BERKS COUNTY POLICE HEROES FUND
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    << June 2018 >>
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  • WE REMEMBER
    May 09, 2018

    K-9 DEPUTY SHERIFF KYLE PAGERLY
    BERKS COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT

    END OF WATCH: June 29, 2011

    Deputy Kyle Pagerly was shot and killed while serving a warrant as part of a fugitive task force at a home on Pine Swamp Road in Albany Township.
    When task force members arrived at the scene the suspect ran into the woods. Deputy Pagerly and his canine pursued the suspect. When officers located him he opened fire with an AK-47, striking Deputy Pagerly under the arm in the side of his vest. Other officers returned fire and killed the subject. After Deputy Pagerly was struck, his K9 ,”Jynx”, tried to pull Kyle to safety by dragging him out of the line of fire.
    Investigation revealed that the suspect had written a suicide note two days earlier and it is believed that he shot Deputy Pagerly in his attempt to commit suicide-by-cop.
    Deputy Pagerly was flown to Lehigh Valley Hospital where he succumbed to his wounds.
    Deputy Pagerly was a U.S. Army veteran and had served with the Berks County Sheriff’s Department for five years. He also served with the Spring Township Fire Department and at the time of the incident was deputized as a special deputy with the U.S. Marshal’s fugitive task force. He is survived by his expectant wife and parents.


    May 09, 2018

    OFFICER SCOTT A. WERTZ
    READING POLICE DEPARTMENT

    END OF WATCH: August 6, 2006

    Officer Scott Wertz was shot and killed at approximately 2:00 am after he and his partner responded to a fight at a local convenience store at the intersection of 8th and Walnut Streets.
    Officer Wertz and his partner were working a plainclothes regional auto theft detail when the call was broadcast and they responded to the scene. When they arrived at the location, they heard several shots in the parking lot and saw a man leaving the lot.
    As the officers approached the man he began to flee on foot. When Officer Wertz caught the man, he suddenly fired two shots, fatally striking Officer Wertz in the chest. Officer Wertz’s partner immediately tackled the suspect and took him into custody.
    Officer Wertz had served with the Reading Police Department for 9 years. He had previously worked as a prison guard and as a part time officer for the Sinking Spring and South Heidelberg Township Police Departments. He is survived by his wife and two sons.


    May 09, 2018

    OFFICER MICHAEL HARRY WISE II
    READING POLICE DEPARTMENT

    END OF WATCH: June 5, 2004

    Officer Wise died of wounds he received when he was accidentally shot by another officer who mistook him and two other undercover officers for suspects during a shootout. Officer Wise and the two undercover officers were conducting a search for a suspect involved in an earlier shooting when they observed a man exit a car in front of them holding a handgun. The man immediately opened fire on the officers when he saw them. Officer Wise and another one of the officers exited the patrol car and exchanged fire with the suspects.
    At the same time, another officer came upon the scene and observed the shootout. Thinking the officer still in the car was one of the suspects, he ordered him to drop his weapon. As the undercover officer continued firing at the suspect the uniformed officer fired four rounds. One of the rounds deflected off of the undercover car and struck Officer Wise in the head.
    Officer Wise was transported to a nearby hospital and he was then airlifted to Lehigh Valley Hospital, where he later died from his wounds. The other undercover officer continued chasing the suspect and apprehended a short time later.
    The suspect was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to only 13.5 to 27 years in prison.
    Officer Wise had served with the Reading Police Department for two years. He is survived by his wife and one daughter.


    May 09, 2018

    OFFICER JOHN A. AYELLO
    HAMBURG BORO POLICE DEPARTMENT

    END OF WATCH: September 8, 2000

    Officer Ayello died when he suffered a heart attack while making an arrest. Officer Ayello and another officer had responded to a domestic disturbance call involving a suspect who had outstanding warrants. While the suspect was being handcuffed, Officer Ayello suffered the heart attack. He was flown to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
    Officer Ayello had been in law enforcement for 21 years, and had founded several anti-drug youth groups in the area called “Hooked on Fishing, Not Drugs.” He is survived by his wife and three grown children.


    May 09, 2018

    TROOPER WAYNE C. EBERT
    PENNSYLVANIA STATE POLICE

    END OF WATCH: June 7, 1978

    On Wednesday, June 7, 1978, Trooper Ebert was assigned to direct traffic at the Reading Air Show. While standing on a concrete medial barrier along Route 183 at the intersection with Road-to-Nowhere, Berks County, a pickup truck struck a school bus and then veered toward the center of the roadway where it struck Trooper Ebert. He was pronounced dead on arrival at the Reading Hospital.
    Trooper Ebert was buried with full military honors at St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Lancaster Township. He was survived by his wife, Mrs. Gloria Ann Ebert, of Shillington. Trooper Ebert, 50, had completed 27 years and 10 months as a Pennsylvania State Trooper


    May 09, 2018

    PATROLMAN DAVID DANIEL DRAGAN
    EXETER TOWNSHIP POLICE DEPARTMENT

    End of Watch: July 12, 1976

    Patrolman Dragan suffered a fatal heart attack while attempting to arrest a suspect following a high-speed pursuit.
    Patrolman Dragan had served with the agency for 10 months. He was survived by his wife and five children.


