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.
Police Officer Preston Therran Ross Jr.
Police Officer Preston Therran Ross, Jr., Star #5007, aged 48 years, was a 25 year, 7 month, 12 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 22nd District – Morgan Park.
On February 26, 2012, at approximately 9:00 a.m., Officer Ross was working CTA Special Employment on his regular day off. While at the Grand Avenue Blue Line station he experienced difficulty breathing and collapsed. An ambulance was summoned and he was rushed to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced. A few hours later an honor motorcade transported Officer Ross from Northwestern Memorial Hospital to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office.
Police Officer Preston Therran Ross, Jr., born September 17, 1963, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on July 14, 1986. He earned 17 awards during his career.
Officer Ross was a member of the Fraternal Order of Police. He was survived by his wife and son.
Patrolman James R. Scannell Sr.
Patrolman James R. Scannell, Sr., Star #7808, aged 42 years, was a 16 year, 7 month, 16 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 18th District - East Chicago.
On July 2, 1972, Officer Scannell and Patrolmen George Alvarado and Marion Sykes responded to a call regarding a drunk and disorderly customer at The Rush Up lounge located at 909 North Rush Street. Upon arrival the officers placed Christopher Pacelli, age 24, under arrest for disorderly conduct. When they attempted to put him into the squadrol he became combative and a struggle ensued. The officers were able to get Pacelli into the squadrol and closed the door. The struggle started again when a passerby was able to open the squadrol door freeing Pacelli. Following the struggle Officer Scannell became ill and collapsed. Officers Alvarado and Sykes attempted to revive Officer Scannell by performing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, but were unable to save him. Officer Scannell was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival from a heart attack.
Christopher Pacelli was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
Officer Scannell was waked in Hollerbach Funeral Home located at 4022-36 North Elston Avenue, his funeral mass was held at St. Veronica Church located at 3300 North Whipple Street and he was laid to rest on July 6, 1972 in St. Joseph Cemetery, 3100 North Thatcher Avenue, River Grove, Illinois.
Patrolman James R. Scannell, Sr., born March 15, 1930, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on November 16, 1955.
Officer Scannell served in the Armed Forces and was Honorably Discharged. He was also a member of Amvets Post No. 18, Military Order of the Purple Heart and the United Brotherhood of Carpenters Local 13. Officer Scannell was survived by his wife, Mildred (nee Carlson); children: Jerry J., James R., Jr., Karen, Kathleen Sanden, Kevin, Margaret, Martin, Mary and Maureen; mother, Margaret M. (nee Ahern) and siblings: Eamon O., Jeremiah J. (CPD), Margaret Jablonski and Mary Gruber.
On June 27, 2007, Officer Scannell’s star was retired by Superintendent Philip J. Cline and enshrined in the Superintendent's Honored Star Case, located in the lobby at Chicago Police Headquarters, 3510 South Michigan Avenue.
Sergeant Hector Anastacio Silva
Sergeant Hector Anastacio Silva, Star #1760, aged 36 years, was an 11 year, 2 month, 0 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the Bureau of Operational Services - Patrol Division Special Functions Group: Unit 153 - Special Operations Section.
On September 30, 2001, at 9:00 a.m., Sergeant Hector Silva was participating in a Special Operations Section (SOS) physical agility test for the non-HBT chemical agent team at the Homan Square Facility located at 3340 West Fillmore Street. He sprinted two flights of stairs carrying sandbags weighing a total of 55 pounds, then sprinted 100 yards with no obstacles, completing the course in 53 seconds. The exercise was intended to simulate working in protective gear while dealing with chemical agents. After the course he walked into the SOS office and bumped into a file cabinet, striking his left knee, and sat down at a desk slumping forward. At this time Sergeant Silva indicated he was experiencing pain in the right side of his head and feeling dizzy. His speech was also slurred and officers in the office summoned an ambulance for him. He was transported to Mount Sinai Hospital by CFD Ambulance #33. Once there he was admitted to the ICU and later underwent surgery to remove a blood clot from his brain. Tragically, Sergeant Silva died from an intracerebral hemorrhage during the surgery and was pronounced dead by Dr. Hernando at 11:15 a.m. on October 2, 2001.
