Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 23 years, 1 month, 27 days*
Unit of Assignment / Detail: 1st District - Central
District of Incident (Present Day): 003 - Grand Crossing
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 71
Date of Birth: 01 Apr 1881
Date of Appointment: 05 Feb 1915
Date of Incident: 003 - Grand Crossing
End of Watch: 21 Apr 1952
Date of Interment: 25 Apr 1952
Cemetery: Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery - Chicago, Illinois
Grave Location: Grave S, Lot 512, Block 48
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Not Enshrined
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 4
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Not Listed
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Not Listed
Officer Down Memorial Page: Not Listed
Military Service: No Military Record Found
Incident & Biographic Details
Detective Charles W. Stine, Star #3286, aged 71 years, was a retired 23 year, 1 month, 27 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, from the 1st District – Central.
On September 28, 1936, Detective Charles Stine and his friend, Detective Nicolas Michael Connelly, age 26, were off duty and in civilian clothing at Rehling’s Tavern located at 203 East 69th Street. Two parolees, Norman Cravens, age 21 and Clarence Lukesch, age 21 entered the tavern, drew their pistols and announced a robbery. A third offender, Fred Meyers, age 20, waited outside in a stolen getaway car. As the two men announced the robbery, Detectives’ Connelly and Stine drew their weapons and a gun battle ensued. A third, Retired disabled Policeman, Charles Colgrove, age 53, was also on scene and used his cane to fell Lukesch. In all 25 shots were fired. Detective Connelly was shot four times and transported to St. Bernard’s Hospital in serious condition. Detective Stine was shot just below the heart and was also transported to St. Bernard’s Hospital reportedly near death. Louis Halberg, age 60, a porter in the tavern, was shot twice but not seriously hurt. One of the gunman, Norman Cravens, was shot dead while Lukesch was captured unharmed by a responding officer, Detective Timothy O’Connor. The third offender, Fred Meyers, fled the scene in the getaway car once the shooting started. He was arrested later at his residence.
Further investigation revealed that the group of three was paroled from Pontiac Reformatory on February 14, 1962. They had robbed 50 small businesses since being paroled. Arrest records showed that Meyer and Lukesch were sentenced to one year to life imprisonment on March 21, 1934 after they pleaded guilty to robbing the store of Sam Fiengeruth located at 2339 West Howard Street. Both were paroled after serving less than two years of their sentence. In 1934 the two were indicted on five counts of robbery, two counts of burglary and one count of larceny. Ironically, parole board records indicated that the two “had no previous criminal records.“ Norman Cravens was also paroled to Danville, Illinois after serving four years for a different crime. He left Danville in violation of his parole to commit the robbery.
Lukesch and Meyers stood trial and were convicted. On November 10, 1936, they were sentenced to life in prison as habitual criminals by Chief Justice Michael McKinley. In addition to their sentence they were classified as parole violators and ordered to serve out their original sentences too.
Detective Stine survived the shooting but never fully recovered and suffered from extreme pain and chronic nephritis. Due to his medical issues, Detective Stine would enter the Disability Pension Roll (DPR) on December 10, 1937 and later resigned from the Department on April 1, 1938. In his last days he lived in the Fitch Nursing Home located at 11410 South Forrestville Avenue. These medical complications all led to Stine’s death on April 21, 1952.
Detective Connelly also survived the shooting but never fully recovered and suffered from extreme pain from rheumatoid arthritis. Due to his medical issues, Detective Connelly would enter the Disability Pension Roll (DPR) on December 10, 1937 and later resign from the Department on April 1, 1938. Detective Connelly also suffered from chronic lead poisoning from the two bullets that were left in his body and later developed cancer. He passed away on October 9, 1962 at Little Company of Mary Hospital from complications resulting from his line of duty injury. According to Dr. Nancy Jones, retired Chief Medical Examiner of Cook County, those complications all led to Detective Connelly’s early death.
Detective Stine was laid to rest on April 25, 1952 in Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery, 2755 West 111th Street, Chicago, Illinois. His grave is located in Grave S, Lot 512, Block 48.
Detective Charles W. Stine, born April 1, 1881, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on February 5, 1915. He earned 6 Credible Mentions and 1 Extra Compensation for Meritorious Conduct totaling $180.00.