Chief of Police Philip John DeSantis

Chief of Police Philip John DeSantis

Woodbine Police Department, New Jersey

End of Watch Monday, August 6, 1973

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Philip John DeSantis

Chief of Police Philip DeSantis was stabbed to death by a suspect who had just robbed a gas station and stabbed the attendant.

Chief DeSantis was at home when he heard the call from a neighboring agency. The suspect was known to him, so he began to search for him. He located the man and pulled him over at the intersection of Woodbine Ocean View Road and Heine Avenue. During the traffic stop, the man stabbed him with a screwdriver or metal file multiple times before fleeing. The man was later apprehended.

The gas station attendant died several hours later. The subject was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder and sentenced to two life sentences on May 3rd, 1974. He will be eligible for parole on May 4th, 2024.

Chief DeSantis was a United States Army WWII veteran and had served with the Woodbine Police Department for almost 20 years. He was survived by his wife, five sisters, and two brothers.

Chief DeSantis was murdered within a few hundred feet of the home he was born in.


  • Age 54
  • Tour 20 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Stabbed
  • Weapon Edged weapon
  • Offender Sentenced to life

robbery, traffic stop

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Chief DeSantis,
On today, the 50th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice-not just for your Community but for our Country as well when you served with the U.S. Army during World War II. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

August 6, 2023

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