Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 6 years, 7 months, 10 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: 25th District - Fillmore
District of Incident (Present Day): 015 - Austin
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 31
Date of Birth: 10 Apr 1898
Date of Appointment: 30 Oct 1922
Date of Incident: 015 - Austin
End of Watch: 09 Jun 1929
Date of Interment: 13 Jun 1929
Cemetery: Woodlawn Cemetery - Forest Park, Illinois
Grave Location: Unknown
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # B-12
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 13
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 2, Line 25
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 15-W: 3
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: No Military Record Found
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman Earl Kenneth Leonard, Star #4558, aged 31 years, was a 6 year, 7 month, 10 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 25th District – Fillmore.
On June 9, 1929, at 10:15 p.m., Patrolman Leonard, while on motorcycle duty, stopped a traffic violator at 5411 West Quincy Street. John Bartoli, driver of the car, had failed to stop for a red light at Madison Street and Laramie Avenue. Bartoli’s car was occupied by nine passengers, four women and five men, and they watched as Officer Leonard placed John Bartoli in custody. After cuffing the arrestee, Leonard began to walk northbound on Lotus Avenue from Quincy Street with Bartoli. He was going to a nearby patrol box at Lotus Avenue and Monroe Street to call for a patrol wagon to transport Bartoli to the station. It was at this time a male passenger, Patrick Joyce, alias Patrick Doyle, of 3906 West Flournoy Street, not liking the fact that his friend was under arrest, produced a revolver from under the car seat. To the surprise of the other passengers, Joyce said “One bullet will finish that copper.” The occupants of the car tried to dissuade him from exiting the car. When that didn’t work, the occupants, attempted to physically hold him back. However, their efforts did not work and Joyce broke free running to catch up with his friend and Officer Leonard. Just as the two reached the patrol box, Joyce caught up with them, just feet away, and fired the gun at Officer Leonard. The bullet struck Officer Leonard in his right temple causing him to collapse to the ground. Joyce and Bartoli then made good their escape.
Word quickly spread to almost every officer in the city after news of Officer Leonard’s shooting was broadcast by the Tribune-owned WGN radio. Several Detective squads responded to the scene and discovered an unconscious Leonard laying on the ground. He was rushed to Francis Willard Hospital where he died a short time later never regaining consciousness.
Investigators at the scene found an abandoned vehicle and were able to determine that the vehicle was a rental; rented by Elmer Wolff of 111 South Campbell Street. Elmer Wolff was located by investigators and stated that he had borrowed the car to Patrick Joyce. In a separate statement made by Karen Patten, she related that all those involved had been at her Westside home. They all left to take one of the female passenger’s home on Quincy Street near Lotus Avenue at the same place Leonard made the traffic stop. As the disjointed information came in, it led investigators to look into Joyce’s past. He had a long rap sheet that included multiple robbery charges even though he had only spent six months in total in Bridewell Prison. On February 15, 1927, Joyce was acquitted of a robbery charge by Judge Emanuel Eller. On February 16, two other charges were dismissed. On February 1, 1928, Joyce was convicted of a robbery before Judge Eller and sentenced to six months in Bridewell prison. It was said that Joyce had political connections which helped him win his release from prison on probation after one of his robbery arrests.
On June 10, 1929, Joyce’s mother, Mary Joyce, and brother, James Joyce, were located and brought in for questioning and on the same day the arrest of all occupants of the auto was recommended by the Coroner. Those arrested shortly after the shooting were: Bridget Cavallo, age 20, of 5411 West Quincy Street; William Mullen, age 21, of 2548 West Congress Street; John “Red“ O’Keefe, age 22 of 4150 West Washington Boulevard; Albert Patten, age 21, of 323 North Sacramento Boulevard; Eleanor Patten, age 18, of 323 North Sacramento Boulevard; Katherine Patten, age 17, of 323 North Sacramento Boulevard; Helen Tindall, age 18, of 2038 West Washington Boulevard and Elmer Wolff of 111 South Campbell Avenue. Wolff was the only person not in the vehicle at the time of the traffic stop. Joyce and Bertoli were the only two remaining at large.
On June 14, 1929, Joyce was apprehended and indicted. On June 16, 1929, Mrs. Mary Lemon who gave Joyce refuge was booked as an accessory. On June 19, 1929, Lemon was discharged by Judge Jonas. Patrick Joyce stood trial and was found guilty. On August 9, 1929, Joyce was sentenced to life in the Illinois State Penitentiary at Joliet by Judge Comerford.
John Bartoli wasn’t apprehended for two years. On October 28, 1931, John Bartoli was arrested in Moberly, Missouri and the Chicago Police Department was notified of the arrest. On November 3, 1931, a telegram was sent to Chief of Police Sam Sparkman of Moberly to release Bartoli because the State’s Attorney did not have sufficient evidence to warrant a conviction. The Bartoli case was stricken off the record on March 29, 1934.
Officer Leonard was waked at Hursen Undertakers Funeral Home located at 2346 West Madison Avenue, his funeral mass was also held at the funeral home. He was laid to rest on June 13, 1929 in Woodlawn Cemetery, 7750 Cermak Road, Forest Park, Illinois.
Patrolman Earl Kenneth Leonard, born April 10, 1896, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on October 30, 1922. He earned 1 Extra Compensation for Meritorious Conduct totaling $240.00 during his career. One year prior to his murder, Officer Leonard and Patrolman Walter Franks shot and killed an armed offender during a restaurant holdup. The robber had also been a participant in a $133,000.00 Evergreen park mail robbery.
Officer Leonard was a member of the Chicago Policemen’s Benevolent & Welfare Association. He was survived by his wife, Mae (nee Hill), age 31; mother, Dolores E.; and siblings: Morel Leonard, Mrs. H. Wildman and Vera.
Incident recorded under Chicago Police Historical Homicide Database, Case #10452.