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Constable Hugh J. Coyle | McDonald Borough Police Department, Pennsylvania McDonald Borough Police Department, Pennsylvania


Hugh J. Coyle

McDonald Borough Police Department, Pennsylvania

End of Watch: Saturday, August 6, 1892

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 38

Tour: Not available

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Handgun

Offender: Committed suicide

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Constable Hugh Coyle was shot and killed while attempting to arrest an escapee who had just shot the police chief of Noblestown.

The man had been serving a sentence for murder when he escaped from jail. He was located by a county detective and the Noblestown police chief, hiding in an old ice barn. When the the police chief entered the barn, he was shot in the shoulder and wounded.

A large crowd assembled at the location and set off dynamite, destroying part of the barn, but the man remained hidden. Later in the afternoon, Constable Coyle, who had gone to the scene from McDonald, stated he would get the man out. As he entered the barn he was shot and fatally wounded.

Following the shooting of Constable Coyle, the crowd poured oil on the barn and set it afire. As the flames spread the suspect committed suicide.

Constable Coyle also served as a deputy sheriff in addition to serving as a policeman for McDonald Borough. He was survived by his wife and daughter.

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Most Recent Reflection

Although it has taken 123 years to recognize my great grandfather Hugh Coyle with my research beginning with hearing his daughter, my grandmother, Catherine Amy Coyle-Fell-Harris tell the story how her father was killed by a "bandit." Fortunately before she passed I was able to give her the insight how the "bandit", Martin Reed came to cross paths with her father. Rest in peace Hugh Coyle, and until we meet again! Your great grandson, Tom Harris

Tom Harris
Great Grandson
December 29, 2015


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