western Districts, the Tactical Unit and the Criminal Investigation Division began arriving at the scene. The entire park area was encircled by police cars. Airmen from the Helicopter Unit flew overhead lighting the thick underbrush so that teams of searchers could move through the woods in search of suspects. K-9 units, who responded, assisted in a thorough search. Unfortunately the suspects were not located. Officer Whalen, meanwhile, had walked into the Emergency Room at Sinai Hospital. Doctors on the staff immediately set to work attempting to assess the damage caused by the head-wound. X-ray tracked the path of the bullet from its entrance point, through the area of the right eye and out through the side of the head. Smashed bone surrounded the exit wound. Specialists worked through the night determining what damage had been caused and what treatment would be necessary. Finally, the most difficult decision was made after careful study and evaluation; doctors were compelled to remove the severely damaged eye. Throughout the evening Officer Whalen remained conscious. Even while being treated in the emergency room he saw and sometimes spoke briefly with his fellow officers. Later, as the doctors and surgeons worked the Police Commissioner visited, spoke with the officer’s wife and the surgeons. Other members of the Command Staff had begun arriving at the hospital earlier in the evening, and there was an almost constant stream of concerned visitors rendering all assistance possible even when moral support was the most that could be offered. After the surgery the Police Commissioner paid another visit. As he pinned on the Medal of Valor he noted that Officer Whalen was well along the road to recovery even to the point of discussing a planned vacation trip West. The conversation turned to future plans and discussion of getting out of the hospital. The doctors released him on Friday, September 7, and Officer Whalen returned home to surroundings both friendly and familiar and very far removed from that road in the woods of Cylburn Park.
Officers Thomas R. Cave Charles A. Walker
Central District Officers Wounded December 1973 Officer Thomas Cave Both officers heard the radio dispatcher announce that a man with a gun had been sighted at Gay and Baltimore Streets. Officers Thomas R. Cave and Charles A. Walker, working Central District foot-posts, responded to the scene. Upon their arrival in the middle of Baltimore’s “Block” they were told that a man with a gun was in one of the night spots located in the 400 block East Baltimore Street. Leaving the brightly lighted sidewalk they entered the establishment and were directed to the two men seated at the far end of the dimly lighted bar. Officer Charles Walker It was moments before midnight as the officers approached the suspects who had apparently spent this day after Christmas visiting some of the city’s night spots. After observing that the lighting was somewhat better in a rear room of the establishment the officers requested that the suspects accompany them to that area. As the four entered a hallway leading to two small rooms the shorter of the two suspects suddenly opened fire. In the ensuing exchange of gunfire the officers were wounded; Officer Cave was shot through both legs and Officer Walker received a wound which fractured his right arm. The gunman was mortally wounded and his partner received a wound of the chest. Employees and patrons of the bar were still seeking cover behind the bar and tables nearby as officers, responding to a Signal 13, entered to summon medical aid for the injured parties. The on-the-scene investigation commenced immediately. The wounded officers as well as the civilian who had been wounded in the chest were taken to nearby Mercy Hospital for treatment. All were admitted for additional treatment and observation. Investigators from the Criminal Investigation Division discovered, a day later, that the mortally wounded suspect was an escapee from a Western Maryland detention facility. It was learned that he had been convicted of the robbery/murder of a Prince George’s County taxicab driver in 1968 and that he had escaped from a work detail on Greenmount Avenue in Baltimore in October of 1973. The second suspect was released from the hospital the next morning to face charges in connection with the incident.
Police Officer Wounded July 30, 1974 Officer Calvin Gene Higdon Shortly after 3 :00 o’clock on Tuesday, July 30, 1974 Officer Calvin Gene Higdon left his desk in the Fingerprint Section of the Laboratory Division and headed for his private auto. The afternoon was hot as he walked toward the 300 block N. Exeter Street, where that morning he was fortunate in locating a free parking space. As Officer Higdon unlocked the door and began to enter his car he heard approaching footsteps and then a male voice state, “Don’t move man.” Upon turning he faced two armed suspects and immediately drew his service revolver. He pulled the trigger two times, but the gun misfired leaving him at the mercy of the robbers. As one assailant stepped back Officer Higdon attempted to push the other off balance. At this point the suspects fired, striking the Officer in both legs. He then fell to the ground as the second suspect grabbed his weapon. They both ran and were last seen in the area of the projects in the 1000 block of Orleans Street. Patrol Units responded quickly, as a nurse who was in the area applied first aid. He had been struck three times, the left knee, the upper left leg and in the right knee. He was transported by Ambulance to Mercy Hospital where members of the staff stopped the bleeding and began blood transfusions. Officer Hidgon’s condition was posted as guarded as Doctors determined the extent of his injuries and prepared to operate. At last report Officer Higdon, a nineteen year veteran with the Department, was in satisfactory condition and an operation was performed on both legs.
Officer Alric Moore Officer Garry Dresser Officer Glenn Hauze
Four Officers Wounded In Gun Fight October 31, 1974 Officer Alric Moore The streets of West Baltimore were almost deserted as Officer Alric K. Moore, of the Western District began trying-up doors on his post in the early morning hours of Thursday, October 31, 1974. While approaching a bar in the 1600 block of West Baltimore Street he noticed that the side door was ajar. Closer examination revealed fresh pry marks and he immediately called for back-up units. When other officers arrived they discovered that the juke box and other items had been removed. Further investigation revealed a trail of scuff marks, left by the heavy record player, leading down the alley to the rear porch of a house on Fayette Street. Officer Garry Dresser With the front of the building covered Officer Gary W. Dresser and Officer Moore approached the closed door that partly blocked by the stolen juke box. As they got onto the porch of the darkened house rapid-fire gun shots rang out from inside striking Officer Moore in the right shoulder and wounding Officer Dresser in the hand as he dove for cover. As Officer Dresser helped the wounded Officer out of the line of fire Officer Glenn D. Hauze was hit in the right shoulder by a second burst of gunfire as he rushed to their aid. “Medal of Honor Recipient” Officer Glenn Hauze Back-up units responded quickly and tightly sealed off the area. The gunman moved from one window to another firing short bursts from his semi-automatic 45 caliber rifle, as the officers returned fire and Officers Hauze and Moore were rushed to the hospital. One of the bursts struck Officer Joseph E. Hlafka wounding him in the jaw, back shoulder and both arms as he took up a position in a near-by yard. Officer Hlafka was removed and rushed to an area hospital as the officers returned fire and attempted to talk the suspect out of the house. The suspect moved to the front and officers continued to ask him to surrender and throw his weapon out. Soon the semi-automatic was dropped from a second floor window. It rested on the front steps as officers cautiously approached the front door. As they edged towards the entrance the suspect yelled, “put your guns away and I’ll give up.” Officer Charles Thrush holstered his service revolver and advised the suspect that he was going to handcuff him. As Officer Thrush walked towards him, the gunman grabbed the semi-automatic rifle lying next to the steps. Sergeant Anthony Sarro, of the Southwestern District, warned Officer Thrush, who dove for cover, and as the suspect began to raise the weapon Sergeant Sarro fired one round from his shotgun. Officer Joseph Hlafka The suspect then dropped his weapon and retreated back into the house. After the other occupants of the dwelling came out, the officers entered the premises. The suspect was found dead in the hallway on the third floor. A search of the house revealed a recently stolen 357 magnum revolver. The weapon had been taken in an assault and robbery the day before in the 2000 block of W. Pratt Street. Officers Dresser and Hauze were treated at area hospitals and released. Officer Moore and HIafka were admitted to Bon Secours Hospital.
Officer Joseph E. Hlafka
Officer Greiner Officer John Burns
Officer Greiner Loses Fight For Life Officer John Burns shot and seriously wounded November 30, 1974 Officer Martin Greiner It was just about two in the morning, on Saturday, November 30, 1974 when Officer Martin J. Greiner, assigned to 512 Unit of the Northern District, received a call to 27th Street and Huntingdon Avenue for a report of a man discharging a firearm. He was just a block away from the location in question and informed the communications dispatcher of the fact as he guided his patrol car onto Huntingdon Avenue. He was at the scene in no time and observed four persons, two men and two women walking toward him. He exited his vehicle and before there was an opportunity for him to draw his service revolver he was felled in a volley of shots. Knocked over backward, Officer Greiner radioed for assistance and immediately disseminated a description of his assailant. Within less than two minutes of the original call, and as back-up units were beginning to converge on the scene they had been provided with a detailed description of the wanted assailant. The “Signal 13” brought units from the Northern, Central and Northeastern Districts to the area. A suspect, who perfectly matched the description provided by the wounded officer, was spotted running across the 2600 block of Mace Avenue. He was running in an easterly direction and responding units took up the chase on foot. After a few moments the suspected gunman was cornered in front of a residence in the 2600 block of North Charles Street. Reports indicate the suspect immediately began resisting attempts by the officers to place him under arrest. He had, according to the arresting officers, to be held by several of them in order to allow the placement of restraining devices on his wrists. While the suspect was being apprehended Officer Greiner was being transported ,to Union Memorial Hospital for treatment of two gunshot wounds. Although critically wounded he was conscious when officers brought in the suspect for positive identification. As medical personnel prepared to take Officer Greiner to X-Ray he was able to confirm the identification. At this point the suspect lunged at the wounded officer and had to be restrained from resuming his attack on the victim. Once outside Union Memorial Hospital’s accident room the suspect began to forcefully resist the escorting officers. Several policemen were struck and kicked as additional devices were placed upon the suspect for added protection and security. A cruising patrol wagon delivered the suspect to Mercy Hospital for treatment of abrasions. After complaints, on the part of the suspect that he had sustained additional injuries not immediately apparent to personnel at the hospital, he was admitted for observation, and assigned to a private room on the eighth floor. A detail of two Northern District Officers was placed on the room in order to guard the prisoner and ensure against any attempt at escape. Officer John Burns At 4:00 p.m. Officers John E. Burns and John J. Provenza J r. of the Northern District were assigned to the guard detail at Mercy Hospital. At roll-call they had learned that Officer Greiner was in the intensive care unit at Union Memorial Hospital where he had undergone two extensive operations to repair damage caused by gunshot wounds sustained earlier in the day. The beginning of the detail was routine . . . medical personnel visited the suspect and the officers maintained their watch. The suspect, according to reports, was complaining about a number of imagined or real difficulties and nurses instructed the officers to call for assistance if they felt the patient was in distress and in need of attention. Shortly before six o’clock the suspect told the officers that he needed to go to the bathroom and asked them to leave the room. This request was refused which is normal procedure during a “guarding” situation. A nurse came into the room several times instructing the officers to call if additional assistance was needed. At this point the suspect was sitting on the edge of his hospital bed and was, as Officer Burns observed, having difficulty keeping his balance, at least that appeared to be the problem. In order to prevent the suspect from falling from the bed Officer Burns approached to steady him. Officer Provenza who was standing in the doorway had an obscured view of the suspect at this particular moment. A quick movement, by the suspect, caught the attention of Officer Provenza just as his partner called for assistance. At the same time two shots were fired and Officer Burns fell to the floor. Officer Provenza fired a single shot at the suspect who, with finger on the trigger, was pointing the other officer’s weapon in his direction. He then grabbed the weapon, discarding it in a chair safe from the reach of the victim who by this time was on the floor struggling with the wounded officer. Both Policemen radioed Signal 13’s in order to bring additional Officers to the scene. Medical personnel, hearing the gunshots, were entering the room just as Officer Provenza pulled his partner to the safety of the outside corridor. Emergency medical treatment on both the officer and suspect began immediately. Both required surgery for gunshot wounds to the abdomen. Witnesses to the earlier of the two assaults against members of the Department cooperated with investigating officers who were prepared to place the appropriate charges upon the expected discharge of the suspect prior to the second shooting incident. On December 3, 1974 a Baltimore Criminal Court Grand Jury indicted the suspect, William E. Tevas III, charging him with attempting to kill Officer Greiner in the first shooting incident and with attempting to kill Officers Burns and Provenza in the second incident at Mercy Hospital. Assistant State’s Attorney Howard Gersh who heads the Violent Crimes Liaison Unit, which assists the Department’s Crimes Against Persons Section, says Tevas was also charged with attempt to escape, with the robbery of Officer Burns’ service revolver and with using a handgun in the commission of a: felony.
