Jailer Ernest Runke

Jailer Ernest Runke

Lewis County Sheriff's Office, Washington

End of Watch Thursday, September 19, 1957

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Ernest Runke

Jailer Runke succumbed to injuries received two months earlier when he was attacked in the Lewis County Jail. He was passing out dinner when three inmates assaulted him with a broom handle and hot coffee. He remained hospitalized for two months until his death.

The 18 year-olds were being held for the Air Force in connection with an escape from military confinement in Colorado. They had been arrested after they were stopped in a stolen car in Yakima two weeks before the assault. They were connected with several home burglaries in Lewis County. They were convicted of escape, assault, two counts of burglary and grand larceny and sentenced to 80 years in prison. No charges were filed against the three after Jailer Runke died. The county coroner reported he died from a blood clot not necessarily caused by the three.


  • Age 70
  • Tour 8 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Assault
  • Incident Date Saturday, July 27, 1957
  • Weapon Blunt object
  • Offender Not charged

Most Recent Reflection

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Rest in peace always and know that your service and sacrifice will never, ever be forgotten by your law enforcement brethren.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

September 19, 2020

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