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

Location of Occurrence: 

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:


Interment Details

 Cemetery: Not Interred - Other
 Grave Location: Does Not Apply
 Interment Disposition: Cremated


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

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.