“Mac” McKinley Johnson, Jr.
“Mac” Johnson Dies From Wounds December 30, 1975 “Mac” McKinley Johnson, Jr. For the past five years members of the Department have been greeted by McKinley J. Johnson, Jr. as they signed vehicles in and out of the Motor Pool, or just stopped by to visit. He was always ready to help the new man and knew almost everyone by name. His willingness to help extended beyond work. During Christmas Eve while most people were preparing for the Holidays with their loved ones Mr. Johnson was always found distributing food baskets for needy inner city families. The Holiday spirit was high as Mr. Johnson and some friends worked in an area cocktail lounge readying the last of the many food baskets to be handed out. This good cheer ended when he noticed that a can of meat was missing as a patron, who was just lingering by the basket, began to leave. Realizing that the patron was the only one who could have taken the food he had just placed there, Mr. Johnson followed him onto the street. As he confronted him with the theft, the suspect drew a revolver and shot four times. The gunman hit his mark and as Mr. Johnson fell to the ground he fled. An ambulance transported him to an area hospital as Officers and Detectives began their investigation. As everyone was enjoying the Holidays Mr. Johnson struggled to survive. He lost his fight for life on Christmas evening as a result of complications from his wounds. Homicide Detectives worked throughout the night and the next day gathering evidence and interviewing witnesses. Their efforts paid off and an arrest warrant was obtained for a 27 year old suspect.
Close Call December 30, 1975 Detective Paul Karaskavicz, Jr. For Detectives Allan Williams and Paul A. Karaskavicz Jr. of the Criminal Investigation Divisions Property Crimes Section, December 30th began as a normal one with the usual number of follow-ups and warrants to serve. In the afternoon they decided to look for a juvenile wanted on a burglary warrant and who was known to hang out in the 400 block S. Lehigh St. As they neared the area they spotted the juvenile who broke and ran as the Detectives exited their vehicle and identified themselves. Detective Karaskavicz began chasing the subject on foot as Detective Williams broadcast the information and then joined the chase in his radio car. As they zig-zagged through the alleys the 16 year old youth turned and fired a shot at Detective Kamskavicz grazing his left arm. He fell to the sidewalk, recovered and began to resume the chase. As he did the youthful gunman fired a second shot which went through the Detective’s coat narrowly missing him. At this point Detective Karaskavicz was able to return fire as they continued through the alleys. When he turned a corner the gunman dove behind a wall in an attempt to hide. Detective Williams and Karaskavicz converged on the area and an alert citizen pointed out the suspect’s hiding place. The Detectives closed in and as they did the gunman pointed his weapon at Detective Karaskavicz who ordered him to freeze, the suspect didn’t and he shot once striking the juvenile in the buttocks. The suspect was rushed to an area hospital and later charged with assault with intent to murder. Detective Karaskavicz was treated for a superficial wound and returned to duty.
Central District Officer Wounded March 1975 Officer Theodore Staab While Officer Theodore E. Staab, Central District, was turning onto Baltimore Street driving to work, two males entered a bar in the 1300 block, produced sawed-off shotguns and announced a hold-up. As they fled out the door with the money in a cigar box the bartender set off the audible alarm. The loud bell and two suspects running across Baltimore Street with a cigar box alerted Officer Staab to possible trouble as he neared the intersection. He followed the suspects in his car to the 1400 block of E. Fairmount Avenue, where he pulled in front of them. As he jumped from his vehicle to confront the two men, one produced a sawed-off shotgun and fired at the uniformed officer. Pellets struck Officer Staab in the face, arm and thigh. He recovered from the impact quickly and returned fire from his service revolver as the gunmen fled in opposite directions. A helpful cab driver spotted the wounded officer and stopped to help, and as he did a bystander grabbed the officer’s service revolver. Officer Staab, a three year veteran, was taken in the cab to a nearby hospital for treatment. Central and Southeastern District officers and detectives immediately began an intensive investigation. They obtained a positive identification of the suspect who took the officer’s gun and arrested him within three hours and later located the revolver. The search for the hold-up suspects who shot Officer Staab is continuing
Officer Jerome Wilkins Officer Joseph Dobrosielsky
Northwestern District Officer Wounded September 1975 Officer Jerome Wilkins When a citizens flagged down Northwestern District Officers Jerome Wilkins and Joseph Dobrosielsky both believed him when he stated that he had just been robbed by 2 armed subjects. They broadcast a description of the suspects and, believing that they might still be nearby, the officers requested the alleged victim to accompany them to aid in identification while they cruised the area. As they drove, the passenger said he recognized one of the hold-up men and directed the officers to an alley where he pointed out a house. As they looked, Officer Dobrosielsky felt a hard object against his neck. The subject then told Officer Wilkins to give up his revolver or his partner would die. The assailant reached over the seat for the Officer’s weapon and a struggle for possession followed. In an effort to distract the man’s attention, Officer Wilkins hit the accelerator and drove into a telephone pole. At the point of impact, three shots were fired from the Officer’s service revolver. The first went through Officer Wilkins’ holster and struck his thumb. The other two shots were fired at such close range that they caused powder burns on Officer Dobrosielsky’s back as they barely missed both officers and went through the windshield of the vehicle. Officer Joseph Dobrosielski Both officers immediately exited the radio car as the shots rang out. While Officer Dobrosielsky was recovering from a fall, he saw the suspect fire another shot at Officer Wilkins. He drew his own service revolver and fired a round at the gunman who then began running down the alley. The Officer gave chase exchanging shots with him until the gunman fell to the ground. Officer Wilkins called for assistance on the radio and then rushed to his partner’s aid. As back-up units arrived Officer Dobiosielsky removed the gun from the suspect’s control and Officer Wilkins was rushed to an area hospital where he was treated for his wounds and released. The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene. Further investigation revealed that the object placed against Officer Dobrosielsky’s neck to obtain Officer Wilkins’ gun was a toy pistol. A check of Officer Dobrosielsky’s damaged Walkie-Talkie revealed it had apparently deflected one of the shots fired at the Officer by the suspect. Officer Wilkins’ service revolver revealed that the assailant had fired all six rounds at the officers. It has not been determined why the suspect was so intent upon obtaining the officers revolvers nor if his alleged hold-up story was true. A fingerprint check on the deceased suspect revealed an extensive arrest history and an outstanding armed assault and robbery warrant
Off-Duty Officer Wounded November 15,1975 Officer Francis Miller, a twenty-four year veteran assigned to the Headquarters Security Unit of the Property Division, spent a leisurely day off on November 15th. Around 8:00 p.m. he had just returned home after dropping off his wife at a local meeting and was walking across the porch when he heard movement behind him. As he turned to see who was there a shot rang out. Without warning one of the two armed assailants shot Officer Miller in the chest. They both immediately pounced upon the wounded officer who was so quickly overwhelmed that he did not have an opportunity to reach for his off-duty revolver. The suspects removed his wallet and gun and then fled on foot across the school yard. Officer Miller was rushed to an area hospital by his son. Members of the hospital staff quickly stabilized the officer and at last report he was listed in fair condition
Officer Wounded February 28, 1976 Officer Alvin Martin The activity on the streets of southeast Baltimore was slowing at 1 :00 A.M. as Officer David N. Datsko, Southeastern District, returned to his patrol vehicle parked in the unit block of South Ann Street on February 28, 1976. He had just finished an investigation of a hit and run accident and was about to enter his car when the suspect walked up to him. They stood outside of the vehicle as the man vehemently argued that he had not caused any damage to a parked car. Officer Datsko patiently explained that a report had been made and advised the man to report the incident to his insurance company. The man turned and walked back to his house. Officer Datsko entered his vehicle and was about to leave when Officer Alvin E. Martin pulled along side and asked if Officer Datsko had an extra M.I. Report. He gave Officer Martin the report and suddenly a shot rang out. Officer Martin’s windshield shattered’ and he felt a sharp pain in his chest and shoulder. He opened the door of the car and rolled to the ground. Officer Datsko immediately called for additional back-up units and took cover behind his car. The officer believed that the shot had come from the same house that the hit and run suspect had entered. Back-up units quickly arrived on the scene. Officer Martin, however, could not be immediately evacuated because he was still in a direct line of fire. Officer Michael K. McCleese, who was operating a cruising patrol, placed his vehicle between the suspect’s house and Officer Martin. This allowed Officers William M. Downing and John R. Draa to approach the fallen officer safely. Officer Martin was placed in the cruising patrol and rushed to Church Home and Hospital. A Command Post was established and efforts were made to convince the suspect to surrender. The suspect released two women who were in the house but refused to surrender himself. The Emergency Vehicle Unit responded to the scene and after it had been determined that further negotiations would not be successful, tear gas was fired into the house, forcing the suspect to surrender. A search of the house revealed a number of empty 30/30 caliber cartridge casings in various locations throughout the building and a supply of 30/30 caliber ammunition. Found in the kitchen was the suspect’s 30/30 caliber rifle. Officer Martin was admitted to Church Home and Hospital suffering gunshot wounds to the right shoulder and upper chest. The single projectile apparently split upon striking the windshield of his vehicle causing both of his wounds.
Officer Jimmy D. Halcomb Slain 5 Officers Shot & Wounded April 16, 1976 It was Good Friday in Baltimore. Worshipers, many of them, had returned not too many hours before from afternoon worship services. Others, cleaning up the dinner dishes, were preparing to attend evening services. Many persons were participating in the Passover observances. Still others had spent the ninety degree afternoon in bars, were tilting beer cans on the front steps seeking relief from the steaming temperatures. It wouldn’t be accurate to say that it was just a normal April friday. It was too hot, more like July than springtime. It was much too hot.’ The sun was crimson as it settled over the Western part of the city. Storefronts, church steeples and rows of houses created shadows which lengthened quickly. It was getting cooler. Officers were patrolling the streets, appreciative of the relief that the quickening darkness would provide. It wasn’t really getting busy yet, not for a Friday night. Then the bullets began pouring out of the 1300 block West Lombard Street. The darkness became heavy. A volley from a high powered rifle sent bullets ricocheting along Lombard Street. Another burst and shells wined north on Carey Street. Officers from the Southern, Southwestern and Western Districts responded as did the Quick Response Teams of the Tactical Section. In the military the incident would have been termed a fire-fight. But for the police and citizens, who sought protection and cover it was unreal. It took forty five minutes for the situation to be resolved. The suspect, an 18′ year old male, surrendered to officers after telephoning his intentions to the Communications Division of the Department. It became quiet again and the neighbors returned to their front steps. Stories of what had happened were interspersed with personal perspectives. “Where were you when it started?” The press, which had shown part of the incident live to the rest of the state, asked questions. Neighborhood residents appeared on television, they knew what had happened . . . they saw it all. For police there began the laborious task of reconstructing the incident which left one of their brothers mortally wounded, five others sustaining gunshot wounds. Evidence was collected, photographs made, statements prepared. This process would continue for a long time. At University Hospital medical specialists quickly administered to the injured. Families arrived, some relieved that their loved ones were not injured. Others heard the dreaded news. Shock, emotion and grief were real. It affected everyone. Officer Jimmy D. Halcomb was 31 years old. Assigned to the Operations Unit of the Western District he had been one of the first to arrive at the scene. The sniper fired a round which penetrated the automobile Officer Halcomb was using for cover. He lost consciousness immediately and seconds later he was gone Officer James Brennan Twenty-five year old Officer James A. Brennan of the Western District was crouching behind a van a few feet south on Carey Street. He went down, seriously wounded. The other officers behind the van made him as comfortable as possible Officer Arthur Kennell,Jr. Officers Neal C. Splain, 28, Officer Calvin R. Mencken, 33, and Officer Arthur E. Kennell, Jr. 27, all of the Southern District were hit by a shotgun blast which came from the rear of the building. A civilian was also wounded Officer Neal Splain Officer Calvin Mencken, Jr. Officer Halcomb’s funeral, on April 20, was attended by hundreds of officers from more than fifty police jurisdictions. His family, scores of friends and neighbors heard the words of hope and consolation spoken from the altar. The distance to the cemetery was short but the walk was long. At the conclusion of the brief ceremonies they gave Mrs. Angela Halcomb the American Flag and we said goodbye to a brave officer. Officer Roland Miller Officer Roland W. Miller, 23 of the Western District, who was beside Officer Brennan sustained a minor wound in the left arm. They were to wait long minutes for relief.
