Death Classification: Performance of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 16 years, 5 months, 20 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: Bureau of Operational Services - Youth Division: Unit 075 - Area 5 Youth
District of Incident (Present Day): 015 - Austin
Cause of Death: Illness - Cardiac Arrest
Age at Time of Death: 45
Date of Birth: 10 Dec 1924
Date of Appointment: 21 Sep 1953
Date of Incident: 015 - Austin
End of Watch: 13 Mar 1970
Date of Interment: 17 Mar 1970
Cemetery: Queen of Heaven Cemetery - Hillside, Illinois
Grave Location: Grave 6 LL, Lot 39, Block 8, Section 36
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # D-9
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 16
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 5, Line 17
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 40-W: 29
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: No Military Record Found
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman Casey Joseph Tristano, Sr., Star #5086, aged 45 years, was a 16 year, 5 month, 20 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the Bureau of Operational Services – Youth Division: Unit 075 – Area 5 Youth.
On March 13, 1970, Officer Tristano was working the third watch as a Youth Officer. He was dispatched to Our Lady Help of Christians Church located at 832 North Leclair Avenue. Upon arrival he was to assist officers in quelling a fight at a dance being held in the school located at 847 North Leamington Avenue. Once at the school, Officer Tristano found Patrolman William Healy struggling to get Joseph Maltese, age 17, of 5247 West Race Avenue, into the squadrol. Officer Tristano intervened and was struck in the mouth and nose by Maltese. Shortly thereafter, Officer Tristano’s breathing became labored and he collapsed after having difficulty breathing. Officer Tristano died on scene and was transported to St. Anne’s Hospital by CFD Ambulance where he was pronounced dead on arrival from a heart attack.
A total of five juveniles were arrested in connection with the fight at the dance. Four of them were released after posting $25.00 bonds. Joseph Maltese was released after posting a $1,000.00 bond. He was later charged with battery, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. In the end, Maltese received a fine of $25.00 for the incident and the charges against the other four juveniles were dropped.
Officer Tristano was waked at Columbian Funeral Home located at 6621 West North Avenue, Oak Park, Illinois. His funeral mass was held at St. Mary of the Woods Catholic Church located at 7033 North Moselle Avenue. He was laid to rest on March 17, 1970 in Queen of Heaven Cemetery, 400 South Wolf Road, Hillside, Illinois. His grave is located in Grave 6 LL, Lot 39, Block 8, Section 36.
Patrolman Casey Joseph Tristano, Sr., born December 10, 1924, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on September 21, 1953.
Officer Tristano was a member of the St. Jude Police League. He was survived by his wife, Marilyn (nee Dreier); children: Casey Joseph, Jr., age 9 and Maria R., age 7 and siblings: Ann Esposito, Mary Fasano, Matt, Michael, Nancy Gorg and Tony.
On June 25, 2013, Officer Tristano’s star was retired by Superintendent Garry McCarthy and enshrined in the Superintendent’s Honored Star Case, located in the lobby at Chicago Police Headquarters, 3510 South Michigan Avenue.