Police Officer Thomas Freeborn

Police Officer Thomas Freeborn

Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, Pennsylvania

End of Watch Tuesday, April 10, 1894

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Thomas Freeborn

Police Officer Thomas Freeborn succumbed to a head injury suffered seven years earlier by a prisoner who was trying to escape inside the Central Police Station on Diamond Street.

The subject had been arrested by officers the previous day while trying to pawn three gold watches and could not identify himself. While being locked up the identity of the subject was discovered and the three gold watches were identified by a jeweler in Philadelphia as being stolen during a robbery. Officer Freeborn, who was acting as a turnkey for the day, was moving the prisoner for the arrival of a Philadelphia police officer in order to transfer custody of him. The subject struck Officer Freeborn with an iron-bar as he made an escape, causing a serious wound.

The subject was convicted of the assault on Officer Freeborn in April 1887 and sentenced to the Western Penetenirty in Pittsburgh for four years. Once the sentence was carried out the subject was taken to Harrisburg and sentenced to 11 years in Eastern Penitentiary in Philadelphia for the robbery.

Officer Freeborn's death was ruled a homicide by a coroner's jury.


  • Age 48
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Assault
  • Incident Date Friday, March 4, 1887
  • Weapon Blunt object; Iron pipe
  • Offender Sentenced to 4 years

escape attempt

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"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God."
Matthew 5:9

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Federal Air Marshal Service

February 19, 2019

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