Constable Elijah Chenault
On August 4, 1823, Constable Elijah Chenault was attempting to seize property from Elizabeth Williams when she resisted. They began to struggle and in defense, the constable struck her with a sword cane but it had little effect and she was able to get the sword away from the constable. Then she grabbed a wooden stick and struck him on the head with it. The blow was fatal, killing Constable Chenault within minutes.
Williams was arrested and taken to jail. She was indicted for murder and in November, a jury convicted her of manslaughter. She was sentenced to a year in jail and fined $85.
Constable Chenault had served for 14 years. He was survived by his wife Elizabeth and their children. His final resting place is unknown.
Watchman Gerrard Arnold
Watchman Gerrard Arnold was attempting to make an arrest at a home along the waterfront when he encountered a woman trying to enter the same house. He shoved her aside so that he could enter and continue with his lawful duties. The woman was outraged by this treatment and told her husband, Willis Anderson, how the watchman had treated her. Watchman Arnold later apologized to Anderson for offending his wife.
However Anderson became drunk and retaliated against Watchman Arnold. On August 30, 1827, Anderson found Watchman Arnold in a business and brutally attacked him, beating and kicking him. Watchman Arnold was critically wounded and succumbed to his injuries on September 9.
Anderson fled but was captured in Ohio and returned to Alexandria. In November, he was tried for murder and convicted of manslaughter. He was sentenced to a year in jail and fined $300.
Watchman Arnold had served for 12 years and was survived by his children. His final resting place is unknown.
Officer Julian F. Arnold
Julian F. Arnold was born on May 18, 1847, and as a young man, worked as a tailor in Alexandria. At the age of 15 he enlisted in the Confederacy. He served under General Stonewall Jackson during the Civil War and spent two months in confinement, a prisoner of war. On August 13, 1870, he became an Alexandria police officer, less than one month after the department’s official founding.
Just before midnight on May 14, 1887, Officer Arnold and Officer Joseph Martin overheard two men planning a robbery of a saloon located at 1414 King Street. The saloon keeper, Sefer Blouse, was known to keep lots of money at his establishment and that week’s receipts were especially high because a circus had just come to town.
Officers Arnold and Martin enlisted two citizens to assist them. They discussed their plans, and Officers Martin and one citizen went to warn Blouse of the robbery. Officer Arnold and citizen Ernest Padgett returned to the fairgrounds, near where the suspects had been overheard earlier. They came upon the two men in a circus ring. As Officer Arnold announced the arrest, both suspects began firing. Officer Arnold returned fire, but had already been shot in the torso. The suspects fled, and Officer Arnold was taken to Blouse’s establishment. He died at 2:15 a.m. on May 15, 1887.
One suspect was arrested that night and a second, Billy Williams, was apprehended a month later. The first suspect was acquitted, but Williams was convicted. He served five years in prison for Officer Arnold’s murder.
Officer Arnold, three days from his 40th birthday, was survived by his pregnant wife Jennie, and his four children, Robert, Julia, Arthur and Julian. His daughter May was born four months after his murder. His is buried at Methodist Protestant Cemetery in Alexandria.
Officer George W. Crump
George W. Crump was born in Virginia in 1848. In his early years, he worked as a fireman on the Washington and Ohio Railroad. Later he worked for Smoot Lumber and became a member of the Friendship Fire Company. In 1891, he joined the police department.
Officer Crump was described as an “efficient and trustworthy” officer, “well-known and liked by everybody.” He received recognition in April of 1893 for arresting a robber wanted in Prince George’s County.
After 3 a.m. on October 28, 1893, Officer Crump and Officer Gayton Arrington were returning to headquarters after a call for disorderly subjects. They joined a third officer, James McCuen, who was on duty at the police station, then housed at City Hall. They sat around the stove and between 4 and 5 a.m., Officer McCuen dozed off.
Suddenly, Officer McCuen jumped up. Still half-dazed, he drew his pistol and fired it at Officer Crump. The round struck Officer Crump in the left knee. Officer Arrington observed Officer McCuen cocking the pistol again and immediately grabbed his arm and yelled. This woke Officer McCuen, who then realized what he had done. Officer Crump’s wound was tended to and he was driven to his home to recover.
