Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 1 year, 1 month, 8 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: District 20, 32nd Precinct - West Chicago
District of Incident (Present Day): 012 - Near West
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 26
Date of Birth: 19 Sep 1890
Date of Appointment: 25 Oct 1915
Date of Incident: 012 - Near West
End of Watch: 03 Dec 1916
Date of Interment: 06 Dec 1916
Cemetery: Forest Home Cemetery - Forest Park, Illinois
Grave Location: Unknown
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # B-4
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 10
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 1, Line 49
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 8-E: 7
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: No Military Record Found
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman Bruno H. Frederick, Star #4813, aged 26 years, was a 1 year, 1 month, 8 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to District 20, 32nd Precinct – West Chicago.
On November 30, 1916, Officer Frederick was on duty at a ball given by the Italian S. S. Constantinople Society. The ball was being held at Roti’s Dance Hall located near the Chicago Commons, at Morgan Street and Grand Avenue. He was there to close down the dance at 1:00 a.m. and when that time rolled around he closed it down. At 1:15 a.m., Alexander Maggio, a member of the Bousk Gang, began to insult Officer Frederick. Officer Frederick responded by placing Maggio under arrest and taking him outside to the patrol box at Grand Avenue and Sangamon Street. It was at this time that members of the Bousk Gang, Joseph Bousk, age 21, James Bousk and Louis Bousk, along with patrons from the dance, John Basta and Daniel Matteo of 2146 West Huron Street, followed the officer outside demanding Maggio be released. The officer told them he was doing his duty and warned them not to interfere. As Officer Frederick reached the patrol box, one of the men in the crowd yelled, “Turn him loose or I’ll blow your head off!” Keeping a firm grip on Maggio, Frederick was shot in the abdomen and sank to the pavement. Additional shots were fired and the crowd surrounded him. The men began to attack Officer Frederick and he was kicked and punched multiple times. Officer Frederick then drew his revolver and began firing emptying his gun as the mob scattered. Frederick was taken to St. Elizabeth Hospital where he died three days later on December 3, 1916.
Before daybreak more than 30 suspects were arrested in connection with the murder of Officer Frederick. Each one of them were taken to the hospital and passed in procession before the bed of Officer Frederick. Officer Frederick scrutinized them closely and identified the men involved with a nod. Fifteen men were identified including the men listed above. Joseph Bousk later confessed to shooting Officer Frederick and his brothers, James and Louis, also admitted to their part in the attack.
Nine of the suspects were held after the shooting pending the condition of Officer Frederick. On December 2, 1916, all three Bousk brothers were released on $48,000.00 bonds. After Officer Frederick’s condition worsened, the bonds were nullified and the men were rearrested. On December 4, 1916, John Basta, Joseph Bousk, Louis Bousk, Alex Maggio and Daniel Matteo were held by the Coroner to the Grand Jury and were indicted. On April 26, 1917, James Bousk’s case was nolle prossed by Judge McKinley. On May 3, 1917, John Basta, Louis Bousk, Alex Maggio and Daniel Matteo were acquitted by Judge McKinley. On May 19, 1917, Joseph Bousk was convicted of Patrolman Frederick’s murder and sentenced to 14 years in the Illinois State Penitentiary at Joliet by Judge McKinley.
Officer Frederick was waked at his residence located at 3411 West Hirsh Street. He was laid to rest on December 6, 1916 in Forest Home Cemetery, 863 Desplaines Avenue, Forest Park, Illinois.
Patrolman Bruno H. Frederick, born September 19, 1890, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on October 25, 1915.
Officer Frederick was survived by his parents: Alexander H. and Emilie F. and siblings: Albert Otto H. and Max Robert.
Incident recorded under Chicago Police Historical Homicide Database, Case #3574.
The Chicago Commons was a settlement house patterned on Jane Adams’ Hull House, with a group of resident social workers. Chicago Commons was located on the near Northwest Side at Grand Avenue and Morgan Street.