    May 09, 2018

    TROOPER ROSS E. SNOWDEN
    PENNSYLVANIA STATE POLICE

    END OF WATCH: January 17, 1974

    On January 17, 1974, Trooper Snowden and Mr. Donald Glass, Superintendent of the Reading Municipal Airport, were flying an observation patrol of the approaches to the airport. The helicopter crashed and both men were killed.
    Trooper Snowden was the first Department pilot killed in a helicopter crash. According to a report by Captain Nicholas Pauley, director of the Aviation Division, Trooper Snowden had discussed preferred funeral arrangements with his father a few days before the crash.
    Trooper Snowden was buried with full military honors at Woodlawn Cemetery, Uniontown. Over 100 Troopers formed the funeral escort and honor guard. More than 500 police officers representing 45 police agencies from 5 states attended to pay their respects. He was survived by his wife, Mrs. Shirley Ann Snowden, of Mohnton, Berks County.
    At 33, Trooper Snowden had completed three years and nine months of Pennsylvania State Police service.


    May 09, 2018

    PATROLMAN OLIN J. WAIT
    READING POLICE DEPARTMENT

    END OF WATCH: September 2, 1972

    Patrolman Wait was shot and killed by an off duty patrolman who suddenly opened fire on him for unknown reasons.
    Patrolman Wait and two other officers were guarding the grounds of the Reading Air Show when the off duty officer opened fire on him without warning. The suspect then opened fire on another officer before fatally shooting himself in the chest. The off duty officer was attending the air show with his wife and child when he opened fire.


    May 09, 2018

    TROOPER PHILIP C. MELLEY
    PENNSYLVANIA STATE POLICE

    END OF WATCH: November 3, 1957

    Trooper Melley was shot and killed by a 16 year old juvenile who had taken three other officers hostage in Douglass Township, Pennsylvania. The three officers had gone to arrest the boy for threatening to kill his father.
    The boy managed to ambush the officers and hold them at gunpoint in a wooded area. As Trooper Melley went to their aid, he slipped. As he fell the boy shot him with the shotgun, killing him. The boy then put the shotgun down and surrendered.
    The suspect was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to 8 to 20 years in prison on July 22, 1958.
    Trooper Melley had been with the agency for 20 years and was survived by his brother and sister.


    May 09, 2018

    PRIVATE THOMAS P. CAREY
    PENNSYLVANIA STATE POLICE

    END OF WATCH: June 17, 1941

    Thomas P. Carey was born November 9, 1909, at East Plymouth, Pennsylvania. He enlisted in the State Highway Patrol from East Plymouth on May 2, 1935, and was assigned to Troop E, Philadelphia. As a result of the State Police/Highway Patrol merger, he was reassigned to Troop C-4, Reading.
    At 8:20 p.m. on June 17, 1941, Private Carey and Private J. J. Comerford were dispatched to the scene of an accident on U. S. Route 22 near Boltz’s Corner, Berks County. Upon arrival at the accident scene, they saw two occupants trapped in a wrecked vehicle which was in flames. Private Carey assisted firemen in putting the fire out, using a state-issued carbon tetrachloride extinguisher. He became ill immediately and was taken to a nearby doctor’s office where he collapsed and died at 10:00 p.m. Dr. Paul D. Good, Berks County Coroner, attributed death to acute suffocation caused by poisonous fumes.
    Private Carey is buried in Duncannon Cemetery, Duncannon. He was survived by his wife, Mrs. Mary M. Carey, of Duncannon. At 31, he had completed six years and one month of Pennsylvania Motor Police service.


