PERFORMANCE OF DUTY DEATHS
Roll Call of all Performance of Duty Deaths. A Performance of Duty Death is classified as the death of a sworn member who dies while on or off duty and such death results from a condition, injury, or illness that was not directly related to the member’s performance as a law enforcement officer.
Patrolman Milton Barnes
Patrolman Milton Barnes, Star #6423, aged 43 years, was a 15 year, 10 month, 19 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 6th District - Gresham.
On November 1, 1975, at 10:35 p.m., Officer Barnes was working beat 617 with his partners Patrolmen Pleas G. Ranson and C. W. Stewart. The officers responded to a domestic disturbance at 8218 South Drexel Avenue. Upon arrival it was learned that three occupants of this address were having a dispute as to who was the rightful tenant of the premises. The officers were able to settle the basic issues of the dispute. Just after name calling began and a scuffle ensued between the three parties. The officers were able to separate the parties using a bit of restraint during the encounter. Peace was restored and the officer left. Moments after the officers pulled away in their squad car, Officer Barnes began complaining of severe chest pains. The officers rushed him to Michael Reese Hospital where he passed away from a heart attack.
Officer Barnes was waked at the A. R. Leak Funeral Home located at 7838 South Cottage Grove Avenue and he was laid to rest on November 6, 1975 in Oak Woods Cemetery, 1035 East 67th Street, Chicago, Illinois
Patrolman Milton (NMN) Barnes, born January 11, 1932, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on December 16, 1959. He was promoted to Investigator on February 3, 1968. On September 16, 1975, he was restored to his Civil Service rank of Patrolman. Officer Barnes earned 1 Department Commendation and 13 Honorable Mentions during his career.
Officer Barnes was survived by his wife, Shirley (nee Williams) and children: Lydia V., age 14 and Milton V., age 8.
Patrolman Frank M. Bastone
Patrolman Frank M. Bastone, Star #9044, aged 46 years, was a 21 year, 6 month, 25 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 1st District - Central.
On April 15, 1975, Officer Bastone returned to the Department after five years of medical leave. While on duty in City Hall located at 121 North LaSalle Street he suffered a fatal heart attack and collapsed. He was transported to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead upon arrival.
Officer Bastone was waked at Galewood Funeral Chapels located at 1857 North Harlem Avenue, his funeral mass was held at St. Angela Catholic Church located at 5758 West Potomac Avenue and was laid to rest on April 18, 1975 in Mount Carmel Cemetery, 1400 South Wolf Road, Hillside, Illinois.
Patrolman Frank M. Bastone, born May 4, 1928, received his Probationary Appointment to the Department on September 21, 1953.
Officer Bastone was a member of the Chicago Police Association, Fraternal Order of Police, Illinois Police Association, Italian American Police Association and the St. Jude Police League. He was survived by his wife, Concetta (nee Aiello); children: Peter and Rosemarie; father, Peter; siblings: Angelo, Carmen, Connie Llotta and Salvatore and stepbrother, Frank Micell.
Patrolman Paul A. Batson
Patrolman Paul A. Batson, Star #10018, aged 38 years, was a 5 year, 5 month, 21 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 14th District - Shakespeare.
On December 22, 1962, Officer Batson was on patrol with his partner heading Eastbound on west Armitage Avenue. They witnessed a white Chevrolet convertible traveling on the wrong side of Armitage at a high rate of speed, which forced the officers' vehicle into the curb. The officers gave chase, but the driver of the suspect vehicle increased his speed and refused to pull over. As the chase ended, the driver leapt from his vehicle, raised his hands, but refused to turn around as commanded by Batson and his partner. Officer Batson used necessary force to subdue the driver and placed him under arrest. During the arrest, Batson suffered a heart attack and expired.
Officer Batson was waked at Rago Brothers Funeral Home located at 5120 West Fullerton Avenue, his funeral mass was held at Santa Maria Addolorata Catholic Church located at 528 North Ada Street and he was laid to rest on December 24, 1962 in Mount Carmel Cemetery, 1400 South Wolf Road, Hillside, Illinois.
Patrolman Paul A. Batson, born November 15, 1924, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on July 1, 1957.
Officer Batson was survived by his wife, Elaine (nee Ryan); children: Patricia, Philip and Phyllis Ann; mother, Carrie (nee Berger Lewis) and sister, Grace Saletta.
Patrolman John Blazek
Patrolman John Blazek, Star #1381, aged 52 years, was a 25 year, 2 month, 22 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 22nd District - Maxwell.