At a mayoral inquiry, Officer McCuen stated he had dreamt a dog was coming at him and explained that he must have fired at the imaginary dog. He was suspended for 30 days for dereliction of duty and falling asleep.
Officer Crump’s injury proved to be very serious and because the round was lodged so deeply in his leg, doctors were unable to remove it. Infection set in and two months later, Officer Crump’s condition became grave. He died at his home just before 10 p.m. on December 28, 1893, at the age of 45. Officer Crump was survived by his wife Emily and their five children. He is buried at Bethel Cemetery in Alexandria.
Officer Walker W. Campbell
Walker W. Campbell was born in Virginia on January 28, 1869, and grew up in Charlottesville. He became an Alexandria police officer on December 1, 1910. He was considered a “brave and efficient officer” and one of the most “trustworthy” in the department.
Officer Campbell was one of ten officers who went on strike in 1918, demanding better pay. Those arrested by Officer Campbell included murderers and robbers, as well as poker players and owners of unmuzzled dogs. For a number of years, his son, William, worked with him, and the younger Campbell would one day become head of the department.
On February 14, 1919, Officer Campbell was working with Officer C.A. Padgett when around 2:15 a.m., they heard a disturbance at the corner of King and Washington streets. A man in a soldier’s uniform had taken a drink from a whiskey flask and then thrown the empty flask into the street. Both officers approached the man and placed him in custody.
They began to walk along the south side of King Street. They were between St. Asaph and Pitt streets when the prisoner, James H. Lawrence, pulled a pistol from his pocket. Both officers struggled with him, but Lawrence broke away from Officer Campbell’s grip. As Officer Padgett attempted to restrain him, Lawrence fired the gun, shooting Officer Campbell in the abdomen. Officer Campbell was taken to Alexandria Hospital where he died of his injuries at 7 p.m. on February 16, 1919.
Lawrence, age 24, had recently been discharged from the army and was working as a special police officer for the railroad at Potomac Yard. He was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to nine months in jail.
Officer Campbell, age 50, was survived by his wife Annie, and his two sons, William and Clarence. His widow would be the first in Alexandria to receive worker compensation benefits. He is buried at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cemetery in Alexandria.
Sergeant Elton B. Hummer
Elton B. Hummer was born in Loudoun on August 15, 1898, the youngest of four children of Alpheus and Clara Hummer. He grew up in present-day Sterling and worked there on the family farm. As an unmarried adult, he lived with his elderly parents at 806 Duke Street. On August 17, 1927, he became an Alexandria police officer.
Officer Hummer immediately enjoyed success at the police department and was promoted to the rank of sergeant on June 1, 1928. He played on the police baseball team and was described as “one of the most popular officers on the force."
As Sergeant Hummer began his midnight shift on August 18, 1928, he said goodnight to his parents and left his home. About an hour later, he was on foot in the same neighborhood, checking the outlying beats. He was literally just around the corner from his own home when he was shot.
Witnesses reported hearing two men talking in the alley next to 224 South Alfred Street. They then heard one man warn the other in a raised voice that this was the "last time." Two shots rang out in close succession and a third followed. When neighbors ran to see what had happened, they found Sergeant Hummer critically injured on the pavement. Sergeant Hummer’s weapon was still near his hand and he was barely alive when neighbors reached him. He had been shot in the chest and groin, and when he arrived at Alexandria Hospital he was pronounced dead.
Some neighbors told police that after they heard gunfire, they saw a man running west on Duke Street, holding his side as though he were injured. Investigation concluded that Sergeant Hummer was shot twice with an automatic .45-caliber gun. He had managed to fire his weapon once. A massive manhunt ensued and all available resources, from an airplane to ballistic experts, were used to search for the assailant. But Sergeant Hummer’s murderer was never identified.
Sergeant Hummer, 30, was survived by his parents and brother, Milton. He is buried at Ivy Hill Cemetery in Alexandria. In 2008, on the 80th anniversary of his death, the alley near the murder scene was named Hummer Alley in his honor.
