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Police Officer Albert J. Kasbaum | North Tonawanda Police Department, New York North Tonawanda Police Department, New York

Police Officer

Albert J. Kasbaum

North Tonawanda Police Department, New York

End of Watch: Monday, August 18, 1919

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 36

Tour: Not available

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Handgun; Revolver

Offender: Committed suicide

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Officer Kasbaum was shot and killed by two auto thieves after stopping their vehicle on Erie Avenue. The suspects had just stolen the car in Lewiston and Officer Kasbaum stopped it after being alerted by Lewiston officers.

Officer Kasbaum, holding the two at gunpoint, got into the back seat of the car and ordered the men to drive to the North Tonawanda Police Department. As the car drove away the passenger suddenly turned around and shot Officer Kasbaum four times. Mortally wounded, Officer Kasbaum returned fire and struck the driver in the hip.

The passenger exited the car and stole Officer Kasbaum's motorcycle, which he had parked on the road when the stopped the vehicle. The suspect fled to Niagara Falls where he committed suicide. The wounded suspect was arrested and charged with Officer Kasbaum's murder.

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Tonawanda News — One of two police officers killed in North Tonawanda in the line of duty throughout the city’s history was recognized Tuesday by police Chief William Hall and Mayor Rob Ortt.

Albert J. Kasbaum was killed by auto thieves on Aug. 18, 1919, though he wasn’t officially recognized by the city. That changed during a Common Council meeting held at City Hall, as five members of the North Tonawanda Police Honor Guard began a brief ceremony that ended with a proclamation read by Ortt, who declared that going forward Aug. 18 would be known in the city as Albert J. Kasbaum Day.

Kasbaum, who was 35 when he died and had been a member of the department for seven years, had stopped a vehicle on Erie Avenue after receiving correspondence from Lewiston police officers that it was stolen. Kasbaum, who was riding a motorcycle when the incident occurred, was shot four times. One suspect fled, eventually committing suicide in Niagara Falls, another was charged with the killing of Kasbaum, officials said.

On Tuesday, with several family members and police officers on hand, Kasbaum was awarded the North Tonawanda Police Department’s Purple Heart Award, an acclaim that began in 2000.

Kasbaum has also been recognized by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC and is also listed on the State of New York Police Officers Memorial Roll of Honor.

Albert Edward, Kasbaum’s great-nephew, accepted the award from Hall.

“This is something that will stay in the family forever,” Edward said. “It’s a great honor.”

Dennis Jurasz NTPD PO35 (Ret.)
North Tonawanda Police Department
November 20, 2013

 

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