Chief of Police Charles E. Dornon

Chief of Police Charles E. Dornon

Piedmont Police Department, West Virginia

End of Watch Wednesday, January 9, 1946

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Charles E. Dornon

Chief Charles Dornon succumbed to injuries sustained when he was attacked by two men. About 9:30 pm, the proprietor of the Rendezvous Cafe on Ashfield Street summoned Chief Dornon when the two men became disorderly, refusing to leave. When Chief Dornon escorted the men outside, they dragged him into an alley and attacked him.

Chief Dornon drew his revolver but was disarmed by one of the subjects. That subject returned to the cafe, where he pointed the weapon at the owner, threatening him. Meanwhile the remaining subject continued to beat the police chief while trying to gain control of the chief's nightstick. Dornon suffered severe blows to his back and head. The subject was able to throw the much weakened officer against a nearby parked auto, where he lost consciousness and slumped to the ground. The suspects stole his service weapon and night stick before fleeing back to Maryland.

The attack caused Chief Dornon to go into cardiac arrest. He died while being taken by ambulance to Potomac Valley Hospital in Keyser, West Virginia.

Officers from West Virginia and Maryland immediately began an intensive search for the armed suspects. A man who raised one of the suspects from childhood was able to convince them to surrender and they were arrested at the city hall in Westernport, Maryland, about 1:00 am.

Both men were convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to one year in the Mineral County Jail on Febuary 10, 1946.

Chief Dornon was survived by his wife.


  • Age 73
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Assault
  • Weapon Person
  • Offender Sentenced to 1 year

Most Recent Reflection

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Chief Dornan,
On today, the 75th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Piedmont. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

January 9, 2021

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