EOW: Monday March 15, 2010
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Suspect was shot and killed
| Patrolman James Kerstetter was shot and
killed after responding to a call at a home on 18th Street. A
mother in the home had called 911 to report that a neighbor had
exposed himself to her child and kicked in a window in the home.
The suspect opened fire on officers after they located him at
his home, wounding Patrolman Kerstetter. Other officers returned
fire and killed the suspect. Officer Kerstetter was transported
to EMH Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.
Patrolman Kerstetter had served with the Elyria Police Department
for 15 years and had previously served with the Lorain County
Sheriff's Office, Grafton Police Department and the LaGrange
A special Thanks to the Chronicle-Telegram Staff & Photographers
for their Respect and Professionalism in covering this story.
A POLICE OFFICERS BADGE PROUDLY
A HERO AND FRIEND PROUDLY SWORN...
HIS LIGHT IN THE WORLD, NOW STOLEN AWAY...
DEEP FELT SORROW WILL GO ON FROM THAT DAY...
ALL WHO KNEW HIM, TAKE A MOMENT TO PRAY...
FOR HIS FAMILY AND FRIENDS WHO MUST FIND A WAY.
TO MOVE PAST THE HORROR, THE LOSS, AND THE FEARS,
PUSH PAST THE PAIN AND STINGING TEARS
REMEMBER THE HUSBAND, THE FATHER AND SON...
REMEMBER THE SMILE HE GAVE EVERYONE
A COMRADE, PROTECTOR, TRUE BROTHER IN BLUE,
HONORABLE, LOVING, STRONG AND TRUE,
NOW GUARDING THE HEAVENS, EPD 177
Christine Halvorsen /EPD Wife
|Officer Brad Scott was killed in a motorcycle
crash while detailed to support a police association function.
Officer Scott was enroute to pick up supplies for the event when
another vehicle pulled out in front of him at the intersection
of Sixteenth Street and Middle Avenue. Officer Scott was thrown
from his motorcycle upon impact and suffered fatal injuries.
The driver of the vehicle was charged with driving under the
influence of marijuana. He was subsequently convicted and sentenced
to one year in jail.
|Patrolman Taft was taking his fellow
officer Andress home. Andress, on the force one month, was off-duty.
A call came on the cruiser's radio to investigate a minor accident.
Thus began a bizarre account of three violent deaths.
Taft's investigation completed, he determined that Nathaniel
Spuriel, whose expensive coupe had collided with another car,
was intoxicated. Taft took the wheel of the coupe to bring the
Clevelander to Police Headquarters asking Andress to follow in
the cruiser. About one hundred feet from the accident scene,
Taft stopped and left the car to free a front fender that was
scraping a tire. An eyewitness to the events that followed was
standing on the sidewalk.
Spuriel removed the keys from his car. Taft ordered him to surrender
the keys and an argument broke out. Taft retrieved the keys and
ordered Spuriel back to the car. Both Officer Andress and the
eyewitness, Arthur DuReitz, said that Spuriel fired a shot from
the car and then jumped out and grappled with Taft. Taft pulled
his pistol and fended off the resisting man. Andress, unarmed,
attempted to go around Spuriel's car, grabbed a rock to circle
around from behind, but was driven back when Spuriel shot at
him. Spuriel followed Taft to the street, both men's guns blazing.
Taft sustained gunshot wounds in his abdomen and hip but managed
to put three bullets into the heart of his assailant, killing
Andress rushed Taft to the hospital where he died an hour and
one half later. Spuriel's car revealed something interesting
when it was searched at headquarters. A woman's nude body was
discovered in the trunk. She had been beaten to death. She was
identified as being involved with Spuriel, and they were to appear
for trial that week in connection with operating a house of prostitution.
Officer Taft's chief interest in private life was his wife and
his eight months old baby son. He had become one of the best
liked on the force, with a high devotion to his duties and a
strict sense of propriety in his work. Taft was twenty-nine at
the time of his death.
New York Central
Assigned to Elyria, Ohio
Sgt. David H. Barnes
EOW: Wednesday, July 27, 1920
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Suspect: Sentenced to life in the murder of another officer
|In the early 1900's Elyria Police
Department maintained a "Bum Cell". As many as sixty
transients a day would be rounded up, from the area of the railroad
yards, and incarcerated for the night. In the morning they would
be sent on their way, with orders to leave town. Police found
this process to be very effective in keeping the burglaries,
robberies, assaults and thefts in check.
