Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 4 years, 5 months, 19 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: District 14 - Deering
District of Incident (Present Day): 009 - Deering
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Friendly
Age at Time of Death: 27
Date of Birth: 09 Sep 1899
Date of Appointment: 27 Oct 1922
Date of Incident: 009 - Deering
End of Watch: 15 Apr 1927
Date of Interment:
Cemetery: St. Adalbert Catholic Cemetery - Niles, Illinois
Grave Location: Lot 20, Block K, Section 5
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Not Enshrined
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 5
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Not Listed
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Not Listed
Officer Down Memorial Page: Not Listed
Military Service: U.S. Army
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman James Joseph Kakacek, Star #462, aged 27 years, was a 4 year, 5 month, 19 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to District 14 – Deering.
On April 15, 1927, at 7:45 p.m., Officer Kakacek and his partner, Patrolman William Allen, were given word via a wiretap to head to a poolroom located at 500 West 25th Place. They were told that two Mexican immigrants, Anthony Bautista and Elis Redon both of 231 West 25th Street, were thought to be there and were wanted for robbery. Officer Kakacek and his partner arrived first in their civilian clothes when two other uniformed officers walked in. Patrolmen Charles F. W. Wetter and Patrick Mullen, working in uniform, of the Flivver Squad were also sent to the location from the Deering Street station. Neither knew that the other was responding. Before Wetter and Mullen arrived, the poolroom’s proprietor, Joseph Lapinelli, pointed out the two men the officers were there for. Officers Kakacek and Allen walked over and began to search the men with guns drawn. Before the officers could complete their search, Officers Wetter and Mullen entered the establishment through separate doors. Hearing the commotion, Officer Kakacek turned as Officer Wetter began shooting at the plainclothes officers thinking they were robbers. As Kakacek fell, officer Wetter recognized him and at the same instant officer Mullen shouted, “Look out, for God’s sake. It’s Allen. Don’t shoot any more. You’ve killed one of our men.” However, it was to late and Officer Kakacek had already been mortally wounded in the neck with additional shots ranging downward. He was rushed to Mercy Hospital, but died en route.
After the shooting, Patrolman Wetter became hysterical with grief, and his brother officers, fearing he would harm himself, disarmed him. Officer Wetter was taken into custody for his safety and then questioned by Captain John P. Horan, who was convinced the tragedy was accidental and sent him home. On April 16, 1927, Officer Wetter was exonerated by the Coroner and released. Bautista and Redon were also arrested but were later released.
Officer Kakacek was laid to rest in St. Adalbert Catholic Cemetery, 6800 North Milwaukee Avenue, Niles, Illinois. His grave is located in Lot 20, Block K, Section 5.
Patrolman James Joseph Kakacek, born September 9, 1899, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on October 27, 1922.
Officer Kakacek served in the U.S. Army from November 2, 1918 thru January 2, 1919 in Company B, 308th Heavy Tank Battalion, was a veteran of World War I and was Honorably Discharged at the rank of Private. He was survived by his mother and brothers: John Kakacek (CPD) and Joseph Kakacek (CPD).
Incident recorded under Chicago Police Historical Homicide Database, Case #8407.