Death Classification: Canine / Equine Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: Length of Service Unknown
Unit of Assignment / Detail: Bureau of Operational Services - Patrol Division, Special Operations Group: Unit 058 - Canine Unit
District of Incident (Present Day): 002 - Wentworth
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Friendly
Age at Time of Death: Unknwn
Date of Birth:
Date of Appointment:
Date of Incident: 27 Feb 1965
End of Watch: 27 Feb 1965
Date of Interment:
Cemetery: Not Interred - Other
Grave Location: Does Not Apply
Interment Disposition: Cremated
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
Police Canine SAM was a veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the Bureau of Operational Services – Patrol Division, Special Operations Group: Unit 058 – Canine Unit.
On February 27, 1965, K-9 SAM and his partner, Patrolman Arthur Hajek, responded to a call of an open door at the Claude A. Reavis School, 834 East 50th Street. Upon arrival the two officers entered and began searching the building. During the search, K-9 SAM attacked Patrolman R. Pearson Jr. while he was also searching the building with his partner Patrolman Eugene Abington, both from the Hyde Park Station. Mistaking Officer Pearson for an offender K-9 SAM attempted to apprehend him and bit Officer Pearson. Officer Abington fired a shot into K-9 SAM in order to save the life of his partner. K-9 SAM later succumbed to his wound.
Commander Hartnett later ordered an investigation into the possibility that canine unit Sergeant Lawrence Swanigan might have been negligent in the action. Commander Hartnett said it seems the Sergeant Swanigan failed to clear the area of fellow police officers before unleashing K-9 SAM into the building to conduct the search.
K-9 SAM was survived by his handler, Patrolman Arthur Hajek.