END OF WATCH: January 8, 1931
Cleveland Police Department
Patrolman James Ryan was the forty-second Cleveland Police Officer to be killed in the line of duty. Ryan was born in Ireland, his parents stayed behind when he came to the United States. James Ryan was a World War I veteran and served overseas.
Ryan was shot 3 times after he and Patrolman John Cleary battled gunmen in a narrow hallway at 1714 West 25th Street. Both officers were in plain clothes. One of the wounded gunmen escaped and was later apprehended by police tracking his blood in the snow.
On January 7, 1931 at 4:30 pm, Patrolmen Ryan and Cleary called headquarters reporting they thought they located Joe Filkowski, wanted for robbery.
Ryan and Cleary went to the West 25th Street address to arrest one of three robbers who held up a victim at 2211 Franklin. The victim knew two of the robbers, but the third, he did not know other than he had a gun and fired 2 shots through his door.
The victim took officers to a pool room on West 25th Street and then to a hotel near Jay Avenue and West 25th. It was there that “Chuck” Glasscock emerged from a room and started shooting, wounding Cleary. Glasscock jumped over Cleary and escaped with Ryan in pursuit. Glasscock shot Ryan and he collapsed in the street. In the exchange, Ryan wounded Glasscock who was later arrested.
James Ryan had no next of kin was listed but his parents were believed in Ireland.
James Ryan’s name is inscribed on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall, Washington, D.C. panel 6, west wall, line 1.
By Brigid Stefan, Greater Cleveland Peace Officers Memorial Society