Copland Classic

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Those We Lost

Senior Police Officer Dick V. Hobson, Jr.

Senior Police Officer Dick V. Hobson, Jr.Died June 11, 1996 when a foot pursuit and coordinated search for an armed robbery suspect led to a dark alley in downtown Tulsa. Officer Hobson entered the alley with his K-9 dog and fellow K-9 officer Steve Downie. They were immediately ambushed by the suspect who was lying in wait. Backing officers returned fire, killing the suspect at the scene. Officer Hobson received fatal gunshot wounds at the scene and died at the hospital later that evening. Officer Downie received a serious gunshot wound to his leg and later recovered.
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Officer Constantine G. "Gus" Spanos

Officer Constantine G. "Gus" SpanosDied April 23, 1993 as a result of a gunshot wound he received during an early morning car stop on April 22. About 1:48 a.m., Officer Spanos stopped a car at 5800 N. Cincinnati Ave. His backing officer found him lying next to his patrol unit with a bullet wound to the head. He was transported to the hospital where he died at 12:26 p.m. the following day. The driver of the suspect vehicle fled the state but was eventually apprehended, convicted, and sentenced to life in prison without parole for the murder of Officer Spanos.
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Officer James A. "Bert" Slay

Officer James A. "Bert" SlayDied Nov. 10, 1986 as the result of a vehicle accident. Officer Slay was writing parking tickets when his police vehicle apparently disengaged itself from park and began rolling forward, pinning him between his car and a parked truck. This freak accident broke his pelvis. He died two weeks later due to complications from the injury.
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Officer Chance F. Whiteman III

Officer Chance F. Whiteman IIIDied March 26, 1982 when the police helicopter he was piloting crashed while assisting patrol units during a pursuit. Radio contact was lost with the helicopter during the pursuit. The helicopter struck a tree and crashed a half-mile west of U.S. 75 just south of 66th Street North.  The driver of the car was arrested.  The helicopter program was only 10 days old at the time of the crash.
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Officer Kelly L. Smythe

Officer Kelly L. SmytheDied March 26, 1982 when the police helicopter he was riding in as an observer crashed while assisting patrol units during a pursuit. Radio contact was lost with the helicopter during the pursuit. The helicopter struck a tree and crashed a half-mile west of U.S. 75 just south of 66th Street North.  The driver of the car was arrested.  The helicopter program was only 10 days old at the time of the crash.

(See above).
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Officer Fabrienne M. Van Arsdell

Officer Fabrienne M. Van ArsdellDied July 25, 1981 when her patrol car was rammed from behind by a drunk driver. She stopped a drunk driver at 6300 S. Lewis Avenue. While she was sitting in her car running a records check,  another drunk driver drove into the rear of her patrol car.  The force of the collision caused the doors of the police car to jam, pinning her in the car. The car then burst into flames.
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Sergeant Donald L. Byerley

Sergeant Donald L. ByerleyDied Dec. 15, 1980 as a result of injuries he received in a traffic collision. He stopped a vehicle on I-244 and a drunk driver struck his vehicle from behind. Sergeant Byerley remained in a coma for two months before succumbing to his injuries.
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Officer Carl V. "Poncho" Kime, Jr.

Officer Carl V. "Poncho" Kime, Jr.Died Nov. 5, 1979  as a result of a shotgun wound he received while searching a building that had been burglarized. The building’s security guard observed Officer Kime’s silhouette through a pegboard partition. Thinking that he was the burglar, he shot through the partition killing Officer Kime. The security guard was not charged.
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Auxiliary Officer Glenn Truman Wortham

Auxiliary Officer Glenn Truman WorthamDied July 15, 1973 as a result of a heart attack resulting from an extended struggle with a stabbing suspect. After numerous struggles with the suspect, the suspect kicked Officer Wortham in his chest with such force that it caused his heart to stop. Even though this occurred at a local hospital, doctors were unable to revive him.
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Sergeant J. Thurman Spybuck

Sergeant J. Thurman SpybuckDied April 3, 1971 as a result of a gunshot wound he received while assisting in the service of a search warrant. The armed suspect exited the residence and confronted Sergeant Spybuck. The two exchanged gunfire and Sergeant Spybuck was killed by a single gunshot wound. The suspect was apprehended at the scene.
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Officer George Lee Brady

Officer George Lee BradyDied April 3, 1963 as a result of injuries he received in a traffic collision. While chasing a speeding vehicle, another vehicle pulled out in front of him causing him to go left of center. This resulted in a head on collision that killed him and a passenger in the other vehicle. The speeder was captured near the scene and arrested.
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Officer Hugh C. Greer

