KILLED IN THE LINE OF DUTY BY GUNSHOT ACCIDENT
Appointed: April 30, 1918
End of Watch: March 9, 1919
Two bullets, one in the head and the other in the heart, killed Policeman Charles Danowitz. Two fellow policemen had mistaking him for a burglar shot him.
This was revealed by Dr. William S. Wadsworth coroner’s physician in this report to Coroner Knight. The shooting occurred in the Tioga Station of he P. & R. Railway at 20th and Tioga Station. The autopsy was performed at the morgue after the policeman’s body had been taken to his home and embalmed, a Coroner’s Detective today criticized Stanislaw Stewards an undertaker at Allegheny Ave. near Front Street for having taken the body from the station and embalmed it against his orders. The undertaker’s act was reported to the coroner and action to revoke his license may be taken Dr. Wadsworth said the embalmed head capped him in making the autopsy.
Discovery by Dr. Wadsworth of an additional bullet complicates the fixing of the slayer of Danowitz. It was believed only one bullet the one that lodged in the heart entered the body. Frank Mahoney a Street Sergeant and Officer John McAntee who are accused of firing the shots had pistols of different calibre. The weapon of the Sergeants was .32 cal. and that of McAntee .38 cal. Dr. Wadsworth has weighted the slugs of lead and will be prepared to state at the inquest the date of which has not been determined as to what gun fired which bullet in his opinion that caused death. Danowitz was 40 years old, and a father of six children, guardian of a seventh and a member of the force about nine months.
His home was at 145 Market Street Manayunk. Thomas Kelly a third policeman who was with Danowitz and escaped death by a slim margin is held as a witness. All four were attached to the 22nd and Hunting Park Avenue station. Danowitz and Kelly were assigned to perform plainclothes duty in the vicinity of 25th and Tioga station as a result of thievery. They were under orders to walk through the streets to detect housebreakers and footpads. Residents saw two men stealthily run up the steps leading to the Tioga station. He telephoned to the station house under the assumption they intended to break into the ticket office after noticing one strike a match in the waiting room. Mahoney and McAntee were detailed to investigate. They tried one door, and found it locked. A second yielded and as they entered the dark waiting room a voice gruffly ordered “hands up”. Mahoney and McAntee dropped to the floor and fired eight shots in the direction of the voices. The Sergeant then heard moans. He cautiously lit a match. In the scant rays he copied the form of Danowitz stretched under a bench. Danowitz was a P.R.T. motorman ten years before going on the force. His six children Bertha twenty-one Catharine nineteen, Louise fifteen, Charles thirteen and Frances eleven. He adopted his sister’s child Stella Styes now three in her infancy.