Watchman Gerrard Arnold

Watchman Gerrard Arnold

Alexandria Police Department, Virginia

End of Watch Sunday, September 9, 1827

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Gerrard Arnold

Watchman Arnold succumbed to injuries sustained 10 days earlier when he was beaten by man seeking revenge against him. It is believed the assault occurred in a shoemaker's shop on Commerce Street.

In 1827, Watchman Gerrard Arnold was attempting to make an arrest at a home along the waterfront. As he approached the house, he encountered a woman trying to enter the same residence. He shoved her aside so that he could enter and continue with his lawful duties. The woman was outraged by this treatment and told her husband how the watchman had treated her. Watchman Arnold later apologized to the man for offending his wife.

However the man became drunk and retaliated against Watchman Arnold. On August 30, 1827, the man found Watchman Arnold in a business and brutally attacked him, beating and kicking him. Watchman Arnold was critically wounded and succumbed to his injuries on September 9, 1827.

The killer fled from Alexandria and President John Quincy Adams issued a proclamation offering a $250 reward for his capture. In October, he was captured in Ohio and returned to Alexandria. In November, he was tried for murder and convicted of manslaughter. His sentence is not known but he was fined $300.

Watchman Arnold, a widower, was survived by his children. His final resting place is unknown. He had served with the Alexandria Police Department for 12 years.


  • Age Not available
  • Tour 12 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Assault
  • Incident Date Thursday, August 30, 1827
  • Weapon Person
  • Offender Not available

Most Recent Reflection

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No passage of time will ever erase your service and sacrifice. Rest in peace always.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

September 9, 2020

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