Officer Hugh C. GreerDied April 27, 1962 as a result of a gunshot wound he received when he and Officer Ray Burch approached two burglary suspects. One of the suspects grabbed Officer Greer’s pistol, killing Officer Greer with it and wounding officer Burch. One suspect was wounded and arrested at the scene. during a struggle with a burglar.
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Officer Thomas Ernest Milstead

Officer Thomas Ernest MilsteadDied Nov. 30, 1960 as a result of a gunshot wound. The suspect entered the dog pound and he and Officer Milstead got into an argument over a dog. The suspect went home, got a pistol, returned, and shot Officer Milstead. The suspect was apprehended.
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Officer Leroy E. Cowles

Officer Leroy E. CowlesDied Sept. 8, 1961 as a result of injuries he received in a traffic collision. He was in pursuit of a speeding vehicle when his motorcycle collided with another vehicle that pulled out in front of him. The speeding vehicle escaped.
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Officer Alan F. Yerton

Officer Alan F. YertonDied December 25, 1959 as a result of injuries he received in a traffic collision. While enroute to a local hospital, his vehicle collided with another vehicle that pulled out in front of him. The suspect left the scene of the accident but was arrested 3 1/2 hours later and charged with felony hit and run.
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Corporal Nelson F. Williams

Corporal Nelson F. WilliamsDied June 1, 1958 as a result of injuries he received in a traffic collision. His vehicle collided with another vehicle that ran a red light. The intoxicated suspect was arrested
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Officer Wallace Eugene Casey

Officer Wallace Eugene CaseyDied May 12, 1957 as a result of injuries he received in a traffic collision. His motorcycle collided with another vehicle that pulled out in front of him. The suspect left the scene of the accident and was apprehended a short time later and arrested
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Detective Cornelius W. White

Detective Cornelius W. WhiteDied May 17, 1951 as a result of gunshot wounds he received while transporting a rape suspect to jail. The suspect was killed in a shoot-out with police.
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Officer James S. Peters

Officer James S. PetersDied April 14, 1949 as a result of gunshot wounds he received while searching a lumberyard. He walked in on a burglary in progress and was shot by one or more burglary suspects. His murder still remains unsolved.
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Officer Claud S. Lynch

Officer Claud S. LynchDied Nov. 28, 1948 while assisting another officer who was struggling with a prisoner in a police car. He and Officer Henry Johnson arrested a man for discharging a firearm.  The suspect grabbed Officer Johnson's revolver while being transported to jail. During the struggle for the gun, Officer Lynch approached the passenger door of the police car.  Officer Johnson's weapon discharged through the window glass and struck Officer Lynch.
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Officer Lawrence M. Inman

Officer Lawrence M. InmanDied March 13, 1947 as a result of injuries he received in a traffic collision on Jan. 15. While enroute to investigate a hijacking, the vehicle in which he was a passenger collided with a vehicle that turned in front of them. The driver was arrested at the scene.
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Captain Ray F. Cowan

Captain Ray F. CowanDied Feb. 4, 1947 from a blow to the head he received while helping an officer who was fighting with a prisoner. He died six months after retirement. His death was attributed to the head injury.
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Detective Ben H. Johnston

Detective Ben H. JohnstonDied January 3, 1947 from gunshot wounds he received while he and Detective Cormack were arresting two men who were suspects in the death of Officer Jerry St. Clair.  They approached the suspect vehicle at 1500 S. Frisco Avenue.  The suspects exited the vehicle and began firing. Detective Cormack was killed and Detective Johnston wounded. A 17 year old suspect was wounded and captured at the scene.  The other suspect was later arrested in Idaho.
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Detective Sylvester R. Cormack

Detective Sylvester R. CormackDied   Sept. 12, 1946 while he and Detective Ben Johnston were arresting two men who were suspects in the death of Officer Jerry St. Clair.  They approached the suspect vehicle at 1500 S. Frisco Avenue.  The suspects exited the vehicle and began firing. Detective Cormack was killed and Detective Johnston wounded. A 17 year old suspect was wounded and captured at the scene.  The other suspect was later arrested in Idaho.