Sergeant Silva was waked at Malec & Sons Funeral Home located at 6000 North Milwaukee Avenue, his funeral mass was held at Immaculate Conception Church located at 7211 West Talcott Avenue and he was laid to rest on October 6, 2001 in Maryhill Cemetery, 8600 North Milwaukee Avenue, Niles, Illinois. His grave is located in Section 22.
Sergeant Hector Anastacio Silva, born August 4, 1965, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on July 30, 1990. He earned 1 Carter Harrison Medal, 1 Superintendent's Award of Valor, 1 Democratic Convention Service Award, 54 Honorable Mentions and 3 Complimentary Letters during his career.
Sergeant Silva was a member of the Policemen's Benevolent and Protective Association and Latin American Police Association. He was survived by his wife, Victoria (nee Salinas), age 37; children: Antonia Irene, age 12 and Miranda, age 7; parents: Anastasio and Carmen (nee Villarrubia) and siblings: Aracelis and Edwin (CPD).
In 2002 the Latin American Police Association, of which Sergeant Silva was an Executive Board member, renamed their Valor Award in his memory.
Incident Recorded under Chicago Police Department RD #G587119.
On May 24, 2005, Sergeant Silva's star was retired by Superintendent Philip J. Cline and enshrined in the Superintendent's Honored Star Case, located in the lobby at Chicago Police Headquarters, 3510 South Michigan Avenue.
Patrolman Myles Michael Smetana
Patrolman Myles Michael Smetana, Star #14658, aged 46 years, was a 19 year, 7 month, 5 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 20th District - Foster.
On August 24, 1999, at 1:35 p.m., Officer Smetana was working the second watch on beat 2013 10-99. He monitored a radio call of a disturbance involving an irate, mentally ill man threatening customers at a business. He responded to assist beat 2012, Patrolman Thomas Boyle. Additionally beat 2071, Patrolmen Robert Pasternack and David Tamillo, responded to assist as well. Once at the scene, the officers observed a heated argument and they struggled to separate the two parties and regain the man's composure. Officer Smetana offered him instructions on how to lodge a formal complaint and even gave him a phone number of a company which might offer him a job. After the incident Officer Boyle asked Officer Smetana if he was okay due to his appearance. Officer Smetana said he suddenly felt ill, weak and dizzy but assured him it would go away and he would feel better in a minute. He finished his tour of duty and went home. Later that evening, when conditions did not improve, he was driven to the River Grove Fire Department (RGFD) by his wife. It was learned that he was in cardiac arrest and he was transported to Gottlieb Memorial Hospital by RGFD Ambulance. Upon arrival he was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit. He lapsed into a coma after a severe heart attack and remained comatose until his death. He was pronounced dead by Dr. Lal at 9:30 p.m. on September 16, 1999.
Officer Smetana was waked at Friel Funeral Home located at 8300 West Lawrence Avenue, Norridge, IL and he was laid to rest on September 21, 1999 in All Saints Catholic Cemetery and Mausoleum, 700 North River Road, Des Plaines, Illinois.
Patrolman Myles Michael Smetana, born January 24, 1953, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on February 11, 1980 and was in Recruit Class 80-2A at the Jackson Street Police Academy. He earned 1 Carter Harrison Medal, 1 Superintendent's Award of Merit and 54 Honorable Mentions during his career.
Officer Smetana served in the U.S. Army and was Honorably Discharged. He was also a member of the Fraternal Order of Police. Officer Smetana was survived by his wife, Katherine Frances (nee Eder) and children: Erin Patricia, age 5 months, Kaitlyn Rose, age 4 and Zachary Michael, age 6.
Incident Recorded under Chicago Police Department RD #D549736.
Patrolman Casey Joseph Tristano Sr.
Patrolman Casey Joseph Tristano, Sr., Star #5086, aged 45 years, was a 16 year, 5 month, 20 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the Bureau of Operational Services - Youth Division: Unit 075 - Area 5 Youth.