NYC RR Detective Sergeant David H. Barnes, at 48 years old &
6'4", worked fearlessly and was single handily responsible
for as many as half that number on any given day.
On the evening of July 27, 1920, Sgt. Barnes made the arrest
of three transients and delivered them to the police station.
Sgt. Barnes returned to the area of the East Bridge Street railroad
undercut to locate two more suspects.
As Sgt. Barnes walked the tracks, a suspect lay in wait, concealed
behind boxcars. Three shots rang out. The first striking Sgt.
Barnes in the groin and knocking him to the ground. The second
missed it's mark. The third shot was fired point blank, striking
Sgt. Barnes in the head and killing him.
The suspect, a notorious bank robber, who had been in numerous
shootouts with police, was convicted and sentenced to life in
prison for the slaying of East Cleveland Detective Patrick Gaffney
(EOW 12-19-1918) and died in prison. He was never prosecuted
for the murder of Sgt. Barnes.
Sgt. Barnes was survived by his wife & four children. He
had previously worked as a Deputy Game Warden in Huron County,
| On April 10, 1916, at approximately
9 p.m., Rupert Becker was summoned by Marshall Miller to Church
St. to discuss a problem with a quarry worker, Martin Bischoff.
Bischoff had an argument earlier in the evening with another
bar patron. Marshall Miller learned Bischoff bought a .32-caliber
revolver and ammunition from the local hardware store after the
While advising Becker and Constable Fields, Bischoff exited a
bar from across the street with the gun in his hand. Marshall
Miller yelled out for him to put the gun away. Bischoff then
raised the pistol and began shooting at the officers. Watchman
Becker was shot four times, sustaining wounds to his back, hips,
and arms. Marshal Miller and Constable Fields were also wounded
during the attack, but survived. Bischoff was apprehended several
minutes later after running from the scene.
County Sheriff's Department
On Wednesday afternoon, June 11, 1930, Deputy Strohl was responding
to the scene of a serious traffic accident in North Ridgeville.
The deputy was passing a street car near the intersection of
Cleveland Street and Olive Street when a car made a left hand
turn directly in front of him. Eyewitnesses said the impact hurled
Deputy Strohl through the air, landing him on his back. Deputy
Strohl was taken to the Elyria Clinic on West Avenue where he
died two days later on Friday morning, June 13, 1930
Deputy Strohl's name is inscribed on the National Law Enforcement
Officers Memorial Wall, Judiciary Square, Washington, D.C., panel
#5, west wall, line 20.
Deputy George succumbed to injuries received when he was crushed
between two vehicles. He was assisting a disabled motorist when
another vehicle struck one of the cars from behind. Deputy George
had been with the agency for six months.
Deputy Palermo was shot and killed by a mental patient he was
attempting to apprehend. He had been with the agency for three
years. Following the shooting the suspect was committed at the
Lima State Hospital. In August of 1972, he was released to Lorain
County authorities to stand trial for Deputy Palermo's murder.
On January 2, 1973, he was found not guilty by reason of insanity
and ordered confined at the Lima State Hospital indefinately.
Deputy Palermo's name is inscribed on the National Law Enforcement
Officers Memorial Wall, Judiciary Square, Washington DC, panel
44, west wall, line 11.
| Deputy Tomaszewski was shot
and killed by Curtis Wacker, a juvenile suspect, following a
traffic stop. During the stop, the juvenile was unable to provide
proof of registration for the vehicle. Deputy Tomaszewski followed
the suspect home so he could provide the registration. As Deputy
Tomaszewski used the phone in the home to report his location,
the suspect came from another room with a .22 caliber rifle and
shot him in the chest. The suspect was convicted and sent to
a juvenile detention center until his 21st birthday, when he
was released. Deputy Tomaszewski had been with the Lorain County
Sheriff's Department for one year.
Deputy Tomaszewski's name is inscribed on the National Law Enforcement
Officers Memorial Wall, Judiciary Square, Washington DC, panel
54, west wall, line 5.