(See below).
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Detective Gerald M. St. Clair

Detective Gerald M. St. ClairDied Sept. 2, 1946 as a result of a gunshot wound he received while pursuing an armed robbery suspect. The suspect shot over his shoulder striking Detective St. Clair who was in his car. The suspect was arrested in Santa Ana, California.
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Officer Walter C. Busch

Officer Walter C. BuschDied Oct. 10, 1944 as a result of injuries he received in a traffic collision. His motorcycle collided with another vehicle that pulled out in front of him.
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Officer Lawrence Leroy "Shorty" Rogers

Officer  Lawrence Leroy "Shorty" RogersDied March 16, 1941 as a result of a gunshot wound he received when he and other officers were responding to a scene where M.K.T. Railroad Special Agent W.S. Wooten had been shot and killed. Upon arrival, the suspect shot Officer Rogers who died at the scene. The suspect was killed in a shoot-out with police.
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Officer Edward W. Von Holten

Officer Edward W. Von HoltenDied March 24, 1937 from an accidental gunshot wound. As he began his shift, he intended to drive police matron Stella Geise to her residence.  He reached into the back seat to move a double barrel shotgun.  One of the hammers on the weapon apparently caught on the seat and the shotgun discharged, wounding the matron. Surprised, Officer Von Holten dropped the weapon which discharged again when it struck the floorboard.  The second blast killed Officer Von Holten.
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Officer Walter N. Clark

Officer Walter N. ClarkDied Dec. 10, 1936 as a result of gunshot wounds he received November 5 when he approached a forgery suspect in a drug store. The suspect was killed in a shoot-out with police.
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Detective Lawrence B. Mitchell

Detective Lawrence B. MitchellDied July 22, 1934 as a result of gunshot wounds he received when he and Detective W. L. Martin approached a suspicious person in a vehicle. The suspect began firing his pistol killing Detective Mitchell and wounding Detective Martin. The suspect was apprehended and in spite of being shot five times, survived.
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Detective Henry C. Morrison

Detective Henry C. MorrisonDied April 23, 1933 as a result of gunshot wounds he received while transporting an auto theft suspect to jail. A fight ensued and the suspect gained control of Detective Morrison’s pistol and shot him four times. The suspect was apprehended.
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Detective James A. Woolley

Detective James A. WooleyDied Jan. 23, 1931 as a result of a gunshot wound he received when he and Detective William Woolley approached a robbery suspect in a vehicle. As he approached the vehicle, the suspect fired a single shot, killing Detective Woolley. The suspect was later apprehended.
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Officer William Sydney Brooks

Officer William Sydney BrooksDied Dec. 31, 1930 as a result of injuries he received in a traffic collision. He was following an ambulance to a hospital when his motorcycle collided with a truck and trailer that pulled onto the roadway in front of him. No charges were filed.  Officer Brooks had been with the department only two months.
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Officer Robert Jackson

Officer Robert JacksonDied on Oct. 31, 1927 as a result of  gunshot wounds he received while investigating a family disturbance on N. Greenwood Avenue. As Officer Jackson approached the residence, the suspect stepped out of the front door and shot Officer Jackson four times. Officer Jackson also fired four times, fatally wounding his assailant.
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Officer Robert Donnelly

Officer Robert DonnellyDied on Feb. 26, 1922 as a result of a gunshot wound he received when he and Bicycle Officer L. R. Granger stopped a vehicle suspected of transporting alcohol. One of the suspects exited the vehicle and shot Officer Donnelly with a pistol. The suspect was apprehended.
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Officer Ed Yoakum

Officer Ed YoakumDied October 27, 1920 as a result of a gunshot wound. He responded to a burglary in progress where a suspect was apprehended coming out of a house. The resident, not fully awakened, saw Officer Yoakum in his backyard and mistook him for the burglar. The resident fired one shot, killing Officer Yoakum. As Officer Yoakum lay dying in the yard he said, "I forgive the man who shot me."
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Detective William Charles Meachum

Detective William Charles MeachumDied June 8, 1920 as the result of a gunshot wound. Detective W.C. Meachum was technically not a member of the police department when was shot. The incident occurred about 3:45 A.M. near Archer and Main.  Detective Meachum had resigned from the police force the previous evening to become the City Marshal at Bigheart, Oklahoma.  He wanted to complete an investigation of some armed robbery suspects.  He was shot during the attempted arrest by George H. Smith who fled and escaped.  On June 19th, Smith was killed in a shootout with detectives in Kansas City, Missouri.
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Officer Glenn Allison

Officer Glenn AllisonDied on Feb. 7, 1918 from a head injury he received while taking two prisoners to jail from the Cosden Refinery.  The prisoner in the back seat struck Officer Allison over the head with a tire pump. The suspect was arrested eleven days later in Joplin, Missouri.
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Sergeant John Harrod

Sergeant John HarrodDied November 9, 1917 as the result of an accidental gunshot wound when his pistol accidentally fell out of its holster. He was the first Tulsa Police Officer to die in the line of duty.
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