Officer Harry Cantave

Officer Harry Cantave

New York City Health and Hospitals Police Department, New York

End of Watch Wednesday, August 22, 1990

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Harry Cantave

Officer Harry Cantave was stabbed to death on a subway train in Brooklyn while attempting to stop two juveniles who had just robbed two transit workers and were then attempting to rob him at the Church Avenue Station.

He grabbed one of the suspects in a headlock but the second man pulled a 12-inch butcher knife and stabbed him 17 times in the chest and back. Officer Cantave was transported to Kings County Medical Center where he succumbed to his wounds two hours later. Witnesses who tried to stop the attack were also stabbed.

On August 23, 1991, two teenagers, 16 and 18, pleaded guilty to Officer Cantave's murder. The 18-year-old was convicted of second degree murder, sentenced to life, and paroled on October 22, 2010. The 16-year-old, also sentenced to life, was paroled on February 9, 2004.

Officer Cantave had served with the New York City Health and Hospital Police Department for three years and was assigned to the Cumberland Neighborhood Family Care Center in Brooklyn. He is survived by wife.


  • Age 29
  • Tour 3 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Stabbed
  • Weapon Edged weapon; Knife
  • Offender Paroled

juvenile offender, off duty, robbery

Most Recent Reflection

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Officer Cantave,
On today, the 30th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of New York City. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

August 22, 2020

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