END OF WATCH: July 20, 1938
Cleveland Police Department
Patrolman Louis Mlakar was best known as the traffic policeman in front of City Hall. He made many acquaintances while directing downtown. At the time of his death the 24 year veteran assigned to the Fifth District Emergency Wagon.
On July 19, 1938, Mlakar and his partner, Patrolman Myron Ledwick, were transporting a 24 year old burglary suspect to Central Police Station for questioning.
Ledwick drove while Mlakar rode the back bumper, it was standard procedure for the second officer to ride as rear guard to the prisoners. As the “Paddy Wagon” traveled west on Quincy, it was struck by a bakery truck traveling north on East 71st Street.
The impact overturned the Paddy Wagon and Mlakar was thrown onto the pavement. Mlakar was rushed to Poly Clinic Hospital where he was treated for a fractured skull, fractured right leg, and internal injuries. At 10:14 pm Patrolman Louis Mlakar died as a result of his injuries.
Patrolman Ledwick, the burglary suspect and bakery truck driver, John Chaney were taken to St. Luke’s Hospital with slight injuries.
Witnesses were quoted saying, “The bakery truck was traveling at a high rate of speed and crossed the intersection just as the traffic light changed.” John Chaney, was charged with manslaughter.
Many fellow officers of the 79th-Woodland Precinct attended Patrolman Mlakar services as he was laid to rest at the Riverside Cemetery.
Patrolman Mlakar was survived by his wife, Mary, and son, Roy Robert, two sisters, Mathilda Kessler and Emma Tesar, and a brother, William.
Louis Mlakar’s name is inscribed on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall, Washington, D.C. panel 46, west wall, line 3.
By Recruit John J. Prince, Cleveland Police Academy