Patrolman Robert J. Fitzgerald

Patrolman Robert J. Fitzgerald

New York City Police Department, New York

End of Watch Saturday, January 11, 1908

Robert J. Fitzgerald

Patrolman Robert Fitzgerald was struck and killed and thrown into the East River from the Brooklyn Bridge by a trolley car. Patrolman Fitzgerald was informed by a passer by that a man was running back and forth on the tracks which ran east and west on the Brooklyn Bridge and that the man was attempting to commit suicide. Patrolman Fitzgerald started a search for the man.

Patrolman Fitzgerald spotted the suspect some distance from him near the Manhattan Anchorage tower. The man was climbing down one of the ladders that lead from the walk to the tracks used by the elevated trains. Patrolman Fitzgerald followed the man. The man reached the elevated tracks and darted out on to the roadway alongside the tracks, squeezing through the iron work that separated the area from the trolley tracks and the bridge roadway.

Patrolman Fitzgerald saw the man start toward the guard rail at the side of the roadway and he sprang down the ladder and tried to squeeze through the iron work on the roadway. Patrolman Fitzgerald never saw the approaching trolley car and the motorman did not see the Patrolman until it was to late to do anything. The front of the trolley car hit Patrolman Fitzgerald, forcing him back. He dropped through the trestle and down into the East River below.

Responding officers were able to subdue the suicidal man and take him into custody. The Harbor Patrol immediately started a search for Patrolman Fitzgerald, but were unsuccessful. His body was finally recovered on March 18, 1908.

Patrolman Fitzgerald was assigned to the Bridge Precinct.

Bio

  • Age Not available
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge 1754

Incident Details

  • Cause Struck by streetcar

Most Recent Reflection

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Rest In Peace Patrolman Fitzgerald, you are not forgotten.

Police Officer-retired
New York Police Department

January 11, 2018

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