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Patrolman Joseph Chmelynski | Bethel Park Police Department, Pennsylvania Bethel Park Police Department, Pennsylvania

Patrolman

Joseph Chmelynski

Bethel Park Police Department, Pennsylvania

End of Watch: Tuesday, March 9, 1948

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 25

Tour: Not available

Badge # Not available

Military veteran

Cause: Gunfire

Incident Date: 3/9/1948

Weapon: Handgun; Pistol

Suspect: Executed in 1950

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Patrolman Joseph Chmelynski was fatally shot by a burglary suspect after he had been arrested. Patrolman Chmelynski and another officer caught two men in a house they had broken into while the owners were away on vacation. The officers handcuffed the suspects together and were escorting them to the patrol car when one of them produced a pistol and shot both officers. The other officer crawled to the car and called for help as the suspects fled on foot.

Hours later the suspects were spotted in South Park by three detectives. One of the suspects opened fire with a sub machine gun when ordered to halt, wounding all three detectives and critically wounding a citizen who was standing nearby. Nine hours later the suspects were captured as they got out of a taxi in New Eagle. The cab driver had signaled police that something was wrong in his cab.

Both suspects were found to be responsible for numerous burglaries. The suspect who shot Patrolman Chmelynski was convicted of his murder and sentenced to death on September 29, 1948. He was executed in the electric chair on January 9, 1950. The other suspect received a lengthy prison term for several counts of burglary.

Patrolman Chmelynski was a WWII and a recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross.

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Although we never met I have the utmost respect for the sacrifice that you made in the line of duty. You may be gone but you will never be forgotten - may you rest in peace Uncle Joe!

John Chmelynski
October 30, 2014

 

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