Patrolman John A. Utlak

Patrolman John A. Utlak

Niles Police Department, Ohio

End of Watch Wednesday, December 8, 1982

John A. Utlak

Patrolman John Utlak was shot and killed by two juvenile suspects during an undercover narcotics investigation. Patrolman Utlak was meeting with the two suspects when he was shot three times with a .22 caliber handgun. His body was found the following day in a parking lot on Hunter Street.

Patrolman Utlak and his partner had met the suspects on two prior occasions and were using them as informants in a case. Patrolman Utlak was meeting with the suspects alone because his partner had the day off. The two suspects were apprehended several days later in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

The suspects were returned to Ohio and the 18-year-old suspect who shot him was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison with eligibility for parole. He was denied parole in October of 2012. His next parole hearing is August, 2022.

Patrolman Utlak had served with the Niles Police Department for five years. He was survived by his parents, two sisters, and step-parents.

Bio

  • Age 26
  • Tour 5 years
  • Badge 23

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .22 caliber
  • Offender Sentenced to life

narcotics, juvenile offender, undercover

Most Recent Reflection

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NEVER FORGET! On behalf of the Westerville, Ohio Division of Police, we honor the dedicated service and ultimate sacrifice of Patrolman John A. Utlak of the Niles Police Department, Ohio and the additional 81 American Peace Officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice on this date in history.

Chief Joe Morbitzer
Westerville, Ohio Division of Police

December 8, 2017

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