Sergeant Charles R. McClary
Charles R. McClary was born April 8, 1897, in Orange County, one of the oldest of more than a dozen children born to John and Viola McClary. He served in World War I, moved to Alexandria and married Nora Toombs. On December 21, 1925, he joined the Alexandria Police Department.
Charlie McClary, one of the most popular officers on the force, was promoted to sergeant on June 1, 1928. He served in the traffic unit on a motorcycle. His younger brother, Clarence, also joined the department though the two would not serve together long.
On June 20, 1929, around 9:05 p.m., Sergeant McClary and Sergeant Edgar Sims were investigating a liquor complaint at a residence in the 500 block of North Patrick Street. Sergeant Sims was at the rear and Sergeant McClary was in front when he saw a man emerge from the dark alley. The man pulled a gun and fired repeatedly at the officer, striking him once in the neck. The gunman then fled.
Sergeant Sims ran to the stricken officer, who said, “They got me.” Sergeant Sims put Sergeant McClary in a car and sped to Alexandria Hospital. They attempted to operate on him, but he was dead. His weapon still holstered, he never had a chance to defend himself.
The gunman was identified as William Kidd, who was also known as Kid Lilly and John Gaines. Kidd, 51, had been wanted for shooting a woman in Pittsylvania County, and Sergeant McClary had captured him three weeks earlier. But while being transported to Pittsylvania, Kidd escaped and returned to Alexandria, where he encountered Sergeant McClary and shot him. Nearly four years would pass before Kidd was captured and finally returned to Alexandria. On February 17, 1933, he pleaded guilty to killing Sergeant McClary and was sentenced to life in prison.
Sergeant McClary, 32, was survived by his wife Nora and their five children. He is buried at Bethel Cemetery in Alexandria.
Whitfield W. Lipscombe was born in Virginia on May 9, 1908. The son of a railroad worker, he grew up in Lynchburg where he lived with his sister, aunt, uncle and cousins. As a teen, he worked as a store clerk and in a shoe repair shop. He later moved to Alexandria where he lived with his father at the Scottish Rite Club on North Alfred Street. On August 2, 1929, he became an Alexandria police officer.
On the afternoon of September 4, 1930, Private Lipscombe was at the fire station in Potomac (present-day Del Ray), when an alarm sounded. The firefighters were called to a car and brush fire along Four Mile Run. When they set off in a new engine truck, Private Lipscombe jumped on the back to assist with directing traffic at the fire scene.
Engine No. 2 traveled north on the Washington-Richmond Highway (now U.S. Route 1) and was just approaching Four Mile Run when a truck cut in front. The firefighter driving the apparatus swerved to avoid a collision but the large fire truck overturned, wrecking in a ditch.
Private Lipscombe was struck by the hose and thrown from the fire truck, suffering a broken neck and fractured skull. He was transported to Alexandria Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival around 2:30 p.m. Three firefighters on the truck were also injured, but all survived. The truck that cut in front of the fire engine was not identified.
Private Lipscombe, age 22, was survived by his parents Harry and Nellie, three sisters and one brother. He is buried at Springhill Cemetery in Lynchburg.
August Perault Pierce was born on August 21, 1898 in New London, Connecticut, and he later lived in Rhode Island. Known as "Augie" to his family, he joined the Navy in 1917, during World War I, and served until 1924, with duties as a painter. He married and lived in the Arlington community of Lyon Park. On January 6, 1930, he became an Alexandria police officer and was known to his fellow officers as "Perry."
In the early morning of September 7, 1930, Private Pierce was patrolling the Alexandria-Washington Highway (present day U.S. Route 1), searching for a robbery suspect who was wanted for committing a number of hold-ups throughout that night.
Around 4:30 a.m., Private Pierce observed a man matching the suspect’s description near Four Mile Run. He asked a passing citizen to follow him and drove away, but when the citizen arrived, he found Private Pierce and a second man on the ground. He went to get help and both men were taken to Alexandria Hospital where Private Pierce was pronounced dead. The second man, shot multiple times, was still alive.
