END OF WATCH: December 26, 1956
Mayfield Heights Police Department
A policeman’s job is governed by chance and the unexpected. He never knows from one moment to the next where duty will take him or what the consequences may be.
Patrolman Catalano was simply responding to a burglar alarm at the Eastgate Shopping Center located at the Mayfield Road-SOM Center Road intersection when he met his death. The bank alarm turned out to be accidental. Witnesses said the Officer was going east on Mayfield Road with sirens blasting and the red lights on his cruiser flashing when he crossed the intersection, apparently against a red light and was struck by a southbound car. Officer Catalano was pronounced dead at Huron Road Hospital. The driver of the other car sustained serious head injuries.
A good policeman, one described as “devoted to his duty”, Catalano had turned on his siren and the flashers above his car to warn drivers he was coming. The wail of the siren went unheard by the driver of the other car. He was a deaf mute. This fact stirred up discussion of the state’s licensing practice regarding deaf mutes.
Officer Catalano was survived by his wife Elizabeth, 3 year old daughter Janice, parents, Carmine and Louise, a brother and two sisters.
Nicholas Catalano’s name is inscribed on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall, Washington, D.C. panel 44, west wall, line 13.
By Norm Drew, Greater Cleveland Peace Officers Memorial Society