Cleary, Patrolman John J.


END OF WATCH: January 4, 1938
Cleveland Police Department
Age: 38

On January 7, 1931, Officers John J. Cleary, and James Ryan were working a plain clothes detail and were detailed to investigate a robbery at 2211 Franklin Avenue in Cleveland.

Cleary and Ryan located one of the suspects in room 309 of the Alfred Hotel at 2515 Jay Street. This subject lead police to the second suspect at 1714 West 25th Street, Room 6. In the hallway, Cleary and Ryan met the landlady who took them to the door and knocked. A female came to the door saying she was not dressed and would not let them in. At this point the landlady forced the door open. Ryan was the first one into the apartment and as he opened a bedroom closet door, a male hiding in the closet pointed a revolver at him and told him to throw up his hands. Instead, Ryan reached for his revolver and the male shot him three times. The male ran to the hallway shooting Cleary once and severing his spine. Ryan was able to pursue the suspect firing four shots at him in the hallway, hitting him twice.

Ryan chased the suspect out of the building before collapsing on the street. The suspect continued to the rear of the hotel to Clinton Avenue. There the suspect forced his way into a home at 3109 Clinton and held the occupants at gunpoint until he passed out from the wounds inflicted by Officer Ryan. Responding officers followed the blood trail from the hotel to the home finding the suspect on the floor at which time he was taken into custody.

James Ryan died from his wounds at Fairview Hospital after identifying the suspect as John Glasscock, alias Glancock and Jack McCarthy.

John Cleary was taken to Lutheran Hospital where he was treated but remained in a wheelchair. He died of his wounds on January 4, 1938, He left a wife, Julia (Patton), and three children, Anne, Mary, and Thomas.

Mary L. Cleary, John Cleary’s youngest daughter, was sworn in as a policewoman with the Cleveland Police Department at the age of twenty-one. She spent her entire career in police service. Anne M. (Cleary) McNamara’s daughter, Anne E. McNamara, is a policewoman in the First District.

John Cleary’s name is inscribed on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall, Washington, D.C. panel 44, west wall, line 12.

By Farrell Cleary, Nephew