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

Location of Occurrence: 

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


Interment Details

 Cemetery: Avon Centre Cemetery - Grayslake, Illinois
 Grave Location: Unknown
 Interment Disposition: Burial


Memorial Details

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.