City Hall Incident April 13, 1976 During the lunch hour Baltimore’s City Hall, like many major offices, undergoes a change. Although the level of activity is barely diminished many of those who work in the building are either coming or going from a lunch break, are out of the building enjoying the noon meal or are filling in while someone takes a break. That’s the way it was on Tuesday, April 13, 1976 when a man got off the elevator on the 7th floor of the temporary City Hall in the 100 block East Redwood Street demanding to see the Mayor. A short time after the initial contact with the receptionist this man was spreading terror through the two adjoining buildings which are housing City Government while City Hall is being remodeled. Officer Thomas Gaither Within a few minutes an aide to the Mayor was shot and seriously injured, one City Councilman was fatally wounded, a second councilman taken hostage and also seriously wounded and a Baltimore Police Officer was down with a serious leg injury. Those moments brought into sharp focus some of the most serious problems confronting cities and governments in the ’70’s. Baltimore City Councilman Dominic Leone died as the result of a single gunshot wound. Councilman Carroll Fitzgerald and Miss Kathleen Nolan, the Mayor’s aide, are recovering from gunshot wounds which caused massive serious injury. Baltimore Police Officer Thomas Gaither continues to recover from a leg wound sustained while the suspect was being apprehended. The suspect, 34 year old Charles A. Hopkins is also recovering from gunshot wounds. Moments after the initial call for assistance to City Hall members of the department had apprehended the suspect, searched and secured both buildings. Thousands of downtown employees milled about at the scene, the tragic curious trying to witness history being made. Members of the Traffic Division stood by keeping the area accessible to ambulances and other officers. That the suspect was apprehended while still in the act of attempting to get to the Mayor and before he could accomplish this phase of his bizarre mission, is a tribute to the members of the Department who responded quickly and took command of the situation. This feeling is reflected in the communication, received by the Police Commissioner, and reprinted below: Dear Commissioner Pomerleau: In reflecting on the tragic events of Tuesday and sorting out the things that happened, one of the things which is now most apparent to me is the exceptional police response and handling of the entire matter. Surely no one could have foreseen and thus prevented what happened, but when the first frantic call for help was issued from my office, I deeply believe that it was immediate police response which kept more persons from being injured. Many officers entered the building rapidly, with no thought of personal risk, knowing fully that a dangerous gunman was loose somewhere in the building. Despite inferences to the contrary in some news reports, the police response to our plea for help was exceptional. Please let your men know that those of us who were here at the time of the shootings are extremely grateful for their quick and efficient action. Sincerely, William Donald Schaefer Mayor
Southern District Officer Shot April 1976 Officer John Swiec Officer John A. Swiec, Southern District, received a minor gunshot wound to the left shoulder when he recently aborted the hold-up of a service station in the Southern District. During the hold-up attempt one of the suspects was mortally wounded by the officer but not before his coat was partially blown away by the suspect’s shotgun. Two other suspects were arrested hours later
Off Duty Detective Shot September 1976 Detective Ernell Thornton Detective Ernell C. Thornton, Property Crimes Section, was shot four times on September 22, 1976 while off-duty in the 1700 block Pressman Street. The suspect was quickly apprehended and charged. The nine year veteran with the Department is recovering from his wounds in an area hospital
Officer Mitchell Wounded October 1976 Officer Charles Mitchell It was obvious who the disorderly man was when Officer Charles E. Mitchell, Western District, pulled up to the 1300 block North Fremont Avenue, responding to a call from Communications. As he approached with Officer Paul B. Oros a citizen signaled that the 21 year old suspect had a gun. Officer Mitchell informed his back-up unit, then ordered the disorderly man to get against the wall. The suspect refused and as he turned toward the officers he drew a .38 caliber revolver and shot Officer Mitchell. Both officers returned fire and as the gunman fell, Officer Oros aided the wounded officer to cover, called for assistance over his walkie-talkie and immediately began administering first aid. Back-up units and two ambulances responded quickly and both the officer and the wounded gunman were rushed to an area hospital. The suspect later died as a result of his wounds. Officer Mitchell, a nine year veteran of the Department, is recuperating from a gun shot wound that struck him below the left eye and exited near his lower left Jaw. Investigation by Homicide Detectives revealed that the suspect, later identified as Bernard Warfield, was involved in a dispute with his girl-friend who refused to let him into the house or come out and talk to him.
Two Eastern District Officers Stabbed September 9, 1977 Officer Edward O’Byrne, Jr. The evening of September 9th had been routine when Officers Kirby R. Croft and Edward P. O’Byrne, Jr., Eastern District, received a call to meet a Northern District Unit. The officer had a disturbing the peace warrant for a 38 year old male, which had been obtained by his sister. She said that her brother, recently released from a mental institution, was acting strangely. The officers went to the house and an additional unit was assigned to watch the rear entrance. They were let in by the suspect’s grandmother who said that he was asleep. The officers went up the stairs and were lead down the dark hallway by the suspect’s sister who called for her brother and opened the door. The suspect came out swinging with a 9″ folding knife which had a 4″ blade. Surprising the officers he was able to stab both before they could subdue him or call for additional help. He first stabbed Officer Croft in the lower abdomen causing him to fall and then wheeled around and stabbed Officer O’Byrne several times. Although injured, both officers were able to disarm the suspect, subdue him and call for assistance. Once he was under control and adequate back-up units arrived, both officers were transported to an area hospital. Officer Kirby Croft Officer Croft was admitted for treatment of the stab wound of the abdomen and was released two days later. Officer O’Byrne was treated for stab wounds to the chin, the left elbow, the right hand, the right side and an injury to his right hand and was then released from the hospital. A later examination of Officer Edward O’Byrne’s clothing told a more chilling story than the incident itself. There was a 1/2 inch wide hole in the officer’s right front shirt pocket and inside the pocket was Officer O’Byrne’s J.D. carrying case which had been cut half-way through. The knife though, did not penetrate through the case nor the soft body armor the officer was wearing nor did he receive injury as a result of the thrust. Another hole was on the right side of the shirt about 5 inches from the shirt pocket hole. The same area of the soft body armor showed a puncture as did the officer’s undershirt. The officer received a slight puncture wound as a result of this thrust. A third hole was discovered through the shirt in the upper stomach area. Examination of the soft body armor revealed that this thrust had only penetrated half way through and there was no injury as a result. Both officers agree that the suspect must have heard them come in and was waiting for them to come to the bedroom. The incident took only a few seconds in the dark hallway and Officer O’Byrne didn’t even realize he was stabbed until they had disarmed and subdued the suspect. Officer O’Byrne believes that had it not been for his ID. case and the soft body armor his injuries would have been more disabling if not fatal. Experts in the field of blunt trauma agree that the force used to penetrate the Department’s soft body armor would be disabling if not fatal to an individual not wearing it
Off Duty Officer Stabbed October 23, 1977 Officer Frank Lorah While all-duty on October 23, 1977, and out with some friends, Officer Frank J. Lorah, Central District, came upon a large altercation as he was exiting a club in South Baltimore. He attempted to break up one of the fights and three of the combatants turned on him. During the fracas they disarmed the officer and one of the suspects stabbed him. Southern District Units responded, gained quick control of the situation and rushed Officer Lorah to an area hospital. The 27 year old Officer was cut on the left cheek, stabbed in the right elbow and received a serious stab wound of the upper left abdomen. The suspects were arrested and charged and the officer’s gun was picked up by an alert citizen who hid it until the arrival of other units. Officer Lorah at last report is recovering from his wound at South Baltimore General Hospital.
Eastern District Agent Shot November 14, 1977 Agent Andrew Leso Shortly before 9:00 p.m., on November 14, 1977, Police Agent Andrew Leso of the Eastern District was patrolling in the 2000 block of Harford Road. He had conducted several field interviews on the street and was returning to his patrol car when he saw a man in his early 20’s who he had arrested previously. Agent Leso recalled that this suspect’s name had been read out at roll call several days earlier as an escapee. Agent Leso approached the suspect, called for a patrol wagon and attempted to place the suspect against a wall so that he could be searched as part of the process of arrest. The suspect resisted, turning toward the officer and at the same time placing a handgun, which he had concealed in his belt, against the officer’s side. In the ensuing struggle for possession of the suspect’s weapon both Agent Leso and the assailant were knocked to the street. The suspect at one point pulled back aiming his weapon at Agent Leso’s head, threatening to shoot if the officer moved. At the same time the suspect reached for the officer’s still holstered weapon. Once again Agent Leso attempted to gain possession of his assailant’s weapon when the suspect moved back slightly and fired point blank at the officer who was lying on his back in the street. The bullet struck Agent Leso’s soft body armor, near the collar bone. The suspect immediately retreated through a three foot wide alley-way which runs parallel to 20th Street from the 2000 block Harford Road. Agent Leso was able, because of the protection offered by the soft body armor, to pursue the assailant returning the fire. Officers responding to the shooting scene found Agent Leso standing next to his patrol vehicle. A description, including the name and age of the assailant was broadcast, and the victim was taken to the emergency room at Johns Hopkins Hospital a short distance away. Doctors examining the wound found what amounted to a very serious bruise, a result of the blunt trauma of the projectile hitting the protective soft body armor. Doctors say that without the protection of the soft body armor the wound could very well have been fatal. Instead, after spending the night at the hospital, Agent Leso was released 12 hours later. Crime laboratory technicians recovered the .32 caliber bullet from the soft body armor. It had not penetrated the protective fabric. A little more than an hour after the shooting incident officers arrested a 23 year old escapee from a Maryland Correctional Institution on the street not far from where the shooting occurred. He was arrested without incident and was charged with assault with intent to murder Police Agent Leso. Additional handgun violation charges were also placed against the suspect. Commissioner Donald D. Pomerleau provided the soft body armor to all members of the Department after supervising its development late in 1975. The protective fabric was first developed by the DuPont Corporation to replace steel in radial tires. It was incorporated in the soft body armor, which was developed to specifications after intensive field testing by the Department and experts from Edgewood Arsenal in Harford County. Soft body armor is not a “bullet proof vest.” It is instead a lightweight garment which is designed to minimize the impact of projectiles from weapons which are commonly found in the urban area. Although the wearer is most often protected from the damages which can be inflicted by a bullet penetrating his skin, he still runs the risk of serious injury as the result of the blunt trauma or impact of the projectile against the soft body armor
Northeastern District Officer Wounded February 4, 1978 Officer Joseph Wolfe Three women who were enroute to a birthday party in the Northeastern District were terrorized by two men on the evening of February 4, 1978. As the ladies parked their car at their destination in the 3100 block of Weaver Avenue the suspects approached their vehicle displayed a handgun and robbed the occupants of $51.00. After shouting instructions to leave the keys in the ignition the suspects attempted to force the victims from their automobile. One suspect looked inside and shouted to the second that the keys were not there. The second suspect then chased and tackled the woman who had the keys in her possession. The suspects fled, without the car, when another of the victims sounded the horn as the woman who had been wrestled to the ground shouted for assistance. Northeastern District officers quickly obtained and disseminated a description of the suspects, both 20 years of age. Officer Joseph E. Wolfe, 24, was patrolling in the vicinity of Herring Run Park and noted the description as it was broadcast by police radio. As he cruised the area he saw a suspect matching one of the descriptions which had been broadcast about 15 minutes earlier. He parked his radio car at Argonne Drive and Harford Road and waited for the suspect to walk by. As the suspect approached, Officer Wolfe got out of the car and ordered him to stop. At this point the young man turned and fired three shots at the Officer. Although one of the shots struck Officer Wolfe in the right forearm he returned the fire, then chased the suspect for about a block. The suspect was apprehended while he was trying to stop a passing vehicle. Police Officers transported the wounded Officer to Union Memorial Hospital for emergency treatment. He was admitted and held for several days of treatment and observation. The second suspect was also apprehended by Northeastern District Officers who responded to a call from the Department’s Helicopter which had been searching the area. The Aerial Observer gave the officers on the ground directions to seek out a man who was hiding behind a tree in the 3900 block of Harford Road. This suspect was apprehended without further incident. The suspects were subsequently charged with Assault, Robbery, Attempted Murder and other counts related to several armed robbery attempts in the Northeastern District that evening. A 32 caliber revolver was recovered at Harford Road and Argonne Drive.