Police Department, OH
Patrolman Fred Webber was shot and killed while attempting
to apprehend a drunk male. He had responded to a restaurant on
Broadway and attempted to arrest the man. The suspect fled and
Patrolman Webber gave chase. A struggle ensued and both Patrolman
Webber and the suspect were shot as fellow officers arrived on
the scene. Investigations found that the fatal round may have
been fired by another officer, but it could not be proven. The
suspect was charged with shooting with intent to kill and served
one year in prison.
Patrolman Deal was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver
while directing traffic at the scene of an accident on the Lorain-Elyria
Highway. He succumbed to his injuries while en route to a local
hospital. Three days after the accident a man turned himself
in to face manslaughter charges but a grand jury failed to indict
Patrolman Kirk died when he fell down an elevator shaft. It is
unknown why the elevator doors were open or how he fell.
Nickle Plate Railroad Police
Assigned to Lorain , Ohio
Jack W. Laicy
Nickle Plate Railroad Police
End of Watch: November 26, 1923
Cause of Death: Gunshot
Suspect: Sentenced to Life in Prison
| On the evening of November 20, 1923 Nickle
Plate railroad Detective Jack. W. Laicy encountered a group of
men in a gondola car, on the railroad tracks between Oberlin
& Leavitt Roads in Lorain, Ohio. As Detective Laicy attempted
to roust the men the situation escalates. Detective Laicy and
Charles Wright simultaneously draw their pistols and fire. Detective
Laicy is hit in the stomach. Charles Wright is hit in the jaw,
neck, and hand. Laicy fled and traveled about one half mile before
finding help. He was transported the hospital. Wright is found
wounded, in the railroad yard, weak from the loss of blood. Detective
Laicy died of his wounds November 26, 1923. On March 11, 1923
Charles Wright was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced
to life in Ohio Penitentiary.
|Oberlin Police Department,
On May 12, 1881 Oberlin, Ohio Constable Franklin Stone attempted
to affect the arrest of a suspect that had assisted in the escape
of Constable Stone's prisoner. As the young man fled, Stone drew
his firearm and fired, wounding the young man. Constable Stone
then chased the young man to his residence, where he encountered
the young man's father, Samuel Durham. Durham took aim with a
rifle and Constable Stone was shot as he reloaded his weapon.
Constable Stone died of his injuries June 4, 1881.
Durham was arrested and in October of 1881 he was convicted of
second degree murder. Sentenced to life in prison, and a new
trial was denied on appeal. In October, 1891, frail and infirm,
Durham received a pardon, for good behavior, from Governor James
Campbell and was released in December of 1891. Durham dies six
years later, in October of 1897.
Officer Woodall was on patrol in area of the Oberlin Reservoir
when his marked unit ran off an ice covered road and slid broadside
into a tree. Dispatch lost contact with Woodall and after a five
minute wait, three cruisers were dispatched to search for him.
Approximately 80 minutes later the officers located Woodall and
his vehicle. Woodall was pronounced dead on arrival at Allen
Patrolman Smolka suffered a fatal heart attack shortly after
arresting a suspect who had resisted arrest.
Police Department, OH
Safety Forces Memorial
|City Marshal George Brenner was
shot and killed by August B. Tiery, 19, whom he attempted to
stop and question on a local street shortly after midnight. Unbeknownst
to Marshal Brenner, the suspect along with his companion, John
Young, 29 had just burglarized the near-by office of the W. &
L.E. Railroad Depot.
As Brenner approached a shot pierced his neck. Mortally wounded,
Brenner was able to walk to the stairway of his apartment over
the Otterbacher Harness Shop and died in the arms of his wife.
Young was dragged out of a livery stable. A revolver was found
near him in a haymound. Tiery, 19, was captured in a boxcar at
Kipton, Ohio. Convicted of second degree murder Tiery was sentenced
to life in prison December 20, 1883. Tiery set fire to his bed
and died in prison, of burns, March 23, 1895. Young received
a five-year sentence
On Saturday, May 4th, 1957, Patrolman Smith was shot
and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance at 300
Courtland Street between Walter J. Byomin, 40, of Cleveland and
a a former girl friend, Mrs. Helen Bristow.
