Patrolman Ralph Hiram Castner

Patrolman Ralph Hiram Castner

Bowling Green Police Department, Ohio

End of Watch Thursday, April 23, 1931

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Ralph Hiram Castner

Patrolman Ralph Castner was killed during a shoot out. Patrolman Castner and the Bowling Green Police Chief were involved in a shoot out with Pretty Boy Floyd’s gang on South Prospect Street. The suspects were attempting to get away in their vehicle when Patrolman Castner and the Police Chief gave chase. The Chief stood on the running board of the patrol car with Patrolman Castner driving.

During the pursuit, the gun battle continued and Patrolman Castner was shot. He died from his wounds one week later. One of the suspects was also shot and killed in the shootout.

Patrolman Castner was buried in Oak Grove Cemetery, Bowling Green, Wood County, Ohio.

Charles "Pretty Boy" Floyd and members of his gang were responsible for the murders of several law enforcement officers.

Officer Harland Manes of the Akron, Ohio, Police Department was shot and killed on March 9, 1930, while investigating an accident involving one of the gang members. Patrolman Ralph Castner of the Bowling Green, Ohio, Police Department was shot and killed on April 16, 1931, while attempting to arrest members of the gang. Special Agent Curtis Burke of the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, was shot and killed on July 22, 1931, while serving a federal search warrant on Pretty Boy Floyd in Kansas City, Missouri.


  • Age 29
  • Tour 2 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Thursday, April 16, 1931
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender One shot and killed

shooting, vehicle pursuit

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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 Ralph Hiram Castner of the Bowling Green Police Department, Ohio and the additional 64 American Peace Officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice on this date in history.

Superintendent Joe Morbitzer
Ohio Attorney General, Bureau of Criminal Investigation

April 23, 2022

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