Deputy Joseph J. Wachowiak

Deputy Joseph J. Wachowiak

Erie County Sheriff's Office, New York

End of Watch Thursday, November 4, 1948

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Joseph J. Wachowiak

Deputy Joseph Wachowiak succumbed to head injuries after being struck on the head during a jail escape involving five inmates at the Erie County Jail in Buffalo.

At 9:00 p.m., when the inmates were being locked in their cells for the night, a prisoner grabbed a hidden mop handle, beat Deputy Wachowiak, and locked him in a jail cell. He rallied four other prisoners to escape with him.

All five were captured. The 31-year-old leader was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life. He died in Dannemora Prison on November 1, 1954.

Deputy Wachowiak was survived by his wife and three children.


  • Age 49
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Assault
  • Incident Date Wednesday, November 3, 1948
  • Weapon Blunt object
  • Offender Sentenced to life

correctional Facility, escape

Most Recent Reflection

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Deputy Wachowiak,
On today, the 75th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Erie County. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

November 4, 2023

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