Investigation revealed that Private Pierce had confronted the suspect at a car barn. The two struggled and when the suspect displayed a .32-caliber gun, Private Pierce fired his weapon, striking the suspect. The suspect fired multiple times and one shot hit Private Pierce in the chest, severing the aorta. Police found both weapons and determined at least ten rounds had been fired in the fierce gunfight.
The suspect, Owen Wroten of Denmark, South Carolina, died the next day. He was believed to be in his late teens to early 20s. Witnesses identified him as the robber police were searching for. He was also suspected in the murders of two railroad police officers in the weeks before coming to Alexandria.
Private Pierce was 32 years old and was survived by his wife Marie, and a sister. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Corporal Clarence J. McClary
Clarence J. McClary was born June 21, 1906 and grew up in Orange County. In 1916, the large McClary family moved to Alexandria. Clarence married Lillie Rutherford and worked as a steam derrick operator. On October 1, 1927, he became an Alexandria police officer.
His older brother, Charlie, also an Alexandria officer, was killed in the line of duty less than two years after Clarence joined the department. But the junior McClary continued to serve and was promoted to corporal on January 1, 1932.
On March 17, 1935, Corporal McClary and eight other Alexandria officers joined a posse in Loudoun County. A moonshiner was wanted for shooting a federal agent. Dozens of police officers from around the region searched the hills south of Leesburg for Thomas “Devil Tom” Quisenberry, 56, and his stills. At daybreak, the posse split up and Corporal McClary’s group went to search near a still that had been found the day before.
In the hills along a farm south of Goose Creek, not far from the quarry, they saw the wanted man in the distance, with a rifle across his knees. The posse’s firepower was limited but Corporal McClary, a sharpshooter, was armed with a high-powered rifle. He and the fugitive exchanged shots as Corporal McClary ran into the open before reaching a barn. Steadying his rifle along a wire fence, Corporal McClary opened fire but missed his target. When Quisenberry drew his rifle and fired, the shot struck the officer in the stomach. Fatally wounded, Corporal McClary said, “He got me, now you get him.” He died minutes later at 6:45 a.m.
That afternoon, with more than 150 officers on his trail, Quisenberry, a convicted murderer and prison escapee, was captured. On July 1, 1935, he pleaded guilty to Corporal McClary’s murder and was sentenced to 20 years.
Corporal McClary, age 28, was survived by his wife Lillie, and their four children. He is buried at Bethel Cemetery in Alexandria.
Private Robert B. Harris
Robert B. Harris was born on November 10, 1925, in Pantego, North Carolina, the son a plumber. In 1943, Bobby Harris joined the Air Force and served for three years including time in France. He returned to North Carolina and married his high school sweetheart. They joined his parents who were living in Del Ray, and he worked as a radio technician. But he wanted to be a police officer and on August 23, 1948, he was sworn in as an Alexandria officer.
On September 11, 1948, Private Harris and Private George Jordan were inspecting businesses along North Washington Street. At 2:45 a.m., Private Harris was checking the Howard Johnson’s at North Washington and Montgomery streets and Private Jordan went to check a nearby frozen custard stand. Private Jordan heard a gunshot and ran behind the Howard Johnson’s. He first went to chase the fleeing suspect but stayed with Private Harris upon seeing him in a pool of blood. Private Harris, shot in the groin with a major artery severed, was face down with his unfired weapon nearby. In his last words, Private Harris indicated which way the shooter had fled. Private Harris, an officer for less than three weeks, was taken to Alexandria Hospital and died moments later.
Investigators believed Private Harris had interrupted a burglar at the back door of the Howard Johnson’s when he was shot. Two witnesses had seen a man jump the fence behind the restaurant and run east on Madison Street. Officers from around the area searched for the killer but months passed before a suspect emerged.
A man in Richmond was overheard confessing to the crime. He was indicted but first faced prison for a murder elsewhere. On May 11, 1969, James W. Hunter, 47, was arrested for killing Private Harris. But at trial, his confession was ruled inadmissible and the charge was dismissed.
Private Harris, 22, was survived by his wife Elsie, their infant son Robert, his parents Roy and Leta, and a younger brother. He is buried at Yeatesville Cemetery in Yeatesville, N.C.
