Death Classification: Performance of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 13 years, 4 months, 17 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: Bureau of Operational Services - Patrol Division Special Functions Group: Unit 059 - Marine Unit
District of Incident (Present Day): 008 - Chicago Lawn
Cause of Death: Illness - Other
Age at Time of Death: 36
Date of Birth: 13 May 1950
Date of Appointment: 19 Feb 1973
Date of Incident: 008 - Chicago Lawn
End of Watch: 06 Jul 1986
Date of Interment: 08 Jul 1986
Cemetery: Avon Centre Cemetery - Grayslake, Illinois
Grave Location: Unknown
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Not Enshrined
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Not Listed
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Not Listed
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Not Listed
Officer Down Memorial Page: Not Listed
Military Service: Did Not Serve
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman Robert A. McFarland, Jr., Star #8669, aged 36 years, was a 13 year, 4 month, 17 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the Bureau of Operational Services – Patrol Division Special Functions Group: Unit 059 – Marine Unit.
On April 27, 1985, at 10:30 p.m., Officer McFarland was off duty and returning home with his wife, Rosemary. When the couple arrived at their residence located at 5616 South Fairfield Avenue Officer McFarland observed Walfredo Narsolis, age 18, of 5800 South Fairfield Avenue coming from his side entrance. Officer McFarland stopped Narsolis and announced his office. In response, Narsolis threw a Shuriken Throwing Star at the officer, striking him in the mouth. Narsolis continued to struggle with Officer McFarland while Rosemary called for help. Narsolis was eventually subdued and placed into custody. Officer McFarland sustained a laceration to his mouth plus multiple abrasions to the face and mouth. He was also bitten multiple times in the head and both arms. A bite on his left arm was the most severe as it broke the skin and caused the area around the wound to discolor.
Narsolis was transported to the 8th District by beat 872 where he was charged with battery after felony approval for aggravated battery was denied by ASA Cesario. Further investigation revealed that Narsolis was hiding in the officer’s gangway after a group of teens was chasing him. During the investigation Narsolis admitted that Officer McFarland identified himself as a police officer; and also stated that he fought and bit the officer because he wanted the officer to release him. On May 20, 1985, Narsolis was sentenced to 6 months’ probation by Judge Rivers.
Officer McFarland was transported to Holy Cross Hospital where he was treated and later discharged. As a result of the cuts and/or bite marks he contracted Acquired Immunodeficiency Disease Syndrome (AIDS). On January 23, 1986, Officer McFarland would go on the medical for Pneumonia. His medical status code was recorded as “ C,“ Hospital Recuperation, by the Medical Services Section. On May 21, 1986, He was discharged from the hospital and placed on Home Recuperation by the Medical Services Section. On June 28, 1986, Officer McFarland would pass away from Respiratory Arrest and was pronounced dead at 8:20 a.m. at his residence. Due to the AIDS virus his immune system was compromised and he contracted Pneumonia as a result. It was believed that Officer McFarland contracted AIDS from Narsolis during their encounter a year prior.
Officer McFarland was waked at C. H. Jordan Funeral Home located at 1035 North Dearborn Street, his funeral mass was also C. H. Jordan Funeral Home. He was laid to rest on July 8, 1986 in Avon Centre Cemetery – Grayslake, Illinois.
Patrolman Robert A. McFarland, Jr., born May 13, 1950, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on, February 19, 1973.
Officer McFarland was survived by his wife, Rosemary (nee Werbeck) and parents: Betty Jean (nee Bouma) and Robert A., Sr.
Incident Recorded under Chicago Police Department RD #G147290.