Patrolman Charles H. Skalay

Patrolman Charles H. Skalay

St. Joseph Police Department, Michigan

End of Watch Saturday, December 14, 1929

Charles H. Skalay

Patrolman Charles Skalay was shot and killed by a hitman of one of America's notorious criminals, Al Capone. The suspect had been in a minor traffic collision with a citizen and insisted on paying the citizen for repairs directly instead of involving police. As the two drove to a repair shop to get an estimate the citizen saw Patrolman Skalay and flagged him down.

The suspect became nervous and attempted to drive away but Patrolman Skalay jumped on the running board of the vehicle. The suspect then opened fire, striking Patrolman Skalay in the chest and knocking him to the ground.

The shooter was also suspected in the murder of Patrolman George Zientara, of the Toledo, Ohio, Police Department, on April 16, 1928. The suspect was convicted of Patrolman Skalay's murder and died in prison in 1940. A partner of the suspect vanished in 1931 and is believed to have been killed by gangsters. This partner was involved in the killing of Marshal
Peter Dumele of North College Hill, Ohio, April 9, 1928.

Two of Al Capone's hitmen were also responsible for the murders of Patrolman Harold Olson and Patrolman Charles Walsh, of the Chicago, Illinois, Police Department, on June 13, 1925.

Officer Skalay had served with the agency for only seven months and was formerly Assistant Chief of the St Joseph Fire Department. He is buried Officer buried in Crystal Spring Cemetery at Fair Plain, Berrien County, Michigan.


  • Age 25
  • Tour 7 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Died in prison

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Thank you for your service. You are in my prayers today.

Lieutenant Lee Ann Self
Birmingham Police Department (AL), Retired

December 14, 2014

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