Private Bobby G. Padgett
Bobby G. Padgett was born on June 28, 1931, in Roanoke, Virginia. The son of Curtis and Ollie Padgett, he grew up in a large family, with two sisters and five brothers. He served in the Navy from 1948 to 1952, and then returned to Roanoke and worked in a factory. His brother, Russell, was a Roanoke police officer but Bob Padgett was attracted to Alexandria. On February 20, 1957, he became an Alexandria police officer.
Described as "quiet" and "mature," Private Padgett was well-liked by fellow patrol officers on Squad Three. He and his young family lived in Chinquapin Village where other new officers and military families made their homes.
Just past midnight on February 4, 1959, police were called to a home in the 100 block of South West Street. A man reported someone had entered his home and struck him with a rod. At 12:25 a.m., Private Padgett arrived on the scene and encountered the suspect, Harry Eugene Fuller, arguing with his estranged wife outside. As he tried to arrest him, Private Joseph Serafin arrived. There was a scuffle and both officers managed to get one of Fuller’s arms handcuffed. But Fuller, 29, broke free and knocked Private Padgett’s gun away.
Fuller grabbed the gun and shot Private Padgett twice. As the officer lay on the ground, Fuller struck him on the head with the pistol. Fuller and Private Serafin exchanged shots, each injuring the other. As Lieutenant Warren Zimmerman arrived, he observed Fuller attempting to flee. He chased him and arrested him three blocks away.
Private Padgett suffered a fractured skull and two gunshot wounds. He died when a bullet struck an artery. Private Serafin recovered, as did the suspect. Fuller was executed on June 30, 1960, for Private Padgett’s murder.
Private Padgett, 27, was survived by his wife Lucianne, daughter Faye, sons Allen and Neal, his mother and seven siblings. He is buried at Sherwood Memorial Park in Salem, Va.
Deputy Inspector James W. Baber
James W. Baber was born on June 12, 1911, in Alexandria. The son of Ashley and Bertie Baber, he attended Alexandria High School and later served for three years with the Alexandria Fire Department. He married Virginia Pitts and, living in Alexandria, they began a family. On October 1, 1935, he became an Alexandria police officer.
The young patrol officer, called “Bootie” by his friends and colleagues, was known for his good nature. Over the next 27 years, Bootie Baber enjoyed great success at the Alexandria Police Department, serving as a detective and then detective sergeant. In 1947, he was promoted to lieutenant and five years later, to captain. In 1960, he was named deputy inspector and oversaw traffic enforcement and operations.
A sports enthusiast himself, Deputy Inspector Baber was an integral part of the police youth camp in Kilmarnock, serving as director and later as president of the camp’s advisory board.
On October 19, 1962, Deputy Inspector Baber had just finished working at a high school football game. It was a busy Friday night, and Deputy Inspector Baber and another officer were looking for a man who had shot and killed someone at a Queen Street restaurant. While searching, Deputy Inspector Baber answered a call for an officer in trouble at Queen and North Fayette streets.
Private George A. Sellers had detained two subjects who were fighting and Deputy Inspector Baber seized one of them, a 17-year-old youth. The young man tried to break away and after a struggle, he was subdued. But Deputy Inspector Baber had a heart attack and collapsed. He was pronounced dead at 11:07 p.m. at Alexandria hospital.
Deputy Inspector Baber, age 51, was survived by his wife and their sons, Patrick and Robert. He is buried at Ivy Hill Cemetery in Alexandria.
Eugene Yoakum was born on December 18, 1932, in Speedwell, Tennessee. The son of Robert and Myrtle Yoakum, Eugene served in the Marine Corps from 1950 to 1954. He married and on April 9, 1954, he joined the Alexandria Police Department.
In his first year, Private Yoakum was cited for his bravery in a shoot-out with supermarket burglars. In 1960, he joined the Canine Corps, and with his German shepherd partner Mucho, became one of the first police dog teams in Alexandria. With a specially-equipped collar, Mucho learned to respond to radio commands. Private Yoakum and Mucho also received publicity for their robbery apprehensions in Alexandria and in nearby Fairfax County.