Police Agent Lawrence B. Bennett Seriously Wounded March 1978 Agent Lawrence Bennett Shortly before 4:00 o’clock last Thursday morning, Police Agent Lawrence B. Bennett of the Northern District pulled an automobile over in the 4900 block of Greenspring Avenue for a car check. A few minutes later Police Agent Bennett radioed his dispatcher requesting a Signal 13. He calmly requested an ambulance reporting to the dispatcher that he’d been shot. Even though seriously wounded Agent Bennett was able to broadcast the route of escape used by the two assailants. Northern District Officers who responded to the 4900 block of Greenspring Avenue found Agent Bennett lying face down in the middle of the street. He had been shot in the back. Agent Bennett, still conscious but not able to move, told officers that he had the. assailant’s driver’s license and registration card in his hand. (The license and registration, in fact, belonged to a third party not directly involved in the incident.) A Baltimore City Fire Department Ambulance transported Agent Bennett to Sinai Hospital where he is under treatment for the gunshot wound. Investigation revealed that a 63 year old West Baltimore man had stopped his automobile in traffic at Mosher and Fulton Avenues shortly before 10:00 o’clock the night before, when two men forced their way into his vehicle at gunpoint. He was forced to drive into an alley and was then prodded, at gunpoint, into the trunk of his own vehicle. The assailants then apparently drove randomly for about an hour before firing three shots into the closed trunk. The vehicle’s owner sustained a gunshot wound of the left hand. The suspects then drove for approximately six hours until they encountered Police Agent Bennett in the 3800 block of Greenspring Avenue. Officers from the Northern District immediately began a search for the suspects wanted for the shooting and abduction. Slightly more than an hour after the shooting occurred Officer Richard Lear of the Northern District saw a male subject edging out of the wooded area at Northern Parkway and the Jones Falls Expressway. The suspect’s clothing was partially mud-covered. He fit the description of one of the assailants which had been given police by the victim of the abduction the night before. A search for the second suspect continued with Police Officers in all districts receiving a description and a nickname of the person thought to be the second assailant. Shortly after 5 :00 a.m. a Western District Police Agent received a report from a 45 year old taxi cab operator who related that he had picked up a fare at Fulton Avenue and Reisterstown Road and taken him to the 700 block of McKean Avenue. According to the driver the fare then got out of the vehicle, produced a small caliber handgun and announced a robbery. The victim turned over $5.00 in currency and at the same time he alertly grabbed the suspect’s gun and stepped on the accelerator causing the vehicle to lurch forward at the moment the assailant discharged his weapon. The projectile narrowly missed the victim and smashed his vehicle’s front windshield. The taxicab driver was not injured. After receiving a description of the assailant in the hold-up and noticing the similarity in the description to those given after Agent Bennett was shot, a description was broadcast which linked the two incidents. Police from the Homicide Unit and the Western District then began an intensive search in the Western District for the wanted assailant. Police searched, without success for nearly five hours before arriving at a residence which is located in the 700 block of North Monroe Street. After receiving information to the effect that the wanted person was inside the residence officers entered and arrested the suspect without further incident. Detectives investigated both subjects thoroughly and with the advice of the Violent Crimes Liaison Unit of the State’s Attorney’s Office placed the following charges against the suspects: # 1 Two counts assault with intent to murder One count of armed robbery One count of kidnapping Two counts of possession of a handgun Two counts of using a handgun in the commission of a felony #2 Three counts of assault with intent to murder Two counts of armed robbery One count of kidnapping Three counts of possession of a handgun Three counts of using a handgun in the commission of a felony Both suspects are incarcerated awaiting adjudication of the charges which have been lodged against them.
Officer Wardell James Seriously Wounded September 7, 1978 Officer Wardell James Shortly after midnight on the morning of September 7, 1978, the routine radio traffic of the Baltimore Police Department’s Communications System was interrupted by an urgent call for assistance by Officer Wardell James of the Northeastern District. He had been shot, he said, and needed an ambulance. Officer James was found lying in the 5200 block of Parkside Drive, shot twice in the right side. Officers quickly obtained a description of the suspect and this was broadcast to all units immediately. Tactical Section Sergeants Richard J. Ellwood, Jr. was responding to the area when he noticed the suspect, who had just been described, operating a motorcycle at a high rate of speed westbound on Moravia Road. As he began to pursue the suspect he notified Communications of the manner and direction of the escape. In the 2400 block of East Coldspring Lane, the suspect lost control of his motorcycle and it overturned throwing him to the ground. At this time he lost possession of his .38 caliber automatic. Sergeant Ellwood pursued the suspect on foot to the rear of the 2400 block of East Coldspring Lane, and lost sight of him. Officer D. K. Ossmus of the Northeastern District, responding as the result of Sergeant Ellwood’s communications on the direction of travel of the fleeing suspect was stopped by a distraught citizen who told him that a man fitting the suspect’s description had just taken his automobile from him at gun point. The citizen accompanied Officer Ossmus and at Gilray Drive and Southern Avenue they recovered the stolen automobile which was parked at the curb. At this point Ossmus spotted the suspect as he forced another citizen at gunpoint out of a van parked on East side of Gilray Drive. As Officer Ossmus gave chase the van accelerated at a rapid rate. Keeping his radio dispatcher informed of the changing routes of the suspect’s vehicle Officer Ossmus gave other responding police units the opportunity to establish a roadblock at the intersection of Roland Avenue and Northern Parkway. The suspect approached the police roadblock at a high rate of speed and in an attempt to drive around the stationary police vehicles he lost control and collided with a utility pole. Officers who had established the road block took him into custody as he attempted to leave the van. At this time Officer James’ service revolver was recovered. At Parkside Drive and Sinclair Lane a man told Officers who were assisting the wounded Officer James that he had been the victim of a kidnapping and that he knew the identities of two of three of the assailants. He said that when the vehicle, in which he was being held at gunpoint stopped at the intersection he observe a Officer James with a stopped civilian vehicle on Sinclair Lane. Fearing for his life the kidnap victim had escaped from the vehicle and called for the Officer to assist him. Officer James immediately ran across two lanes of Sinclair Lane and encountered the suspect who produced an automatic weapon. A brief struggle followed in which the suspect wrested the service revolver from Officer James. Two shots were fired and Officer James fell to the roadway, critically wounded. The suspect fled to a nearby apartment complex, where he obtained the motorcycle to be used in the attempted escape. The suspect, 25 year old Sherman W. Dobson of Baltimore, was charged with Assault with Intent to Murder Officer James, Kidnapping, three Armed Assault and Robberies and numerous handgun violations. He is presently awaiting trial. Officer James was taken to Baltimore City Hospitals where he underwent several hours of emergency surgery to repair the damage caused by the two bullets which had been fired into him at point blank range. He is presently under intensive medical supervision as he recovers from his wounds
Traffic Officer Hurt in Presidential Motorcade October 1978 Officer Earl Carter
It Did The Job! April 7, 1979 Officer Michael Dunn When a Police Officer gets shot in the line of duty all of us are saddened. Recuperation from gunshot wounds is a long, slow and often painful process. There are occasions, however, when such an incident has a brighter than expected ending. Officer Michael P. Dunn of the Southern District was shot three times during what began as a traffic violation stop on April 7, 1979. When he stopped a van that Saturday night he had little way of knowing how close death would be in just a moment or two. The van was occupied by three people, the driver and two young women, who were being held against their wills; He had kidnapped and raped them earlier in the evening. Officer Dunn, of course, was unaware of this when he stopped the vehicle. Just twelve days after his harrowing experience Officer Dunn visited the NEWSLETTER Office and talked about what had happened to him. In the following excerpts from that Interview he offers a unique perspective on what was nearly a personal disaster: “I just finished backing a unit up on Reedbird Ave. and went down to Reedbird and Hanover to finish the run sheet for the night. I finished and pulled onto Hanover St. to go into the Station when I spotted a black van with no tail lights or tag light. I pulled him over in about the 2700 block of South Hanover St. “I approached the van and requested his driver license and registration. He took them out of his wallet and I advised him that his tail lights were out and he said that he knew because the fuse blew that day. While I was talking to him I heard a low scream coming from the back of the van and 1 didn’t think too much of it. I figured that they were playing in the van. “As I was looking at his registration I heard this terrifying scream and as soon as I heard that I said to myself, OK . . . just be calm and don’t make any jerky moves. I looked back toward him and there’s a gun pointing at my head. I put my hands into the air because I knew that I had no chance for my gun. He said, ‘let me have it’, it dawned on me that he wanted his license back because it had his picture on it. “As soon as I gave it to him he shot me almost dead center in the chest. (I was) no more than three or four feet away from him. The first shot threw me back and spun me around and I then got it in the left arm and in the left leg.”. . . I remember the hit in the chest and the next thing I knew I was down on the ground. If there was any pain in the chest from that I really can’t say because my mind was on what to do, what to remember and the things I was hearing from the opposite side of the van. “. . . When the other units got there I was conscious (and) they asked me where I was shot. As soon as I said that I was hit in the chest one guy said, ‘Did you have the vest on?’ and I said, ‘Yes, I think it did the job because I don’t feel any pain and no blood running down the chest!’ “. . . (In the hospital) I helped them take the vest off because I was anxious to see if it did the job. When I saw just the bruise and just some skin that was more or less cut, I’m yelling, ‘It really works! It really works! It did the job!’ The bullet which struck Officer Dunn in the chest passed through his necktie before striking his soft body armor. The bullet is shown just above the impact paints which are marked with arrows “Lieutenant (James L.) Rainey was looking in the door and I told him to go back to Roll Call and tell the men that it ‘really works. If I could have gotten up I probably would have been jumping up down for joy. “. . . A lot of men really want to know, does it really work? It’s so flimsy and all . . . I found out the hard way. If it wasn’t for the vest, I wouldn’t be sitting here now. It definitely saved my life. “The vest definitely works. I’ll still complain about it being hot, but I’m still going to wear it.” After Officer Dunn was shot he was able to broadcast a description of his assailant. A short time later Southern District Officer Samuel Ritch, Jr. saw the fleeing van and placed his patrol vehicle in a position to block the roadway. The suspect’s vehicle rammed the Police unit and then spun into a privately owned vehicle. The suspect was captured and was later charged with multiple assaults intent to murder, rape, kidnapping and handgun violations. Officer Dunn is recovering quickly from his injuries and will return to duty in the very near future.
