Patrolman Edward J. O'Leary

Patrolman Edward J. O'Leary

New York City Police Department, New York

End of Watch Friday, July 26, 1957

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Edward J. O'Leary

Patrolman Edward O'Leary was killed when a prisoner grabbed the steering wheel of his patrol car, intentionally causing it to crash.

He was working a plainclothes assignment and had arrested the woman for prostitution. He was transporting her to the police station when she grabbed the steering wheel at the intersection of Central Park West and West 105th Street. The woman yanked the steering wheel, causing the patrol car to strike an oncoming bus head-on. Patrolman O'Leary suffered severe head injuries and was transported to Knickerbocker Hospital where he died two days later. Six passengers on the bus suffered minor injuries.

The 21-year-old woman fled the scene in a taxi cab but turned herself in. She was charged with prostitution, escaping custody, and murder. In court her attorney said she just wanted to escape because she was afraid of the withdrawal symptoms she would go through if she could not get her heroin. She was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to one year in jail. In 1959 she was arrested for possession of heroin with intent to sell.

Patrolman O'Leary had served with the New York City Police Department for 11 years and was assigned to the 7th Division. He was survived by his wife and three children.


  • Age 37
  • Tour 11 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Vehicular assault
  • Incident Date Wednesday, July 24, 1957
  • Weapon Automobile
  • Offender Sentenced to 1 year

Most Recent Reflection

View all 8 Reflections

My father died 62 years ago today. Today we remember his loss and celebrate his life. Very special thanks to the NYPD 34th Precinct, the Officer Down Memorial site, the NYPD Angels and Sgt. Brenda Graham NYPD Transit Bureau K9 Division who gave her partner my father's name - my father's memory lives on. May God bless all our heroes who continue to serve us and may those heroes who have left us rest in peace.

Patricia Skrocki
Daughter of Patrolman Edward J. O'Leary

July 26, 2019

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