On January 16, 1948, between the hours of 12:00 am and 8:00 am, Officer Blazek was on duty working as the lockup keeper in the Maxwell Street Station. While working in the Cell Room he was pushed / struck causing him to strike his head against a hard object. It is presently not known if he was pushed / struck by a prisoner. It is also not known whether he struck his head against the floor or some other object. After the fall Officer Blazek remained on duty and worked the rest of his shift. After he left work he made it most of the way home before calling a friend who he told the above to. His friend then gave him a ride home. While at home Officer Blazek asked his wife for aspirin and then went to bed. Officer Blazek then passed away in his sleep. His wife later found him unresponsive and he was transported to Hines Hospital where he was pronounced dead on January 16, 1948.
A Coroner's Inquest found his cause of death to be from a fractured skull resulting in a subdural hematoma. The Coroner also ruled his death accidental as a result of his duties as a Chicago Police Officer.
Officer Blazek was waked at the Szykowny Funeral Home located at 4907 South Archer Avenue, his funeral mass was held at the Szykowny Funeral Home and he was laid to rest on January 20, 1948 in Bohemian National Cemetery, 5255 North Pulaski Road, Chicago, Illinois.
Patrolman John Blazek, born March 14, 1895, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on October 26, 1922. Prior to joining the Chicago Police Department he was a Stationary Fireman.
Officer Blazek served in the U.S. Army from July 28, 1917 thru April 11, 1919, was assigned to the 59th Infantry, 4th Division, Company I, was a veteran of World War I and was Honorably Discharged at the rank of Sergeant. He was also a member of Chicago Policemen's Benevolent & Welfare Association, Police Progressive Council Royal Arcanum and Post 1313 Veterans of Foreign Wars. Officer Blazek was survived by his wife, Mae (nee Clohesey), age 47; children: John W. and William J.; mother, Betty (nee Koukalik) and sister, Sylvia Tuma.
Patrolman George T. Bryja
Patrolman George T. Bryja, Star #12557, aged 45 years, was a 20 year, 1 month, 14 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 22nd District - Morgan Park.
On July 27, 1986, at 3:00 a.m., Officer Bryja was off duty at home, 6612 South Artesian Avenue, when he was awakened by the sound of his wife's car alarm. His wife set the alarm off to summon Officer Bryja when she drove up to the house. Mrs. Brunkella observed two men trying to set a neighbor's garage on fire after spray-painting it with graffiti. Officer Bryja and his 18-year-old son chased the vandals through an alley for four blocks before losing them. When he returned home, he began complaining of chest pains, started to sweat profusely, vomited and then collapsed. At 4:30 a.m., Officer Bryja was transported to Holy Cross Hospital by CFD Ambulance #18 where he was pronounced dead by Dr. A. Shah at 4:51 a.m. on July 27, 1986.
On July 29, 1986, Area 3 detectives located and arrested two juveniles, ages 15 and 16, who were charged with Criminal Damage to Property. The two youths gave a full confession and also claimed there was a thrid boy, age 12, with them at the time of the incident whom was their lookout. On July 31, 1986, the third juvenile, age 13, was identified and arrested. He was also charged with Criminal Damage to Property. Felony charges were denied on all three juveniles by A.S.A. Sublett. All three boys were taken to the Audy home to await their appearance in Juvenile Court on April 30, 1987.
Officer Bryja was waked at Blake-Lamb Funeral Home located at 4727 West 103rd Street, Oak Lawn, Illinois, his funeral mass was held at Five Holy Martyres Church located at 4327 South Richmond Street and he was laid to rest on July 31, 1986 in Resurrection Catholic Cemetery, 7201 Archer Avenue, Justice, Illinois.
Patrolman George T. Bryja, born March 1, 1941, received his Probationary Appointment to the Department on June 13, 1966. He earned 1 Department Commendation and various other awards during his career.
Officer Bryja served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1959 to 1963 and was Honorably Discharged. He was also a member of the Fraternal Order of Police. Officer Bryja was survived by his wife, Sharon A. (nee Carlson); children: John, age 18 and Peggy A., age 14. Officer Bryja's son followed in his father's footsteps and joined the Chicago Police Department.
Incident Recorded under Chicago Police Department RD #H328736 and H328740.
On March 2, 2010, Officer Bryja's star was retired by Superintendent Jody P. Weis and enshrined in the Superintendent's Honored Star Case, located in the lobby at Chicago Police Headquarters, 3510 South Michigan Avenue.