Police Officer Wounded August 30, 1979 Officer David Garayoa Officer David S. Garayoa, Southern District, was wounded on August 30, 1979 during a bizarre incident which still remains a mystery. Officer Garayoa, a six year veteran, was walking his foot post and had just completed a business check of a food market in the 900 block of East Patapsco Avenue. He walked from the store to the rear loading dock of the building where he intended to check the parking lot. While in the parking lot he heard what sounded like breaking glass and immediately felt a stinging sensation in his left forearm. He grabbed his arm and turned to his right looking in the direction of the noise. Officer Garayoa looked at his bleeding left arm and realized that he had been shot. He notified his communications dispatcher that he was shot and requested assistance. A unit quickly arrived and transported the injured officer to a nearby hospital. At the hospital, a .44 calibre magnum projectile, probably fired from a rifle, was removed from the officer’s arm and examined by a technician from the Laboratory Division’s Firearms Unit. As a result of the projectile examination and the circumstances surrounding the incident it is felt that the shooting of Officer Garayoa was not a deliberate shooting, but apparently a stray shot fired from a great distance. This opinion is based upon a number of factors; the relatively minor injury to Officer Garayoa and the non-mutilated condition of the projectile. An unobstructed shot from a .44 calibre rifle has an effective range of 400 to 500 yards. From within this effective range the injury to Officer Garayoa’s arm would have been extensive. Total disintegration of the projectile would have almost been a certainty. The trajectory of the projectile was in a downward angle. This would indicate that the shot was apparently fired outside the effective range and apparently at an upward angle. A .44 calibre rifle, being a high powered hunting rifle, has an extremely loud report. The officer and three witnesses, however, reported that the only noise heard was a sound similar to breaking glass.
Eastern District Officer Wounded October 19, 1979 Officer Michael Cassizzi Officer Michael J. Cassizzi, Eastern District, was wounded on October 19, 1979 during an incident which ended with the suicide of his assailant. The events surrounding the shooting of Officer Cassizzi, a four year veteran, began hours earlier. A relative of the suspect talked with doctors seeking help for his foster brother who was apparently mentally ill. After the doctor spoke with the suspect he advised the relative to obtain emergency commitment papers from a judge for his foster brother. The Court Order was obtained and presented to officers at the Eastern District who were assured that the suspect had no weapons. Officers went to the residence of the suspect to serve the commitment papers and again met the foster brother who told them that the suspect was in the basement. The officers, including Officer Cassizzi, examined the basement with negative results. The officers were then informed that the suspect was probably in a second floor bathroom. They went to the area, found the door locked and a light on inside. The officers asked the suspect several times to unlock the door, but he refused each time. When Officer Leonard Petrovich forced the door open the light went out and gun shots erupted from the room. The officers retreated to the first floor under a rain of bullets. During the retreat; Officer Cassizzi was shot. Officer Cassizzi was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment of a gun shot wound in the lower back. It was later learned that Officer Petrovich’s portable radio had been struck by a bullet. A command post was established and attempt» were made to establish communication with the suspect. There was never a reply. Chemical agents were used several times in an attempt to force the suspect from the residence. Quick Response Team members then saw the suspect lying in a hallway. He had taken his own life.
Officer Spared Serious Injury November 24, 1979 Officer William Surratt Shootings of Baltimore Police Officers continue. The latest incident involved Officer William R. Surratt, a 21 year veteran assigned to the Western District. Officer Surratt is the eighth officer to be shot this year and the fifth within the past three months. Although eight unlawful police shootings in the past eight months is alarming it does not equal the twelve officers injured by gunshot in 1976. Officer Surratt sustained a gunshot wound to his abdomen. Officer Surratt is at home recovering from a relatively minor laceration. He was spared serious injury or death by soft body armour provided by the Department. This is the second time this year that an officer has been spared the ordeal of a serious gunshot wound by his protective body armour. On November 24, 1979, Officer Surratt, while working as an Officer-in-Charge, heard gunshots in a tavern in the 2100 block of W. North Avenue. Officer Surratt had no way of knowing that a few moments before, a suspect had entered the tavern, brandished a .38 calibre revolver and shot a victim four times. The apparent drug related incident proved fatal to the victim. Seeing a person walking from the tavern, Officer Surratt left his patrol vehicle and ordered the suspect, who was reaching into his waistband, to stop. The officer drew his service revolver and commanded the suspect to stop for a second and third time. At this the gunman stopped walking, turned completely and fired a shot at Officer Surratt striking him in the left side. Officer Surratt stumbled forward momentarily and returned fire. The suspect, struck in the right buttock, was knocked to the sidewalk. The officer, having absorbed the impact of the suspect’s bullet, was still able to approach, disarm and arrest the suspect. Officers responding to the Signal 13 called by Officer Surratt found him standing in the middle of the block along side his prisoner. Officer Surratt was transported to a nearby hospital where he was admitted in good condition for a blunt trauma laceration to his abdomen. He was released a few days later and is now recuperating at home. The suspect was also taken to a near by hospital in good condition. He has been charged with homicide, assault by shooting with intent to murder and appropriate handgun violations.
Northwestern District Officer Wounded February 19, 1980 Officer Thomas Lewis Most persons who are skilled law enforcement professionals would agree that much of the work which is accomplished on “normal patrol” could be described as “routine”. They will also agree that the distance between tedium and survival is often very slight. It started that way for Officer Thomas H. Lewis of the Northwestern District as he began his tour of duty on February 19, 1980. That Tuesday morning wasn’t even 15 minutes old when the Officer was stopped by a young man in the 2700 block of Hilton Street. He told the Officer that his younger brother, about a half block away, had a handgun. Officer Lewis confronted the suspect who assaulted him with a portable radio, then pulled a concealed 22 calibre handgun. The exchange of gunfire left the suspect seriously wounded. The Police Officer’s “soft body armour” stopped what could have been two fatal wounds of the chest and abdomen. A third bullet chewed through his left arm. He radioed for assistance and when additional Officers arrived they found him still guarding the seriously wounded assailant. Both were taken to nearby hospitals. Officer Lewis was treated, released and is presently recuperating satisfactorily. His adversary was transferred to a shock trauma unit for treatment of massive injuries. Soft body armour has, on numerous occasions, saved the lives of Officers of the Baltimore Police Department. The addition of the “garment” to the “official wardrobe” of a Police Officer in 1976 was greeted with some trepidation by several members of the Department. Its effectiveness, however, has made it as desirable a piece of wearing apparel as a good pair of shoes. You wouldn’t go out without your shoes on, would you?
Unusual Accident Injures Officer February 27, 1980 Officer Michael Herpel During the past year, more than 44,000 traffic accidents were investigated by police in Baltimore City. Fortunately, the over-whelming majority of these accidents are of a minor nature. For most officers, a traffic accident investigation is routine. Some officers have probably investigated hundreds of accidents during the course of their careers. On February 27, 1980, Officer Michael Herpel’s radio dispatcher sent him to the intersection of Washington Boulevard and Monroe Street for an accident. A dump truck had struck a utility pole. At the accident site he met Officer Richard Palmisano. They had a mess to take care of. As the result of the accident, two large traffic signals were lying in the intersection still attached to their cables which were also lying across the roadway. An intensive traffic tie-up had developed as vehicles attempted to slowly cross the cables. Officer Herpel notified authorities of the damaged traffic light as he and Officer Palmisano began to direct traffic, side by side, in the center of the intersection. The officers were directing traffic across the cables when a truck entered the intersection. As the truck slowly crossed the cable, the rear wheels became entangled with the wires stretching the cables. The truck operator, apparently unaware of what was happening proceeded on, stretching the cable until it snapped. Two traffic signals, which were still suspended, hurtled into the intersection as if hurled by a giant rubber band. One of the stoplights struck Officer Herpel directly in the upper chest causing him to fall back into the arms of Officer Palmisano. Officer Herpel was seriously injured. Officer Palmisano called for assistance and began to render first aid. At the University of Maryland Hospital it was determined that Officer Herpel sustained a broken neck and bruised spinal cord. While undergoing treatment Officer Herpel’s soft body armour was removed. Once again, this light weight fabric vest had saved a life. According to one of the attending physicians at the hospital, Herpel’s soft body armour saved his life. It has been estimated that the stop light hit the officer with about 1,000 lbs. of force. Rather than absorb this impact in a small area of the chest, the officer’s “vest” dissipated the energy of the blow over a wider portion of his body. Officer Herpel has undergone surgery. He has progressed satisfactorily enough to be removed from the intensive care unit of the hospital. Officer Herpel continues to show progress in what will be a long recovery period
Eastern District Officer Wounded During Ambush March 25, 1980 Officer Charles Benjamin Police Officer Charles H. Benjamin, Eastern District, was wounded on Friday, March 25, 1980 during an apparent ambush. At about 8:30 that evening, Officer Benjamin was on Sinclair Lane. As he approached Homestead Street he was flagged down by a citizen. This simple stop, which has occurred thousands of times was the beginning of a nightmarish few minutes for the officer. Officer Benjamin brought his vehicle to a stop in a nearby parking lot as the person came nearer. Suddenly the person pointed a cloth bag which covered his hand and demanded the officer’s portable radio and service revolver. Reacting instinctively Officer Benjamin grabbed his assailant’s arm and pulled him partially into his radio car. Gunfire erupted from the bag. Officer Benjamin drew his service revolver which the suspect tried to grab with his free hand. In the struggle the weapon discharged. The suspect wrested free of the officer’s grasp, backed away and fired several more times at the officer. The gunfire ended, Officer Benjamin sat in his vehicle, shot in the right hand and upper right thigh. The bizarre incident wasn’t over. As he sat wounded he saw an automobile moving in a Westbound direction on Sinclair Lane from the direction of Belair Road. The interior and exterior lighting of this vehicle had been turned off as it cruised toward the shooting scene. As the car drew abreast of Officer Benjamin it stopped, the suspect got in, and it again drove in a Westbound direction. Officer Benjamin drove his vehicle across the street and called for help. Responding officers quickly applied first aid and rushed the stricken officer to a nearby hospital. While in route to the hospital Officer Benjamin gave a description of his assailant which was immediately broadcast to fellow officers throughout the city. Although an intensive search was conducted, the suspects were not found. Officer Benjamin underwent emergency surgery. The following day he was able to assist an artist to draw a likeness of the man who shot him. WANTED WANTED FOR ATTEMPT MURDER OF A POLICE OFFICER Wanted far the shooting of Officer Charles H. Benjamin, Eastern District, is a black male, 5/11 – 6 ft. 180 lbs., muscular build, short close cropped hair, pencil thin mustache, very light skin, very light hair on chin as if growing a beard, spoke with West Indies or Jamaican accent, wearing a green army fatigue combat jacket with draw strings at the bottom buttoned up to the neck, wearing black or blue dress pants. This suspect is armed with a .38 caliber revolver which was concealed in a cloth or canvas bag. Suspect was seen entering a 1969 Dodge Charger, red or burnt orange in color, dark vinyl top, false louvers in the door, the rear of this automobile was slightly elevated, dark license plates, registration undetermined. This vehicle had shiny hubcaps or possible mag wheels, raised white lettering on the sidewalls of the rear tires. Anyone having any information concerning the identity of the above suspect should contact the Homicide Unit at 396-2721.
