Patrolman Wesley John Smith

Patrolman Wesley John Smith

Charleston Police Department, South Carolina

End of Watch Tuesday, December 16, 1975

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Wesley John Smith

Patrolman Wesley Smith was killed in an automobile accident while responding to a robbery in progress call at the Riverview Holiday Inn.

He lost control of his patrol on the ramp of the Highway 61 overpass over Highway 17 about 1:40 am. The patrol car struck the abutment.

The robbery was later determined to only be a larceny.

Patrolman Smith was a U.S. Navy veteran.


  • Age 25
  • Tour 2 years
  • Badge 60
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Automobile crash

emergency response, robbery, single vehicle crash

Most Recent Reflection

View all 11 Reflections

I was a Rookie Officer in 1975 working in Squad 4 under Lt. George Blanton. Our squad Sgts. were Hoss Miles and David Ahrens. After the accident I was sent to the County Hospital to be with Smitty's body while all the other arrangements were being conducted. While in the room holding his body ,covered by a sheet, I was able to see his face when the sheet was removed. I recall that he appeared to be asleep and not really deceased. His only true mark was a discoloration under his chin that was caused when his chin hit the steering wheel. As a young man observing this tragic event only hours after we were in the Squad Room joking, was surreal. I will never forget those visual images and the feeling of a terrible loss that was mirrored by our entire Squad. When I served as a Squad Sgt. later in my career I never failed to recount the events of that night to all officers present at Roll Call during the Christmas season. I wanted to make Smitty's death be meaningful and invoke thoughts of respect and also caution to new officers. Although I am now retired after a full career, I still reflect every year about the events of Dec. 16,1975.

Lt./Retd. Anthony Januszkiewicz
Charleston South Carolina Police Dept.

December 30, 2019

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