On March 13, 1970, Officer Tristano was working the third watch as a Youth Officer. He was dispatched to Our Lady Help of Christians Church located at 832 North Leclair Avenue. Upon arrival he was to assist officers in quelling a fight at a dance being held in the school located at 847 North Leamington Avenue. Once at the school, Officer Tristano found Patrolman William Healy struggling to get Joseph Maltese, age 17, of 5247 West Race Avenue, into the squadrol. Officer Tristano intervened and was struck in the mouth and nose by Maltese. Shortly thereafter, Officer Tristano’s breathing became labored and he collapsed after having difficulty breathing. Officer Tristano died on scene and was transported to St. Anne's Hospital by CFD Ambulance where he was pronounced dead on arrival from a heart attack.
A total of five juveniles were arrested in connection with the fight at the dance. Four of them were released after posting $25.00 bonds. Joseph Maltese was released after posting a $1,000.00 bond. He was later charged with battery, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. In the end, Maltese received a fine of $25.00 for the incident and the charges against the other four juveniles were dropped.
Officer Tristano was waked at Columbian Funeral Home located at 6621 West North Avenue, Oak Park, Illinois, his funeral mass was held at St. Mary of the Woods Catholic Church located at 7033 North Moselle Avenue and he was laid to rest on March 17, 1970 in Queen of Heaven Cemetery, 400 South Wolf Road, Hillside, Illinois.
Patrolman Casey Joseph Tristano, Sr., born December 10, 1924, received his Probationary Appointment to the Department on September 21, 1953.
Officer Tristano was a member of the St. Jude Police League. He was survived by his wife, Marilyn (nee Dreier); children: Casey Joseph, Jr., age 9 and Maria R., age 7 and siblings: Ann Esposito, Mary Fasano, Matt, Michael, Nancy Gorg and Tony.
On June 25, 2013, Officer Tristano's star was retired by Superintendent Garry McCarthy and enshrined in the Superintendent's Honored Star Case, located in the lobby at Chicago Police Headquarters, 3510 South Michigan Avenue.
Sergeant Michael R. Twohig
Sergeant Michael R. Twohig, Star #592, aged 46 years, was an 18 year, 8 month, 9 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 21st District - Scotland Yards.
On November 4, 1930, at 10:55 a.m., Sergeant Michael Twohig was working the second watch in plain clothes as a reserve sergeant for the polling places in his district. While working he monitored a radio assignment given to Ford Auto No. 16, Patrolmen Stephan Glon and John Lamb. The officers were assigned a Larceny call at 1828 South Fisk Street. Sergeant Twohig responded to the call and met the officers at the scene. Upon arrival, the officers were met by Mrs. Kintorn, owner of the building. She escorted the officers into the first floor apartment where they met the complainant, John V. Kaven, a real estate agent. Mr. Kaven alleged that John Able stole $45.00 from him. He also stated that he had traced Able to his home, a small cottage at the rear of 1828 South Fisk Street. Sergeant Twohig and the officers proceeded to the cottage to see if Able was home. Mrs. Mary Able answered the door and began to scream. At this point Mrs. Kintorn interceded and explained to Mrs. Able in the Bohemaian language what the officers wanted. Mrs. Able then told the officers that her husband wasn't home. Sergeant Twohig then explained that he wanted to escort Mrs. Able to the station for a conversation. She became very excited and bolted down the back stairs into the alley. Once in the alley she tripped and fell. As Sergeant Twohig and Officer Glon picked her up, she became combative. While Sergeant Twohig was trying to restrain her, he began to get weak and sank to the ground in a sitting position and slowly laid back. Officer Lamb came to his aide and lifted up his head and saw that his face was of a yellowish blue color. Officer Lamb then called for the Auto Patrol. The Auto Patrol in charge of Patrolman A. Huff, and driven by Patrolman C. Burns, responded in company of Lieutenant James Flynn and Sergeant Valenta. Sergeant Twohig was transported to Cook County Hospital by the Auto Patrol and was pronounced dead at 12:30 p.m. on November 4, 1930. His cause of death was ruled from chronic myocarditis. Per the Coroner's physician, Dr. Feinberg, no inquest would be held and a doctors certificate would be issued.