Officer Greaves Ambushed July 17, 1980 For the fourth time this year a Police Officer was recently wounded on duty. Fortunately none of these shootings have inflicted serious injury due to the soft body armour the officers wear. In an incident earlier this year an officer’s soft body armour stopped what could have been two fatal bullet wounds of the chest and abdomen Officer Ralph E. Greaves, Jr Southwestern District Officer Ralph E. Greaves, Jr. was undertaking routine patrol shortly after midnight on July 17. He received a call, from the communications dispatcher, that a man with a gun was standing in the 1300 block of Bloomingdale Road. He arrived at the given address, which houses a tavern, and immediately saw, among a group of male suspects, a man carrying a rolled up blue towel. As Officer Greaves approached the suspect the towel was dropped to the pavement and the handgun rolled out. Officer Greaves immediately began the process of placing the young man under arrest, after recovering the weapon. As this was going the Officer heard several gunshots being fired behind him and he immediately felt the sting of two projectiles as they tore into his right shoulder and left. forearm. He turned and returned fire. The 23 year old suspect fell to the ground, then got up and began running as additional Officers arrived at the scene. Officer Greaves was taken, by patrol vehicle, to St. Agnes Hospital. Other Officers pursued the suspect through a series of rear yards in the 1200 block of Poplar Grove Street. The suspect, who scaled fences in his attempt to flee police, took off his shirt and threw it under a bush in the rear of 1227 Poplar Grove Street. Officers finally encountered him in the rear of 1215 Poplar Grove Street. As the Officers approached they ordered the suspect to stay still and not to move. Disregarding this order the suspect made a move toward the Officers and they fired several shots at him. He was then placed under arrest and was transported to St. Agnes Hospital where he was treated for minor gunshot wounds and was released. He was taken to the Southwestern District where he was charged with Assault with Intent to Murder Officer Greaves.
Central District Officer Wounded August 25, 1980 For the fourth time this year a Police Officer was recently wounded on duty. 4 Fortunately none of these shootings have inflicted serious injury due to the soft body armour ,the officers wear. In an incident earlier this year an officer’s soft body armour stopped what could have been two fatal bullet wounds of the chest and abdomen. Officer James Weglein Just before midnight on August 25, 1980, Officer James Weglein, Central District, assisted other officers and a sergeant serving a search and seizure warrant for narcotics at an apartment on Guilford Avenue. While two officers secured the rear of the building, Officer Weglein went to the front door with another officer and the sergeant. Their knocking and repeated calling out of “Police” produced no response. They forced the door, again shouting “Police” and entered, Officer Weglein in the lead. Suddenly a shotgun blast rang out from a hallway in the apartment. Officer Weglein raised his hands to his face and fell backwards against a wall. He quickly recovered and helped return fire at a man illuminated by the shotgun muzzle flash. The room fell silent. Officers, maintaining their defensive positions, called out for the suspect to surrender. For several moments there was no response. The suspect fired additional shots down the hallway as the officers continued to implore him to surrender. Finally the assailant called out that he was wounded and surrendered his shotgun. The officers arrested the suspect and administered first aid. Although struck in the face by shotgun pellets Officer Weglein led the suspect from the scene to an officer outside. Officer Weglein was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment from a few shotgun pellets to his face, hand and arm. He would return to work within a week, suffering injuries to his wrist from falling backward after being shot, and the multiple gunshot wounds from the shotgun pellets. After a month of light duty, he would return to full and active duty. He was awarded the Departments Citation of Valor. The suspect was hospitalized for a chest wound, and was charged with multiple assaults with intent to murder.
Officer Hood Wounded December 23, 1980 Officer Durwood Hood Shortly after 1 :30 a.m. on Tuesday, December 23, 1980, Officer Durwood Hood of the Eastern District heard a broadcast description of a man wanted for the armed robbery of a taxi-cab driver in his District. As Officer in Charge he was responding to the 2200 block East Lanvale Steet, where the robbery occurred. As he drove East on Federal Street the officer saw the suspect walking South on Montford Avenue. He pulled along side, got out of the Police Cruiser and approached the suspect, ordering him to place his hands atop the Police car. It was at this point that Officer Hood saw the gun in the suspect’s hand. The suspect fired as the Officer ducked behind the car door for cover. Two more shots were fired at him after he had been struck in the lower back. The suspect ran to an alley in the rear of the 2200 block East Lanvale Street after firing two shots at Officer Larry Evans of the Eastern District who was in pursuit. Officers recovered the hand gun from the alley. They then began knocking on doors of residences of the 2200 block East Lanvale in hopes of turning up information regarding the suspect. A woman at one of the homes whispered to an Officer that the suspect was inside her residence. She dosed the door. Homicide Detectives and Eastern District Officers then knocked on the door once more and the resident and the suspect appeared in the doorway. The suspect was arrested without further incident. Officer Hood was transported to Johns Hopkins Hospital for treatment of the gunshot wound to the lower left back. The suspect faces a variety of charges ranging from Assault with Intent to Murder two Police Officers, Armed Robbery and Breaking and Entering.
Officers Wounded January 9, 1984 Officer Theodore Black Shortly after midnight on January 9, 1984, two Central District Officers, who had arrested three men on the 11th floor of the High Rise Apartment Building, located at 734 West Fayette Street, called for a backup unit and a Cruising Patrol Wagon with which to transport the suspects to the Central District. Officers Theodore Black and Harry E. Sheppard III responded within moments and entered the lobby of the building. As they did so the elevator door opened and a woman pointed out a man in the elevator car saying he had just robbed her. The suspect immediately fired a shot which struck Officer Black in the left thigh Officer James Clark The suspect ran past the Officers to the front door of the building. Outside he encountered Officer James T. Clark, who had just arrived with his Cruising Patrol. The suspect fired twice at Officer Clark who was struck once in the upper right chest. At this point Officers Sheppard and Black came outside and pursued the suspect firing several shots. Medic Teams from the Baltimore City Fire Department arrived in a few moments and after initiating medical stabilization procedures, transported both Officers to University Hospital. Officer Black received medical attention and was listed in stable condition with a bullet lodged in his upper left leg. He was released the next day. Officer Clark’s condition was listed as critical and medical treatment and evaluation continued on a round the clock basis. Officer Clark was released from the hospital on January 15th and is continuing to recuperate at home. As the Officers were being administered initial and follow-up medical treatment, virtually every member of the Baltimore Police Department searched for the suspect. Detective Carl B. Layman of the Howard County Police Department, after consulting with the Officers and another witness, produced a sketch of the suspect. This sketch was widely distributed to Police Officers throughout the city and to each citizen through the splendid cooperation of Baltimore’s newspapers and television stations. As a result, literally dozens of phone calls were received by Detectives of the Homicide Unit. This resulted in the early morning arrest of the suspect a few days later. Officer Clark’s parents reside in Boston, Massachusetts, where his father retired after a distinguished 34 year career with the Boston Police Department. The family was alerted and came to Baltimore to be with Officer Clark during the initial stages of his recovery. Expenses for hotel accommodations and other necessary items were borne by the Signal 13 Foundation which, beginning September 1, 1983, has been making grants to members of the Department during their time of personal emergency. Police Commissioner Frank J. Battaglia pointed out that Officer Clark’s unfortunate injury provides an example of just one of the ways in which the Signal 13 Foundation can act quickly to provide meaningful assistance during a time of need. UPDATE Shooting Early last month, Central District Officers Theodore Black and James T. Clark were shot when they responded to assist with the arrest of three men by other Officers. Officer Black was shot in the left thigh and Officer Clark in the upper right chest as they happened upon a man who had just assaulted and robbed a woman in an elevator. The suspect was arrested a few days later. Both Officers are expected to fully recover from their wounds. Officer Clark’s parents reside in Dorchester, Massachusetts, where his father retired after a distinguished 34 year career with the Boston Police Department. The family was notified and immediately came to Baltimore to be with their son. Upon Mr. & Mrs. Clark’s return to Dorchester, they wrote: Dear Commissioner Battaglia: My wife, myself and our entire family wish to take this means to express our sincere thanks and appreciation to you and the members of the Baltimore Police Department for your concern and sympathy during a most trying period. The courtesies shown to my wife and I were beyond all expectations. When we arrived at Baltimore-Washington International Airport you can well imagine the deep concern we held for our son’s condition. We had been advised to contact the Central District of Baltimore Police Department upon our arrival. Because of the pressure and circumstances we had evidently recorded the wrong telephone number. We appealed to the State Police Detachment on duty at BWI. The courtesy and help extended to us by the Sergeant-in-charge and the other officers will always be remembered and was surpassed only by the actions of the officers of the Baltimore Police Department. Unfortunately, because of our distraught state of mind we failed to obtain the names of the officers of your department who were assigned to assist us. Enough cannot be said in praise of them. We would appreciate your extending our sincere gratitude to each and everyone of them. As a retired law enforcement officer. I find new pride in having been associated with a profession that shows such genuine concern for its own. Sincerely, Walter M. Clark Many of the Clarks’ needs were met locally. The Signal 13 Foundation, Inc., quickly mobilized their resources and defrayed the cost of the Clarks’ round trip air and expenses while in Baltimore.
Off-Duty Officer Shot and Killed Accidentally June 28, 1984 Officer Johnny LaGrone Officer Johnny l. LaGrone, Southwestern District, tragically lost his life due to gunshot wounds he received while off duty on June 28. Officer LaGrone, a 2 year veteran, was in the process of moving from his residence when an 8 year old child obtained possession of his service revolver and shot him with it. Even though responding officers and Fire Department Medical Technicians did everything possible to aid the stricken officer, he died a short time later at the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services.
Off-Duty Police Officer Stabbed July 14, 1984 Officer William Scott On July 14, 1984, Officer William Scott, Northwestern District, while off duly, attempted to quell a disturbance between several people. While assisting one of the participants with leaving the area, he was approached from behind and stabbed several times in the back. Officer Scott was able to pursue the suspect and wound him with his service revolver. The suspect was captured by responding on duly officers who also tended to the wounded officer. Officer Scott has been released from Johns Hopkins Hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.
Officer Richard Phillips
Wounded July 24, 1984 – Officer Richard D. Phillips, Western District, was shot as he struggled with an assailant during the evening of July 24, 1984. Officer Phillips was walking foot patrol in the 2100 blk. Pennsylvania Avenue when he entered the rear yard of a vacant house he knew was often used by drug abusers. As the officer went into the dark yard, he was immediately struck in the rear of his head by a heavy object. Staggered by the blow, he withdrew his service revolver to defend himself.. Officer Phillips was attacked by the suspect and a struggle began for possession of the officer’s service revolver. The weapon discharged into the officer’s thigh and the suspect fled. Responding officers rendered aid to Officer Phillips who was transported by ambulance to a nearby hospital. His gunshot wound was found not to be serious. Officer Phillips is resting at home and is expected to make a full recovery. No suspect has been apprehended in Officer Phillips’ shooting.