As Officer Smith arrived, Byomin fled the scene. Patrolman
Smith gave pursuit. An armed Byomin stopped and exited his car
at Barker Street and Maple Street. Patrolman Smith and the suspect
exchanged shots but Patrolman Smith's gun jammed. The suspect
fatally shot the wounded officer as he tried to crawl back into
his patrol car. The suspect was sentenced to death and executed
Rochester, Ohio - Marshal
Marshal Spooner Clark Crapo, served with General Custer
in the Civil War. Born: Oct 12, 1837,
Died: November 11, 1905. Buried in Rochester Station Cemetery,
Marshal Crapo was chasing some kids who were trying to jump a
boxcar. During the chase the Marshal
stepped from behind a boxcar into the path of a train running
in the opposite direction. He was struck & died.
|Prior Lorain County Service:
Corporal "A.J." Coursen and Lance Corporal
Dana Tate were shot and killed after responding to a domestic
disturbance call on Riley Road, in Burton, at approximately 4:00
A female had called the sheriff's office and complained about
her and her young child being held against their will by her
boyfriend. While the deputies were investigating, they were shot
by the boyfriend, who was armed with a semi-automatic rifle and
was hiding inside a bedroom closet. Deputy Coursen was killed,
but Deputy Tate was able to shoot and wound the suspect before
he died. The suspect was later taken into custody after a search.
The suspect was sentenced to death in 2003.
A.J. started his police career in Grafton, working as a LaGrange
Firefighter as well. Prior to moving to Beaufort, A.J. worked
as the Fire Chief and Police Captain in Lagrange. A.J. was also
assigned to represent Lagrange on the Lorain County Drug Task
Force. He is remembered by his friends in Lorain County for his
dedication and accomplishments.
Officer Wilcox and Officer Mark Decker were shot and
killed while attempting to question a suspicious man at the Brecksville
VA Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio. Both officers were armed only
with mace due to administrative guidelines. While the officers
were talking with the man he pulled out a .45 caliber handgun
and shot Officer Decker, killing him instantly. Officer Wilcox
attempted to run for cover, but the suspect chased him before
shooting him as well.
Officer Wilcox was a member of the Elyria Police Department,
prior to joining the V.A. Police. His wife, Cindy, was employed
by the Elyria Police Department in the Records Division at the
time of his death.
Robert Perez Jr.
Ohio State Highway Patrol
End of Watch: Monday, May 15, 2000
Cause of Death: Automobile accident
Weapon Used: Automobile
Suspect Info: Struck and killed by automobile
Trooper Robert Perez died three days after his cruiser
was struck from behind while he was writing a traffic citation
on the Ohio Turnpike in Milan, Ohio. Trooper Perez and the vehicle
he had stopped, were in an emergency pull-off when a minivan
struck his cruiser, pushing it into the original stopped vehicle.
Trooper Perez was transported to a hospital in Cleveland where
he died. The suspect who struck his cruiser attempted to flag
down passing motorists, before he sat down in the highway and
was struck and killed by another vehicle. Trooper Perez had been
in law enforcement for three years and had been with the Ohio
State Highway Patrol for one year.
While Trooper Perez was assigned to the Milan Post at the
time of his death, he was raised in Lorain County.
Officer West responded to a disturbance that involved a fight
over a woman at a large party. Three units responded, Officer
West was the first to arrive. The suspect had backed his car
into the driveway and Officer West parked blocking the suspect
vehicle. As Officer West stepped out of his cruiser, the suspect
opened fire at him from inside the parked car. The suspect then
exited the car and continued to shoot Officer West at close range,
striking him in the leg and face.The suspect fled and threw his
gun in a neighboring driveway before breaking into a house. The
lone occupant was able to flee unharmed. The suspect was found
hiding on the second floor and was taken into custody.The suspect
plead guilty to Aggravated Murder and was sentenced to life in
prison without parole for the murder of Officer West.
Four years prior to this incident the suspect had told his
family that he wanted to kill a police officer. He then went
out and threw a brick at a police cruiser and assaulted an officer.
He was later convicted of that crime and sentenced to probation.
Officer West was born and raised in Avon, Ohio. He attended Avon
High School where he played football and baseball. Officer West
served with the Cleveland Heights Police Department for seven
years. He is survived by his parents and sister.
Trooper Kenneth Velez was struck and killed by a vehicle
while conducting a traffic stop on I-90, near the Warren Road
exit, in Cuyahoga County.
Trooper Velez had served with the Ohio State Highway Patrol
for 27 years. He is survived by his wife and three children.