Patrolman Ralph Hiram "Zibe" Castner, Sr.

Patrolman Ralph Hiram "Zibe" Castner, Sr.

Bowling Green Police Department, Ohio

End of Watch Thursday, April 23, 1931

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Ralph Hiram "Zibe" Castner, Sr.

Patrolman Zibe Castner succumbed to gunshot wounds received during a pursuit for wanted subjects at the intersection of South Prospect Street and Clough Street in Bowling Green.

Patrolman Castner and the Bowling Green Police Chief were involved in a shootout with Pretty Boy Floyd’s gang. 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 an Ohio National Guard veteran and had served with the Bowling Green Police Department for two years. He is survived by his wife and father.

He is 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 28
  • Tour 2 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Thursday, April 16, 1931
  • Weapon Handgun; .38 caliber
  • Offender One shot and killed

arrest attempt, 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, 2023

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