On September 27, 1964, just before 2 a.m., police went to the 2900 block of Seay Street for an assault call. The suspect, Fred Stull, had struck a man who lived at the same apartment complex. Private David Largen arrived and discovered that Stull, 24, had a gun and had been drinking. He called for back-up, and Private Yoakum and Mucho arrived, joined by Private Earl Caknipe.
Stull emerged from the apartment building with a knife in his one hand. The other hand remained behind his back. Private Yoakum tried to talk to the man, but suddenly Stull brought his hidden hand forward. He had a gun and he fired at Private Yoakum, hitting him in the chest. Private Yoakum drew his own weapon but could not return fire. Stull began shooting at the other officers who had sought cover behind a car. Both officers fired several shots and Stull was killed.
Mucho watched over his fatally injured partner until Private Yoakum was taken to Alexandria Hospital. He was pronounced dead at 2:20 a.m. Mucho was later given to the Yoakum family.
Private Yoakum, 34, was survived by his wife Elizabeth, and their children, Marion, Tyrone and Sharon. He is buried at National Memorial Park in Falls Church. Yoakum Parkway is named in his honor.
Detective Conrad L. Birney
Conrad L. Birney was born in Philadelphia on August 9, 1932. He grew up in Alexandria, graduated from George Washington High School, and served four years in the Marine Corps. He returned to Northern Virginia and married. On April 4, 1956, he was sworn in as an Alexandria police officer.
Conrad Birney served as a patrol officer and in 1965, he became a detective. Detective Birney enjoyed his work in the juvenile section of the investigations bureau, helping to make a difference in the lives of young people.
In the early afternoon of December 27, 1972, Detective Birney was in his unmarked cruiser in the West End when a call for a bank alarm went out. Detective Birney was very close and responded to the bank at 4616 Kenmore Avenue. In plain clothes but carrying his police radio, Detective Birney began to enter the bank, passing through the first set of doors that led to the lobby. He and the robbers saw each other at the same time and as he reached for his weapon, one suspect forced the door against him, knocking him to the ground. Before he could draw his weapon, one of the bank robbers fired at him.
The shot struck Detective Birney in the left chest and as he fell, he drew his weapon. The suspects fled from the bank and Detective Birney was unable to return fire. He was taken to Alexandria Hospital and pronounced dead at 1:07 p.m.
Three Washington, D.C., men were later identified and on May 22, 1973, they were indicted for Detective Birney’s murder. In addition to their federal bank robbery convictions, each was convicted of first-degree murder. Mack Holland, a 23-year-old prison escapee, was sentenced to life in prison, Ralph Walker, 24, was sentenced to 40 years in prison, and Percy Floyd, an escapee from Lorton, was sentenced to 50 years in prison.
Detective Birney, 40, was survived by his wife Barbara, and their three children, Judy, Cheryl and Robert. He is buried at Mount Comfort Cemetery in the Alexandria section of Fairfax County.
Corporal Charles W. Hill
Charles W. Hill was born on February 22, 1949, and grew up on Long Island in Suffolk County, New York. As a teen, he met his future wife there, and shortly after they married, he became a New York City police officer. But New York City faced financial problems in the 1970s and when Chuck Hill, as he was known to his family, was laid off, he found another job out of state. On August 2, 1976, he became an Alexandria police officer.
Charlie, as he was called by his fellow officers, worked as a patrol officer and soon in specialized positions, as a Field Training Officer and an Identification Technician. He joined the Special Operations Team, a tactical response unit, and in 1980, he became the firearms instructor at the police range. In January of 1982, he was promoted to corporal.
In the late afternoon of March 22, 1989, Corporal Hill was partnered with Officer Andrew M. Chelchowski when the Special Operations Team was called to the 300 block of Hopkins Court. Jamie M. Wise, a 34-year-old escapee from a Washington, D.C., halfway house, had taken hostages inside a home to collect a drug debt.
At 6:35 p.m., Wise emerged, holding a sawed-off shotgun to the head of a teenaged hostage. A police marksman fired and hit Wise. But Wise, high on drugs, fired twice before other officers opened fire. Wise was dead, but his two shots hit Corporal Hill in the head and Officer Chelchowski in the legs. Corporal Hill was taken to Washington Hospital Center where he was pronounced dead at 8:15 p.m.