Sergeant Twohig was waked at Frank J. Malone Funeral Home and he was laid to rest on November 7, 1930 in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, 6001 West 111th Street, Alsip, Illinois.
Sergeant Michael R. Twohig, born June 18, 1884, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on February 26, 1912. He earned 3 Credible Mentions during his career. On August 15, 1917, he was promoted to Detective Sergeant. On June 28, 1921, he was promoted to Sergeant. Officer Twohig left Lowertown Schull, County Cork, Ireland in early 1920 to work and live in America.
Sergeant Twohig was survived by his wife, Susan (nee Gogan), age 40 and children: Michael and Robert. One of Officer Twohig's sons, Michael, had a son who fought in the battle of Normandy. In December of 2011 Sergeant Twohig's grandson was aged almost 90 years.
Chicago Police Department homicide file not found for this incident.
On June 25, 2013, Officer Twohig's star was retired by Superintendent Garry McCarthy and enshrined in the Superintendent's Honored Star Case, located in the lobby at Chicago Police Headquarters, 3510 South Michigan Avenue.
Patrolman Frank E. Williams
Patrolman Frank E. Williams, Star # Unknown, aged 37 years, was a 2 year, 11 month, 4 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the District 3, 6th Precinct - Thirty-Fifth Street.
On approximately March 20, 1891, Officer Williams pursued a thief down a dark alley. During the incident he sustained an injury to his knee. One week later, on March 27, 1891, he died at his home located at No. 3126 Lowe Avenue (present day 3126 South Lowe Avenue). His cause of death was ruled fatal blood poisoning resulting from the knee injury.
Officer Williams was laid to rest in St. James at Sag Bridge Cemetery, 10600 South Archer Avenue, Lemont, Illinois.
Officer Frank E. Williams, born in 1854, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on April 23, 1888.
Officer Williams was survived by his wife and four children.
Chicago Police Department homicide file not found for this incident.
On June 25, 2013, Officer Williams' star was retired by Superintendent Garry McCarthy and enshrined in the Superintendent's Honored Star Case, located in the lobby at Chicago Police Headquarters, 3510 South Michigan Avenue.
Police Officer Vinita Felicia Williams
Police Officer Vinita Felcia Williams, Star #16587, aged 47 years, was a 13 year, 2 month, 17 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 5th District - Calumet.
On July 10, 2018, at approximately 4:10 a.m., Officer Williams was found unresponsive by Detention Aide Jackson lying on the floor in the lockup located at 727 East 111th Street. Officer Williams was on duty working as a Lockup Keeper in Women's Detention. Detention Aide Jackson called for help and an ambulance was summoned. Sergeant James and Police Officer Patton began CPR while the AED device was fetched. The AED was powered on and the leads affixed to Officer Williams's chest. One shock was advised and delivered. CFD ambulance #60 arrived on scene and took over CPR from the officers. The paramedics were able to get a heart rhythm before transporting Officer Williams to the hospital. Officer Williams was transported to Advocate Trinity Hospital where she would pass away. She was pronounced dead at 4:51 a.m.
Officer Williams was waked at Calahan Funeral Home located at 7030 South Halsted Street, her funeral mass was held on July 18, 2018 at Mount Piscah Missionary Baptist Church located at 4600 South Martin Luther King Drive. She was laid to rest on July 18, 2018, internment private.
Police Officer Vinita Felcia Williams, born December 11, 1970, received her Probationary Appointment to the Department on September 27, 2004. She earned 1 Problem Solving Award, 1 Joint Operations Award, the 2009 Crime Reduction Award, the NATO Summit Service Award, the Presidential Election Deployment Award, 5 Honorable Mentions, 1 Recognition / Outside Governmental Agency Award and 1 Complimentary Letter during her career.
Officer Williams was a member of the Fraternal Order of Police. She was survived by her husband and two children.
Incident Recorded under Chicago Police Department RD #JB343139.