LINE OF DUTY DEATHS
Roll Call of all Line of Duty Deaths. A Line of Duty Death is classified as the death of an active sworn member by felonious or accidental means during the course of performing police functions while on or off duty.
Patrolman Richard Nash
Patrolman Richard Nash, Star # Unknown, aged 34 years, was a 12 year, 1 month, 1 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to District 28 - East Chicago.
On February 23, 1927, at 7:00 p.m., Officer Nash, while off duty and in civilian clothes, was driving home from work when he cut in front of another vehicle just before Grace Street on Lincoln Avenue. The vehicle owned by Michael Moore, age 36 of 2610 North Racine Avenue was being driven by Frank Runowski. Runowski was a Probationary Patrolman with only three months on the job, assigned to District 34 - Rogers Park. Moore and a third man, John Wilogalski, a former pro ball player and Deputy Sheriff, were seated in the back seat. The three men were returning home after visiting several roadhouses. Officer Nash then proceeded to turn onto Grace Street toward an alley leading to his residence’s garage located at 3811 North Robey Street (present day Damen Avenue). Not liking the way Nash cut him off; Officer Runowski followed Nash into the alley. Nash parked his car and as he got out, Officer Runowski pulled up and jumped out of his car. Runowski said, “Haven’t you any brains?” Nash responded with, “What do you mean?” Not knowing each other were police officers, Officer Nash in fear for his life drew his revolver and pointed it at Officer Runowski. Officer Runowski then drew his revolver and yelled, “I’m a police officer” and fired in the air, according to a statement made by Officer Runowski after the fact. Officer Nash fired at Officer Runowski in response. During questioning, Officer Runowski stated that he fired in the air one more time. Officer Nash then fired again. It was at this time, per Officer Runowski, that he took aim and fired upon Officer Nash.
Officer Nash’s residence was located only four doors from the Robey Street Station. Hearing the gunfire, officer inside the station ran outside and found Officers Nash and Runowski, Moore and Wilogalski lying on the ground in the alley with gunshot wounds. All four men were taken to Ravenswood Hospital where Officer Nash succumbed to his injuries only minutes after arriving. Wilogalski was critically injured and underwent emergency surgery. His intestines were punctured in a dozen places. Officer Runowski and Moore were treated and subject to questioning. Deputy Chief Zimmer, Deputy Chief of Detectives John Stege, Captain Max Danner of the Robey Street Station and Captain Murphy of the East Chicago Avenue Station all responded to the hospital. They questioned Runowski and Moore and then called for Assistant State’s Attorney Samuel Schien who took the men’s statements. Deputy Zimmer then stripped Officer Runowski of his police star and stationed police guards at the rooms of the three wounded men. In a tragic case of mistaken identity throughout, Deputy Chief Zimmer exonerated Officer Nash of any wrongdoing. Officer Runowski on the other hand was not so fortunate and was brought up on charges.
On February 23, 1927, Runowski and Moore were booked for murder. On March 3, 1927, the Coroner exonerated them and the case was not placed on the Municipal Court sheet. On March 8,1927, Officer Runowski was discharged from the service of the Police Department.
Officer Nash was waked at his residence located at 3811 North Robey Street (present day Damen Avenue), his funeral mass was held at St. Andrew Parish Church located at 3546 North Paulina Street and he was laid to rest on February 26, 1927 in All Saints Catholic Cemetery, 700 North River Road, Des Plaines, Illinois.
Patrolman Richard Nash, born February 17, 1883, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on January 22, 1915.
Officer Nash was a member of the Chicago Policemen's Benevolent & Welfare Association. He was survived by his wife, Elizabeth (nee Ambrose) and children: Francis, Julia and Mrs. John Roberts.
Incident Recorded under Chicago Police Department homicide file, Case #8714.
Patrolman George R. Neil
Patrolman George R. Neil, Star #5166, aged 37 years, was a 7 year, 11 month, 14 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 18th District - Stock Yards.
On May 18, 1930, at 4:10 a.m., Officer Neil while off duty was having dinner at a Back of the Yards diner located at 5435 South Halsted Street. While there, four offenders entered and were suspected to be part of an Irish club devoted to attacking blacks. They accosted an African-American patron, demanding that he get off his stool. Officer Neil stepped forward, dressed in civilian clothes, and identified himself as a police officer. Officer Neil told the victim that he didn't have to move and when Neil confronted the offenders, the four men attacked him. One man threw a stool at Neil while the others beat him. As Neil tried to fend off his attackers, one grabbed his gun and shot him twice in the stomach. The offenders then fled in a car. Officer Neil was taken to German Deaconess Hospital at 54th and Morgan Streets. He lingered there for four days before succumbing to his injuries on May 22, 1930.