Four Wounded In Six Days November 1984 Four members of the Department were the victims of gunshot wounds in separate incidents during the past two weeks. A fifth officer was the hostage of a shotgun wielding man Officer Donna Cooper On the morning of November 2, Officer Vincent P. Cole, Central District, arrived at the scene of a shooting call. A man standing outside of a Park Avenue building told Officer Cole that a man living in a second apartment had shot and killed a first floor resident with a shotgun. Officer Cole entered the building, drew his service revolver, and walked through a hallway to the stairs leading to the second floor. Officer Donna M. Cooper arrived to “back-up” Officer Cole and ascended the stairs with him. On the second floor, a man suddenly appeared and pointed a shotgun into Officer Cole’s chest. Unable to defend Officer Cole, and to avoid a second hostage taking, Officer Cooper backed down the stairs and summoned additional aid. At shotgun point, Officer Cole was ordered by the man to holster his weapon and sit on the steps. For several minutes, the man discussed the shooting of his neighbor while keeping the shotgun pointed at the officer. Sergeant John Baker, Jr. While Officer Cole was being held hostage, special units throughout the Department began massing outside of the building to rescue him. Officer Cooper, along with Sergeant John F. Baker and Agent John J. McNamera had taken a position just inside the building doorway when the suspect saw them. He fired one blast from the shotgun wounding all three. Pellets struck Sergeant Baker in the face Agent NcNamera in his left hand and thigh, and Officer Cooper on an elbow. The wounds were minor allowing the three to escape the building and take cover. Agent John McNamera The gunman forced Officer Cole into his second floor apartment, reloaded the shotgun and said he was going to again confront police. The gunman left the room and began walking down the stairs. Officer Cole, hearing on his radio that Officers had been shot by the man withdrew his revolver and ordered him several times to stop. The gunman continued and the officer fired, fatally wounding the man. Officer Cole disarmed the suspect and walked from the building. Sergeant Baker and Agent McNamera were transported to a nearby hospital where they were treated and released. Officer Cooper received treatment at the scene of the incident. On November 8, Officers Jessie J. McClain, Mason Land, Jr. and Loney Manley, all assigned to the Northern District, Narcotic Drug Enforcement Unit, received information that illicit-drugs were being sold in an apartment building on Woodland Avenue. The officers went to the building to investigate the complaint. Inside, the officers saw several men standing in the apartment building hallway. One of the officers made a purchase of cocaine. After the drug transaction, Officers Manley, Land and McClain identified themselves as police officers and attempted to make arrests. The suspects, however, began to flee. One suspect produced a handgun and began firing on the officers. The officers left the hallway to seek cover while they returned fire. Officer Jessie McClain was wounded in the right shoulder. A Signal 13 was called and other officers, only moments away, responded to assist. Officer McClain was transported to Sinai Hospital by a police supervisor. All six suspects were arrested either at the scene or within several hours and charged. Officer McClain was released from the hospital the next day with the bullet still lodged in his shoulder. It will be determined at a later date if additional treatment will be required. Recovery, however, is expected to be complete.
Merry Christmas Paul December 1984 Officer Paul Coster Christmas gifts this year came in many ways to many people. For most, Christmas morning found families across the metropolitan area around Christmas trees ripping open gaily festooned boxes to delight in their contents kept secret for so long. Toys, clothes, tools, games, food and good will made this a special time of year. The spirit of the season was especially memorable for a retired Baltimore Police Officer thanks to the concern of the Office of Retiree Affairs and generosity of the Signal 13 Foundation. For Retired Officer Paul Coster, the Signal 13 Foundation provided the gift of a better life. In 1968, Officer Coster retired from the Traffic Division. He retired as the result of a line of duty injury to his arm that he sustained while rescuing a trapped woman from a burning automobile. During retirement, Officer Coster developed an arthritic condition so severe that it resulted in the removal of his entire right hip and leg bone to the knee. This disability has confined Officer Coster to a wheelchair for the past several years. Officer Coster was unable to operate his manual wheelchair due to his arm injury. With the help of his wife, he was able to remain mobile. During the past few years, however, Mrs. Coster also developed medical difficulties that necessitated several back and neck operations. These operations no longer allowed her to push her husband’s wheelchair. Officer and Mrs. Coster had a problem that seemingly had no attainable solution. A motorized wheelchair was, of course, the answer. But the several thousand dollar cost of the new wheelchair made that solution prohibitive. The quality of life for Officer Coster was rapidly fading. In the Fall of 1984, Officer Coster contacted the Office of Retiree Affairs and spoke to Sergeant Charles R. Daugherty. Under the auspices of the Office of Retiree Affairs, Sergeant Daugherty and his staff have assisted dozens of retired members with information and problems dealing with benefits, insurance, the Credit Union and other things that may affect retired people. Sergeant Daugherty was touched by the critical need of Officer Paul. To assist with the unique needs of Officer Paul, Sergeant Daugherty immediately enlisted the aid of the Signal 13 Foundation. Since August, 1983, the Signal 13 Foundation has provided assistance to members of the Department during times of personal crisis. Under the leadership of its Chairman, former Police Commissioner Frank J. Battaglia, the Board of Directors of the Foundation has enlisted many of Baltimore’s prominent business people, community leaders and professionals into its membership. The Foundation has granted funds to assist with extraordinary medical expenses, reimbursement of critical personal property not covered by insurance , and to meet other crucial needs of members and their families. The Signal 13 Foundation Board of Directors met and enthusiastically agreed to underwrite the expense of a motorized wheelchair for Officer Coster. A local distributor of motorized wheelchairs was contacted and agreed to supply a premium machine at a substantially reduced cost. On December 21, 1984, Officer Coster and his wife, Theresa were the special guests of the Signal 13 Foundation and Police Commissioner Bishop L. Robinson at the Headquarters Building. At an afternoon gathering in the Headquarters Lobby of Foundation Board Members, Police Department Command Staff members and friends of Officer Coster, a special presentation was made. Awaiting Officer Coster were former Commissioner Battaglia and Commissioner Robinson with a new motorized wheelchair and a large card offering him Season’s Greetings from the Signal 13 Foundation. After remarks by attending officials and from Officer Coster, he was gently lifted from his old manual chair into his new one. With a twinkle of excitement in his eyes, he engaged the chair mechanism and navigated a short course in the Lobby to the smiles and applause of everyone present. Christmas came early for Paul Coster. But this past Christmas will also be one that everyone who attended the ceremony will remember. On that day, the Signal 13 Foundation gave Paul the gift of a more complete life. For that gift to a retired Officer, the entire Department says thank you. To retired Officer Coster we say. . . Merry Christmas Paul.
Officer Martin Wounded April 8, 1985 Officer Stephen Martin Officer Stephen D. Martin, Northwestern District, was wounded in the face by a man brandishing a sawed-off shotgun during the afternoon of April 8, 1985. Officer Martin was inside a home in Northwest Baltimore in company with Officer Joseph E. Lettau investigating a domestic disturbance. While speaking with the complainant, Officers Martin and Lettau heard . . . “several gunshots and one shotgun blast outside.” The officers quickly went out. Seeing nothing nearby, they ran a short distance to an alleyway. Officer Martin entered the alley ahead of Officer Lettau and saw, about 25 feet further in the alley, a man holding a sawed-off shotgun. Officer Martin commanded the man, who was walking away, to stop. At that, the man turned and fired a blast at the officer. Several pellets hit Officer Martin in the face along with debris from a brick wall he was standing next to. The wall absorbed much of the blast. Officer Martin, though wounded, returned fire at the suspect with his service revolver. The suspect fired a second shot, this time at Officer Lettau. Unseen by Officer Martin, but observed by Officer Lettau, were two more armed suspects in the alley. These suspects opened fire on Officer Lettau with handguns. Officer Lettau dropped to the ground as all the suspects ran from the alley. Officer Lettau ran to Officer Martin and led him from the alley as he called for additional assistance. Moments later, the area was flooded by fellow officers along with medical personnel to tend to Officer Martin’s wounds. He was taken to a nearby hospital, treated for his injuries and released. He has returned to duty. Officer Lettau narrowly avoided injury. He later discovered a bullet hole in a leg of his uniform trousers! The shotgun assailants of Officers Martin and Lettau currently remain at large.
Officer Heiderman and “Tony” Wounded June 14, 1985 Officer John Heiderman On June 14, 1985, Officer John F. Heiderman, Traffic Division, was patrolling Druid Hill Park when he noticed a parked vehicle bearing only one license plate. He dismounted from his horse “Tony” and approached the vehicle which was occupied by two men. Officer Heiderman requested the driver’s license and vehicle registration. At this time the driver of the car started the ignition in an attempt to drive away. Officer Heiderman reached into the car to shut-off the ignition. As Officer Heiderman attempted to get the car keys, 3 shots rang out, striking the officer twice. Police Officer Joseph V. Fonte, Northern District, heard the shots and saw Officer Heiderman stagger to the side of the road and collapse. He exited his vehicle and called out to the suspects who were driving away. Ignoring commands to stop, Officer Fonte fired at the suspect’s car several times. The suspects shot back, striking his vehicle. He then went to the aid of Officer Heiderman and radioed for medical help. Within seconds, a description of the suspect’s car and license tag was broadcast by Officer Heiderman. Police units from throughout the city attempted to locate the suspects’ vehicle. Officer Heiderman was flown by Maryland State Police Helicopter to University Hospital’s Shock Trauma Unit for gunshot wounds to the right arm and upper chest. In the early evening, an alert citizen called police and reported that a car matching the description of the suspects’ car was seen in Northwest Baltimore on a parking lot. Foxtrot responded to the area and located the suspects’ car for searching ground units. It was learned that the car was taken in an armed robbery and kidnapping committed in Weehawken, New Jersey the day before. With the assistance of the Weehawken Police Department, the identity of one of the two persons involved in the offense was obtained. Both suspects remain at large. Officer Heiderman was released from the hospital later that evening with a bullet still lodged in his upper chest. It will be determined at a later date if it will be removed. Recovery is expected to be complete. “Tony“, Officer Heiderman’s horse, was also injured by one of the suspects’ bullets. The bullet is lodged in the horse’s right hip and will not require removal unless the horse shows signs of discomfort.
Sergeant McLarney Shot September 1, 1985 Sergeant Terrance McLarney Shortly before 6:00 p.m., September 1, 1985, a gunman robbed a service station located in the 2200 block of Edmondson Avenue at gunpoint. After obtaining the money he brandished his weapon at the 30 year old attendant who ran looking for police assistance. Officers quickly broadcast a description of the wanted suspect, warning Officers that he was armed with a handgun. Sergeant Terrance McLarney, 32, of the Western District was responding in the 2300 block of Arunah Avenue when a witness pointed to a spot in the bushes where the suspect was hiding. Sgt. McLarney requested a backup unit and was quickly joined by Western District Officer Reginald Hendrix, 26. Both approached, on foot, to within 8 feet of the bushes, their service revolvers drawn. As the suspect exited his hiding place, both Officers observed a weapon in his hand and ordered him to discard it. The suspect fired two shots, both striking Sgt. McLarney. He and Officer Hendrix returned fire. The weapon, a 9mm automatic, was subsequently recovered. One of its projectiles had penetrated Sgt. McLarney’s soft body armor. He received a wound of the left abdomen. The other projectile struck him in the left thigh. He was taken to the Shock Trauma Unit at the University of Maryland Hospital where, at press time, he was in fair condition and recovering from his injuries. The suspect, Raeford Barry Footman of the 500 block N. Pulaski Street was also taken to the Shock Trauma Unit where he is being treated for wounds of the right shoulder and thigh.
