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Police Officer Robert Joseph Betanzos | Newburgh City Police Department, New York Newburgh City Police Department, New York

Police Officer

Robert Joseph Betanzos

Newburgh City Police Department, New York

End of Watch: Tuesday, July 12, 1977

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 29

Tour: 2 years, 11 months

Badge # Not available

Cause: Vehicular assault

Incident Date: 7/4/1977

Weapon: Automobile

Offender: Charged with manslaughter

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Officer Betanzos succumbed to injuries sustained one week earlier when he was struck by a hit-and-run driver while directing traffic at the city's waterfront following 4th of July activities. A vehicle that was waiting in traffic sped around the stopped vehicles and into the intersection of Renwick Street and Water Street, striking Officer Betanzos.

The suspect continued to flee at high speed. He was taken into custody after striking two additional cars and injuring 10 people.

Officer Betanzos was transported to a local hospital and then transferred to St. Francis Hospital in Poughkeepsie, New York. He remained at St. Francis Hospital until succumbing to his injuries.

The suspect was charged with second degree manslaughter.

Officer Betanzos had served with the agency for just under 3 years. He was survived by his wife, son, and daughter.

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Thirty seven years ago on this date, you walked through the Pearly Gates of Heaven. I will never understand why such a wonderful man was taken from his family. In life you completed me and gave me two prescious gifts, your son and daughter, who made it possible to live on without you. You have been kept alive through your children and again through your grandchildren. You would be proud of all of them, they are a reflection of the wonderful person you were. 37 years ago feels like yesterday, I can still see your smile, your deep brown eyes that twinkled with happiness, hear your laugh and the sense the touch of your hand. We all love and miss you.

Patricia Betanzos
July 12, 2014


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