Patrolman John A. Utlak

Patrolman John A. Utlak

Niles Police Department, Ohio

End of Watch Wednesday, December 8, 1982

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John A. Utlak

Patrolman John Utlak was shot and killed by two juvenile suspects during an undercover narcotics investigation. Patrolman Utlak was meeting with the two suspects when he was shot three times with a .22 caliber handgun. His body was found the following day in a parking lot on Hunter Street.

Patrolman Utlak and his partner had met the suspects on two prior occasions and were using them as informants in a case. Patrolman Utlak was meeting with the suspects alone because his partner had the day off. The two suspects were apprehended several days later in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

The suspects were returned to Ohio. The 18-year-old suspect who shot him was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison with eligibility for parole. He was denied parole in October of 2012. He was again denied parole in August 2022. His next parole hearing is 10/1/2026. The accomplice was denied parole on September 2022. His next parole hearing is 10/1/2026.

Patrolman Utlak had served with the Niles Police Department for five years. He was survived by his parents, two sisters, and step-parents.

Bio

  • Age 26
  • Tour 5 years
  • Badge 23

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .22 caliber
  • Offender Sentenced to life

narcotics, juvenile offender, undercover

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NEVER FORGET! On behalf of the Ohio Attorneys General Bureau of Criminal Identification & Investigation, we honor the dedicated service and ultimate sacrifice of Patrolman John A. Utlak of the Niles Police Department, Ohio and the additional 85 American Peace Officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice on this date in history.

Superintendent Joe Morbitzer
Ohio Attorney General, Bureau of Criminal Investigation

December 8, 2021

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