Corporal Hill, age 40, was survived by his wife Virginia, their sons Charles and Robert, and his mother. The police range and a park in Del Ray were named in honor of Corporal Hill.
Officer Andrew M. Chelchowski
Andrew M. Chelchowski was born on February 8, 1956, in Manhasset, New York. The son of a United Nations worker, Andy graduated from high school in Pakistan in 1974. He later attended Suffolk County Community College where he earned a degree in criminal justice. On June 8, 1977, he became an Alexandria police officer.
Officer Chelchowski worked as a Field Training Officer and in June of 1983, he became a member of the K-9 Unit. He also became a member of the Special Operations Team and as part of the tactical unit, responded to drug raids, hostage-takings and barricades.
On March 22, 1989, Officer Chelchowski and Corporal Charles W. Hill were partners on the Special Operations Team when they responded to a hostage situation in the 300 block of Hopkins Court. The hostage taker, Jamie M. Wise, had escaped from a halfway house in Washington, D.C., and was at the home in Alexandria to collect a drug debt.
Wise, 34, emerged from the residence with one hostage, holding a shotgun to the youth’s head. A police marksman fired and struck Wise. But before he was incapacitated, Wise, high on drugs, managed to fire twice. The first round killed Corporal Hill and the second struck Officer Chelchowski in the legs. Police opened fired again, and Wise was killed.
Officer Chelchowski endured months of recovery and rehabilitation. He returned to light-duty status later that year and assumed his full duties, with his K-9 partner, in 1991. He remained in that assignment until his death in Prince William County on the morning of July 29, 1993.
Officer Chelchowski, 37, was survived by his wife Sherry, a former Alexandria police officer, three step-children Patrick, Stephanie and Joshua, his father Michael, and his sisters Maia, Eva, Ania and Yvonne. He is buried at Ivy Hill Cemetery in Alexandria.
Sergeant Morton M. Ford
Morton Marshall Ford III was born September 18, 1946 in Ronceverte, W.Va., the son of Mary Louise and Morton Marshall, Jr. Known to his family as Marty, he grew up in Newark, Ohio, and joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1965. He served in the Vietnam War and was promoted to the rank of sergeant before being honorably discharged in 1969.
On December 21, 1969, Morty, as he would be known to his fellow officers, joined the Alexandria Police Department and began serving as a patrol officer.
Around 6 p.m. on November 26, 1974, then Officer Ford responded for a reported robbery at the State Alcoholic Beverage Control store at 901 North Saint Asaph Street. Officer Ford notified headquarters that he could see two subjects running toward a parking lot on Montgomery Street. He was joined by Officers Ken Howard and James Ammons, all arriving in separate cruisers. As they approached, they were fired upon by occupants in a white vehicle. Officers Ford and Howard rammed the suspect vehicle and all officers returned fire. Officer Ford suffered a gunshot wound to the chest before two suspects were apprehended.
Officer Ford was transported to Alexandria Hospital as was one of the suspects who was shot in the gunfight. Jesse Brewer, 50, later died of his injuries, and a third suspect was apprehended a couple days later. Jewell Holmes, 42, and Michael Leon Jones, 21, were charged with attempted murder and robbery.
Officer Ford underwent surgery and received multiple blood transfusions but initially survived the shooting and was able to return to duty several months later. But he suffered serious health problems and it was discovered that he had contracted Hepatitis C from infected blood in a transfusion.
He was later promoted to the rank of sergeant and enjoyed a successful career, serving mostly in the Vice-Narcotics Section. Sergeant Ford retired from the Alexandria Police Department on September 18, 1996.
Sergeant Ford’s health continued to deteriorate and in early 2011, he was diagnosed with liver cancer as a result of Hepatitis C. Sergeant Ford died on June 18, 2011, and was survived by his brother Gary and sisters Lois and Connie. He is buried at Wallace Memorial Cemetery in Clintonville, W.Va.
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3600 Wheeler Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22304
Information Services SectionFax: 703.746.1936
Chief of PoliceFax: 703.746.1945
Office Hours:Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.