Guard Joseph Michalowski

Guard Joseph Michalowski

Middlesex County Sheriff's Office, New Jersey

End of Watch Saturday, May 8, 1943

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Joseph Michalowski

Guard Joseph Michalowski was shot and killed after being taken hostage by a prisoner who was escaping from the Middlesex County Jail.

The inmate, who was in jail awaiting trial on charges of atrocious assault with the intent to kill, attacked Guard Michalowski and forced him to open a secret gun locker. After taking a gun from the locker, the man forced Guard Michalowski into a guard station wagon and ordered him to drive away.

When the wagon entered the town of Highland Park, Guard Michalowski spotted a Highland Park patrolman and attempted to signal him near the intersection Raritan Avenue and Sixth Street. The subject, seeing what was happening, shot and killed Guard Michalowski. The patrolman, alerted by the sound of the gunshots, ran to the vehicle as the subject pushed Guard Michalowski's body from it and fled.

The patrolman gave chase on the running board of a commandeered civilian automobile, and then on foot through several backyards. The subject attempted to pull a man from his car at gunpoint but the man resisted and attempted to wrestle the gun from the subject's hand. The man was able to break free and fired two shots at the approaching patrolman, both of which missed. The patrolman returned fire, striking the subject in the head. The subject died the next day from his wound.

Guard Michalowski had served as a temporary guard in the Middlesex County Jail for four months. He was survived by his wife, son, and daughter.


  • Age 40
  • Tour 4 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Shot and killed

escape attempt, hostage, prisoner custody

Most Recent Reflection

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On today, the 80th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Middlesex County. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

May 8, 2023

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