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Sergeant William J. Grabeck | New Britain Police Department, Connecticut New Britain Police Department, Connecticut

Sergeant

William J. Grabeck

New Britain Police Department, Connecticut

End of Watch: Monday, November 5, 1951

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 53

Tour: 32 years

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Incident Date: Not available

Weapon: Handgun; Revolver

Offender: Senteenced to Death

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Sergeant William Grabeck was shot during a hold-up at the A.Y.O. Packing Company.

He'd entered the building through the front entrance and found Frank Wojculewicz, armed with a revolver stolen from the Colt factory, robbing the office. Sergeant Grabeck placed his revolver in the robber's back and ordered him to drop his gun.

A civilian appeared between Sergeant Grabeck and Wojculewicz as the sergeant attempted to make the apprehension. Wojculewicz spun and fired point blank, striking Sergeant Grabeck five times. Sergeant Grabeck fired six times, wounding Wojculewicz. Patrolman Wojtusik responded from the rear of the building, fired twice at the suspect, who was crawling toward his weapon, and then overpowered him.

Both Sergeant Grabeck and Wojculewicz were brought to New Britain General Hospital where Sergeant Grabeck expired after heart massage briefly resuscitated him. Wojculewicz survived, but his lower body was paralyzed.

Wojculewicz was granted ten reprieves, most of them by Governor Abraham Ribicoff, but was finally executed at the Connecticut State Prison on Oct. 26th, 1959. The A.Y.O. shoot-out had now resulted in two deaths.

Sergeant Grabeck was survived by his wife. He is buried in Saint Mary Cemetery, New Britain, Hartford County, Connecticut.

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A lot of respect for a brother officer who dies in the line of duty. I certainly remember hearing about that burglary and Sgt. Grabeck's death. He will always be remembered.

Patrolman Bobby Pierce, 1982 to 1997
City of New Britain, CT Police Department
January 24, 2014

 

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