Officer Wade Wounded September 12, 1986 Officer Timothy Wade On September 12, 1986, around 11 :00 p.m., Officer Timothy Wade, Northwestern District, was patrolling the 4200 block of Pimlico Road when he saw suspicious activity. He stopped his patrol car and approached a suspect to conduct a field interview. Suddenly, the suspect bolted and ran. Officer Wade pursued. After a short foot chase, he turned toward the officer, removed a handgun from his waistband and fired several shots at Officer Wade. The officer slumped to the ground after one of the shots struck him in the left side, just below the protective portion of his soft body armor. Fellow officers rushed to Officer Wade’s location after hearing his transmission over the radio. An ambulance was called to transport him to Sinai Hospital. Officers at the scene began compiling information on the suspect’s identity. Within hours, they had identified the shooter with the cooperation of citizens from the community. It was later learned that the felon that Detectives were searching for was wanted on two Warrants on charges of Attempted Murder, Assault by Shooting and a previous Handgun Violation. Members of the Patrol Division, Fugitive Unit, and Homicide Unit continued to search for four days in the Pimlico area for the suspect. They developed information that the suspect was hiding in an apartment located in the 2500 block of Edgecomb Circle North. As the Officers approached the building, the suspect hid in a crawl space under the roof of the apartment building. Members of the Department’s Quick Response Team were able to capture him. He was transported to the Northern District Station and charged with Assault With Intent to Murder Officer Wade. Officer Wade, 21 years old, has been a member of the Department nearly a year. He joined as a Police Cadet and after graduating from the Education and Training Division was assigned to the Northwestern District in May of this year.
SOME HAVE MORE TO GIVE ~Agent Eugene Cassidy~ “Medal of Honor Recipient” Baltimore City Police Officer September – October 2005 Volume 32, Number 5 From the Office of the Executive Director Patrick L. Bradley Maryland Police Training Commission Over the last decade I have had the honor of attending many graduation ceremonies for new law enforcement and correctional officers. Given the sentiments at these ceremonies it is not unusual for speakers to reference the sacrifices these (usually) young men and women are making to serve their community. Nearly all have the skills, talents and intellect to earn more money than they will in public safety. They have “answered the call” to serve their communities, and have sacrificed higher compensation, regular hours and a safe working environment. I get a very special feeling of appreciation that comes with the understanding of the willingness of these men and women to give up so much. For some, service as a public safety officer will require even more sacrifice…. when injury and harm go from potential to reality. For a few, thankfully a very few, the ultimate sacrifice of their lives will be the cost of their service. Others may incur physical or emotional injuries. It will be a life-long or life altering consequence of their duty as a police officer, sheriff or correctional officer. For those officers who survive the debilitating line-of-duty service injury there are few choices available. Certainly the career as a public safety officer is over. Insurance, pension or other compensation may offset the lost earnings, but there is nothing to replace the loss of what was once a promised and promising future. There are, of course, exceptions. One of these exceptional people is Baltimore City Police Agent Eugene Cassidy.
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In 1987, Police Agent Eugene Cassidy was patrolling the Baltimore City’s Western District when he spotted an individual he believed was wanted. In the ensuing confrontation, Agent Cassidy was shot in the head. His life was spared, but he lost his sight; totally, irretrievably, permanently. After the hospitalization and therapy, Agent Cassidy was faced with the decision as to his future and that of his young family. A full, tax-free, line-of-duty pension was available to him. But that injury-based retirement also meant the termination of Gene’s dream and desire to serve public safety. He wasn’t ready to call it quits. He wanted to stay a police officer. He would become a police trainer. College educated and experienced as a patrol officer in Baltimore’s most challenging neighborhoods, Gene Cassidy felt he had something to offer new recruit police officers. Not only could he instruct them on the knowledge and skills they would need, he could also demonstrate what it meant to be a police officer…..to serve the community and to give, above and beyond the call-of-duty, and to keep giving long after even the most committed would stop. I was the commanding officer of the Baltimore City Police Academy when Agent Cassidy was being considered for appointment as an instructor. When I asked the obvious question about why he would opt to continue working when a full pension was available he response was simple. He said he felt he had more to give. Working with a companion dog, an array of sophisticated Braille-related equipment and a contingent of supportive fellow- instructors, Gene Cassidy developed into one of Maryland’s premier public safety instructors. He is the living testimony of true essence of commitment to a vocation. Over the last fourteen years, Agent Eugene Cassidy has influenced more recruit and veteran police officers as an instructor than he could ever hope to in another capacity. Last month, Agent Eugene Cassidy accepted a retirement from the Baltimore City Police Department. He leaves a legacy of influence that will transcend many generations of officers. I am proud to have once been his commanding officer at the Academy and to have played some small role in his development as a trainer. I regard Gene Cassidy as an outstanding instructor, an extraordinary police officer and an exceptional human being. An example to all. “Butchie Frazier” the COWARD that shot Cassidy
14 March 2003
Police Say Assault Measure is Needed
They Asked the Senate to Make Attack on Officer a Felony House Has Passed a Bill
Sun Staff Julie Bykowicz
A 54 second arrest attempt ended Kathleen Irwin’s 11 year career as a Baltimore police officer and left her bedridden and in a full body brace for months.
The drunken man who shoved her into a metal shelving unit ruptured a disc in her lower back, was charged with a misdemeanor and sentenced to 18 months of unsupervised probation.
This legislative session, police officers have stepped up their efforts for passage of a bill that would make assaulting an officer a felony. After four consecutive years of failure, the bill has made it further than ever this year.
“It is my belief that if I were able to charge this suspect as a felon, he would’ve gotten a more appropriate penalty,” Irwin told state senators this week at a hearing of the Senate judicial proceedings committee.
The house version of the bill passed 134 to 0 last week, and it Senate twin has 22 cosponsors of it makes it out of committee, the bill will need a simple majority of 24 votes in the Senate to head to the governor’s desk.
“This will give police officers one more weapon in their arsenal,” said O’Brien Atkinson, president of the Anne Arundel County fraternal order of police.
“A lot of seriousness goes along with being a convicted felon, and criminals know that.” Marilyn ranks fourth in the nation for assaults on law enforcement officers, with about 29 out of 100 officers assaulted in the line of duty each year
Of the 3947 officers assaulted in 2001, 572 were seriously injured, according to the latest uniform crime report available.
Officers say the current felony assault law, which requires intent, does not work for them because their injuries are more often the result of someone struggling to escape custody then from someone deliberately trying to hurt them.
Animal cruelty laws make it an automatic felony to assault the police dog, something law enforcement officers repeatedly pointed out at Tuesday’s hearing.
“Worthy of no less”
“Surely the men and women who protect you are worthy of no less consideration,” Anne Arundel County Sheriff George F. Johnson the fourth said during the hearing.
Anne Arundel County law enforcement agencies and unions who were closest to the state capital. Have campaigned hard for the bill, showing up in droves each time there is action on it.
Sen. Janet Greenup, and Anne Arundel County Republican, introduced a bill in January. She said a heavily amended version of her Bill addressed the concerns of some of her fellow legislators that every scuffle with police might qualify as a felony assault. The bill excludes “minor, temporary injuries.”
Greenup began pushing for the bill last year as a delicate when it failed to make it out of committee, she brought it to the floor as an amendment to a crime bill.
“People are finally waking up to the fact that we need these policeman, and we need to protect them in any way that we can,” Greenup said
The bills staunchest opponent have been defense attorneys, who say putting law enforcement officers into a special category could drive a wedge between police officers in the community they serve.
Testifying against the bill Tuesday, Stanley D. Jenner, a public defender in Baltimore, said it is “against public policy, this appropriate disproportionate and unnecessary.” Prosecutors on the bill. Douglas F. Gansler, the Montgomery County State’s Attorney, spoke in favor of the bill. William M teeth, and Anne Arundel prosecutor who tracks legislation for the Maryland state attorneys Association criticized it. “The community better looking long and hard before it passes this bill,” he said among his objections, he said is a fear that bumping into a police officer could be categorized as a felony. Greenup said her Bill makes it clear that such minor incidents would not qualify.
Gift favored a measure introduced by Sen. John A Giannetti Junior, a Prince George County Democrat, that instead of creating a separate assault category for law enforcement officers would add five years to first – and second – degree assault sentence says when the person assaults and officer.
Steve said the Marilyn states attorneys Association endorses unities bill.
Most law enforcement professionals at the hearing did not endorse and is bill, saying their flight to make assaulting an officer a more serious crime is aimed more at preventing than at increasing sentences.
“When someone is disorderly, we want to be able to look at them and say, “you assault me and it’s a felony,” Atkinson said
20 February 1993 12:03 PM police officer Kathy Irwin was chasing a shoplifter when the shoplifter turned and pushed her into some shelves which eventually turned fell on top of Officer Irwin causing a serious back injury which later needed surgery to area C for of her spinal cord forcing her retirement in 1995
Officers shot during dice-game robbery July 30, 2007 BALTIMORE – The two officers were interrupting the robbery of a dice game. And they got shot for it. Baltimore police say wounded officers Karen Brzowsky, 34, and Loretta Francis, 29, were doing exactly what they were supposed to do Monday when a gunman opened fire on their patrol car near Patterson Park, striking each officer once. “They were doing everything the city is asking of them,” acting Baltimore Police Commissioner Frederick Bealefeld said. “They were dispatched to that block by concerned residents. They answered the call and went there to do something about it. When they got there, they encountered a dangerous person, a violent offender in our city.” Police arrested Ranard Brown, 26, of the 1600 block of East Biddle Street in Baltimore, and charged him with two counts of attempted first-degree murder, two counts of assault and various weapons charges, police said. Attempted first-degree murder carries a maximum penalty of life in prison. Bealefeld said Brown has previously been arrested 14 times. Court documents show that he has been charged with misdemeanor assault, public urination, drug possession, disorderly conduct and a handgun charge, but never convicted of a crime. Margaret Burns, spokeswoman for Baltimore City State’s Attorney Patricia Jessamy, said Tuesday that prosecutors had to drop the handgun charge because the police officer in the case did not show up for court. Officers caught Brown on Baltimore Street on Monday night, pulling him over while the department conducted a widespread search for his license plate number, police said. Brzowsky and Francis were shot between 6 and 6:30 p.m. as they encountered a robbery of an ongoing dice game, Bealefeld said. Several gunshots rang out, striking the right side of their car. Francis was struck in the abdomen, and Brzowsky, who was driving the car, was hit in the arm. Francis was treated and released from the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center on Monday night. Brzowsky is “doing well; she’s resting,” said Sterling Clifford, a police department spokesman. Police recovered the gun used in the shooting outside “very near the crime scene” on Monday, Bealefeld said, who added that the gun had been reported stolen in Virginia. The commissioner credited residents for leading police to Brown. “The local residents stepped up and did their part,” Bealefeld said. Mayor Sheila Dixon called the officers “two brave individuals” and also thanked residents for turning the police investigation in Brown’s direction. “Citizens are recognizing that this is a partnership,” she said. Baltimore has experienced 182 homicides and 428 shootings this year. Homicides are up 19 percent and shootings 36 percent over the same period last year. Bealefeld said officers have seized more than 2,000 guns from the streets this year, compared with about 1,800 at this time last year. firstname.lastname@example.org
Baltimore Police Officer thrown off I-83, is critically injured June 21, 2011 Baltimore Police Officer Teresa Rigby was handling the most routine call on one of the city’s most treacherous roads. Just three years out of the academy, the officer was assisting a disabled car on the northbound Jones Falls Expressway — an elevated, curving highway with narrow breakdown lanes and lined with Jersey barriers marred with scrapes from cars whose drivers veered out of their lanes. It’s a stretch of road where, many officers hesitate to pull over seeders because it’s too dangerous an area to stop.
At 9:20 a.m., a black Saab struck the back of Rigby’s parked marked cruiser, with all emergency equipment activated, just south of Cold Spring Lane, hitting or forcing her off the highway and onto the parking lot of a Pepsi plant some 30 feet below. The 27-year-old officer was rushed to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where she was listed in critical condition with injuries that included multiple leg fractures. Dr. Thomas Scalea, physician-in-chief of the University of Maryland shock trauma center, told reporters before 1 p.m. that Rigby was on life support and would be going into surgery. Rigby had semi-conscience. She required several surgeries and months of therapy. She was extremely lucky that she did not die as a result of this incident.