KILLED IN THE LINE OF DUTY BY ASSAULT
Appointed: September 10, 1912
End of Watch: October 28, 1916
Attempting to arrest two men in a saloon at 2nd and Poplar Street, shortly after 5 o’clock this morning, Officer John Smith, a patrolman of the Seventh District, was hit over the head with his own club, which had been wrestled from him and his skull was fractured. He died at the Roosevelt Hospital. Benjamin Frederick, a bartender, received a scalp wound from a bullet during the struggle with the two men.
Before he became unconscious, Smith fired at one of his assailants and shot him in the back. The man ran for a block, despite the bullet in his back and was arrested at 3rd and Poplar street by four policemen of the Tenth District, whose attention had been attracted by the shot fire by Officer Smith.
The prisoner, a husky six-footer, gave his name as George Rau and said he lived on 19th street near Green Street. He is under arrest at the Roosevelt Hospital. A companion, known to the police as “Lefty Louis” escaped. The two men entered the saloon of George March and asked Frederick’s, if he wished to purchase some butter. The bartender became suspicious and told the porter to call a policeman. The porter left through a rear door and found Smith.
When the patrolman Smith reached the saloon, the bartender attempted to eject the two-men. They started a fight that continued upon the sidewalk outside the saloon. Both men suddenly jumped upon the patrolman, and Rau, it is alleged, got the patrolman’s club and struck him over the head. Officer Smith was twenty-eight years old and lived at 937 Lawrence Street. He was known for his bravery.