Sergeant William J. Grabeck

Sergeant William J. Grabeck

New Britain Police Department, Connecticut

End of Watch Monday, November 5, 1951

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William J. Grabeck

Sergeant William Grabeck was shot during a hold-up at the A.Y.O. Packing Company.

He'd entered the building through the front entrance and found Frank Wojculewicz, armed with a revolver stolen from the Colt factory, robbing the office. Sergeant Grabeck placed his revolver in the robber's back and ordered him to drop his gun.

A civilian appeared between Sergeant Grabeck and Wojculewicz as the sergeant attempted to make the apprehension. Wojculewicz spun and fired point blank, striking Sergeant Grabeck five times. Sergeant Grabeck fired six times, wounding Wojculewicz. Patrolman Wojtusik responded from the rear of the building, fired twice at the suspect, who was crawling toward his weapon, and then overpowered him.

Both Sergeant Grabeck and Wojculewicz were brought to New Britain General Hospital where Sergeant Grabeck expired after heart massage briefly resuscitated him. Wojculewicz survived, but his lower body was paralyzed.

Wojculewicz was granted ten reprieves, most of them by Governor Abraham Ribicoff, but was finally executed at the Connecticut State Prison on Oct. 26th, 1959. The A.Y.O. shoot-out had now resulted in two deaths.

Sergeant Grabeck was survived by his wife. He is buried in Saint Mary Cemetery, New Britain, Hartford County, Connecticut.


  • Age 53
  • Tour 32 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Not available
  • Weapon Handgun; Revolver
  • Offender Senteenced to Death

Most Recent Reflection

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Sergeant Grabeck, it has been 72 years since you were taken from us. New England law enforcement has continued to thrive, learn and become safer due to the traditions and sacrifices you, your family, and many others have made for us. Thank you for your law enforcement service.

Chief (Ret) Steven Marshall
Georges Mills, NH

November 5, 2023

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