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Patrolman John J. Cleary | Cleveland Police Department, Ohio Cleveland Police Department, Ohio


John J. Cleary

Cleveland Police Department, Ohio

End of Watch: Tuesday, January 4, 1938

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 38

Tour: Not available

Badge # 967

Cause: Gunfire

Incident Date: 1/7/1931

Weapon: Handgun

Offender: Executed in 1932

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Patrolman Cleary succumbed to a gunshot wound sustained 7 years earlier when he and his partner, Patrolman James Ryan, attempted to apprehend several robbery suspects. They had located one of the suspects in a hotel and the man agreed to show them what room the others were in. When the officers went to the room they were met buy an undressed woman who refused to let them in. The officers forced entry and Officer Ryan began searching the room.

When he opened a closet door he was confronted by the suspect at gunpoint. Patrolman Ryan attempted to draw his weapon and was shot several times. The suspect then ran into the hallway and shot Patrolman Cleary, severing his spine. Although wounded, Patrolman Ryan was able to chase the suspect a short distance and shot him. The suspect ran to a nearby house where he collapsed due to a loss of blood. Other officers had followed the blood trail to the house and arrested the man.

Patrolman Ryan was transported to Fairview Hospital where he was able to identify the suspect before succumbing to his wounds. Patrolman Cleary was hospitalized and remained in a wheelchair until succumbing to his wounds 7 years later.

The suspect was executed on April 22, 1932.

Patrolman Cleary was survived by his wife, son, and two daughters.

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Related Line of Duty Deaths

Patrolman James F. Ryan
Cleveland Police Department, Ohio
End of Watch: Thursday, January 8, 1931
Cause: Gunfire

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Always honored, never forgotten, forever grateful for your service to our community and to our nation.

Sgt. T Jake Jones
Greater Cleveland Peace Officer Memorial Society, Ohio
January 4, 2017


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