On May 22, 1930 Daniel Lynch of 5634 South Peoria Street and John Kelly of 5630 South Morgan Street were booked for murder and held by the Coroner who recommended the arrest of their two accomplices, William O'Malley, alias Severson and William Connors. On October 22, 1930, Kelly and Lynch's cases were nolle prossed by Judge O'Malley and Connors’ case was stricken off the record by Judge Finnegan. It is unknown if William O’Malley was ever arrested.
Officer Neil was laid to rest on May 26, 1930 in Mount Greenwood Cemetery, 2900 West 111th Street, Chicago, Illinois.
Patrolman George R. Neil, born August 24, 1892, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on June 8, 1922. He earned 1 Credible Mention during his career.
Officer Neil was survived by his wife, Josephine.
Incident Recorded under Chicago Police Department homicide file, Case #10696.
Police Officer Ronald Newman
Police Officer Ronald Newman, Star #6622, aged 59 years, was a 19 year, 3 month, 30 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 4th District - South Chicago.
On March 23, 2020 at 5:50 a.m., Officer Newman was placed on the “Medical Roll“ after contracting COVID-19 in the line of duty. On March 25, 2020, at 4:16 p.m., Officer Newman began experiencing breathing problems and went to the ER at the Little Company of Mary Hospital, located at 2800 West 95th Street, Evergreen Park, IL. He was admitted to the ICU and would later succumb to the illness. He was pronounced dead at 1:47 a.m. on April 17, 2020. On April 19, 2020, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Interim Superintendent Charles Beck announced that Officer DiFranco’s death would be classified as in the line of duty. Officer Newman was the third Chicago Police Officer to die in the line of duty from COVID-19.
Police Officer Ronald Newman, born January 28, 1961, received his Probationary Appointment to the Department on December 18, 2000 and was in Recruit Class 00-7 at the Jackson Street Police Academy. He earned 12 Department Commendations, 1 Honorable Mention Ribbon Award, 1 Unit Meritorious Award, 1 Joint Operations Awards, 4 Attendance Recognition Awards, The 2019 Crime Reduction Award, The 2009 Crime Reduction Award, The 2004 Crime Reduction Award, the NATO Summit Service Award, 118 Honorable Mentions and 6 Complimentary Letters during his career.
Officer Newman was waked at Leak & Sons Funeral Home located at 18400 South Pulaski Road, Country Club Hills, Illinois and he was laid to rest on April 23, 2020 in Lincoln Cemetery, 12300 South Kedzie Avenue, Chicago, Illinois.
Officer Newman was a member of the Fraternal Order of Police. He was survived by his wife, Chiquita L. (Civilian CPD), age 51, son and stepdaughter.
Incident Recorded under RD #JD211066.
Patrolman Bruce Roman Niedoborski
Patrolman Bruce Roman Niedoborski, Star #17196, aged 41 years, was a 7 year, 0 month, 30 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, and assigned to the 2nd District - Wentworth.
On August 18, 1989, at 5:20 p.m., Officer Niedorborski was working the third watch 10-99 on beat 238. While on routine patrol he became ill while driving his patrol car southbound on Halsted Street and veered into oncoming traffic. At 4615 South Halsted Street Officer Niedorborski's squad car crashed head on into a 1988 Chevy truck driven by Michael J. Butler, age 22, of 169 South Benton Street, Palatine, Illinois. After striking the Chevy his squad car spun around and he was struck a second time by a 1984 Mack Semi-Tractor Truck driven by Domenico Easo, age 30, of 9642 West River Street, Schiller Park, Illinois. According to witness, George Schrobe, age 32, of 4551 South Halsted Street, Officer Niedoborski was unconscious and slumped over his steering wheel in the moments leading up to the collision. Officer Niedorborski was transported to Michael Reese Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival by Dr. Stricker at 5:56 p.m. on August 18, 1989. His cause of death was determined to be from the injuries sustained in the crash. It was not determined what caused the officer to slump over his steering wheel prior to the crash.
Officer Niedorborski was waked at Egan Funeral Home located at 3700 West 63rd Street, his funeral mass was held at St. Turibius Church located at 5646 South Karlov Avenue and he was laid to rest on August 23, 1989 in Resurrection Catholic Cemetery, 7201 Archer Avenue, Justice, Illinois.
Patrolman Bruce Roman Niedoborski, born August 25, 1947, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on July 19, 1982.
Officer Niedorborski served in the Armed Forces, was a veteran of the Vietnam War and was Honorably Discharged. He was also a member of the Fraternal Order of Police and the St. Jude Police League. Officer Niedorborski was survived by his ex-wife, Milfred C. Lauren (nee Williams); child, Kelly M., age 19, and parents: Lorraine R. (nee Stachowski) and Roman John.
Incident Recorded under Chicago Police Department RD #M868317.