    May 09, 2018

    PATROLMAN J. LEE CLARKE
    PENNSYLVANIA STATE HIGHWAY PATROL

    END OF WATCH: MARCH 1, 1937

    J. Lee Clarke was born November 7, 1904, at New Castle, Pennsylvania. He enlisted with the State Highway Patrol from New Castle on January 11, 1934, and was assigned to Troop E, Philadelphia.
    At 11:15 a.m. on March 1, 1937, while on patrol on Perkiomen Avenue in the city of Reading, his motorcycle was caught in the streetcar tracks. Clarke lost control and struck a coal truck traveling in the opposite direction. He was pronounced dead at St. Joseph Hospital, Reading. Clarke is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, New Castle.
    He was survived by his mother, Mrs. John W. Clarke, of New Castle. Clarke, 32, had completed three years of State Highway Patrol service


    May 09, 2018

    PATROLMAN JOSEPH A. CONRAD
    PENNSYLVANIA HIGHWAY PATROL

    End of Watch: August 30, 1932

    Joseph A. Conrad was born February 25, 1906, at Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania. He enlisted with the State Highway Patrol from Mahanoy City on October 2, 1930, and was assigned to Troop E, Philadelphia.
    At 3:30 p.m. on August 30, 1932, while on patrol, Patrolman Conrad attempted to avoid a head-on crash with a motor vehicle turning in front of him at the intersection of Route 821 and U.S. Route 222, Berks County. He was thrown from his motorcycle and seriously injured. Patrolman Conrad was taken to the Homeopathic Medical and Surgical Hospital, Reading, where he died on September 6 at 6:50 a.m. The motor vehicle was driven by Roy L. Heins of Reading.
    Patrolman Conrad is buried in St. Joseph’s Lithuanian Cemetery, Mahanoy City. He was survived by his mother, Mrs. Helen Conrad, of Mahanoy City. Patrolman Conrad, 26, had completed two years of State Highway Patrol service.


    May 09, 2018

    CHIEF OF POLICE WILSON H. LEWARS
    HAMBURG POLICE DEPARTMENT

    END OF WATCH: May 12, 1928

    Chief Wilson H. Lewars was shot and killed while responding to a burglary in progress at the Goodman-Kattering Inc. silk mill located at Second and Grand Street in Hamburg Borough.
    A second officer, Special Police Officer Daniel H. Bailey was also shot and did survive. The three bandits fled the scene and were later apprehended.
    He had served with the agency for 5 years and was survived by his wife.


    May 09, 2018

    PATROLMAN HENRY C. STOUDT
    READING POLICE DEPARTMENT

    END OF WATCH: July 1, 1924

    Patrolman Henry C. Stoudt was shot and killed after making an arrest. Patrolman Stoudt had just made an arrest and was waiting at the corner of 11th Street and Pike Street when a man approached and shot Patrolman Stoudt, killing him
    The suspect was later apprehended and executed.


    May 09, 2018

    PATROLMAN JOHN W. KISSINGER
    READING POLICE DEPARTMENT

    End of Watch: September 16, 1911

    Patrolman John W. Kissinger was shot and killed while assisting another officer arrest a drunken man at a home on Locust Street. He was shot while struggling with the man in the back door of the house.
    The suspect was taken into custody in the home one hour later.


    May 09, 2018

    PATROLMAN CHARLES F. FINN
    READING POLICE DEPARTMENT

    End of Watch: May 11, 1905

    Patrolman Charles F. Finn was shot and killed while chasing three men he caught burglarizinga grain store. He began to chase the three men when one suddenly turned and shot him in the abdomen with a revolver. The suspect was later apprehended and convicted of murder; he was sentenced to 20 years in prison.


    May 09, 2018

    PATROLMAN WILLIAM LEVAN
    READING POLICE DEPARTMENT

    END OF WATCH: FEBRUARY 27, 1868

    Patrolman Levan suffered a fatal heart attack shortly after being kicked in the abdomen by a suspect who had been arrested for being drunk in public. The suspect had been found laying in a gutter by another patrolman and was being walked to jail when Patrolman Levan came to assist the officer. The suspect began to struggle
    near the intersection of Ninth Street and Muhlenburg Street. The other officer threw the man to the ground as Patrolman Levan assisted. The man began to kick at both officers and struck Patrolman Levan in the abdomen. After subduing the prisoner, Patrolman Levan asked a citizen to help take the prisoner to the jail because he began to feel ill. When they arrived at the jail Patrolman Levan went to the chief’s office to tell him of the incident. He collapsed as he told the chief he had been kicked in the abdomen. Patrolman Levan was survived by his wife and several grown children.


    May 09, 2018

    PRIVATE TIMOTHY KELLEHER
    PENNSYLVANIA STATE POLICE

    END OF WATCH: September 14, 1907

    Timothy Kelleher was born March 18, 1878, in County Cork, Ireland. He enlisted in the Constabulary on December 15, 1905.
    While en route to the Reading Barracks to report for duty on September 14, 1907, he heard a woman’s screams. He saw two men beating a young woman and went to her rescue. During the struggle one of the men plunged a knife into Kelleher’s side. The assailants carried his body and tossed him over a railroad embankment into a dump. His body was discovered the following morning by J. Oscar Seidel, of Reading, a Pennsylvania Railroad employee.
    The examining physician stated Kelleher died within minutes from severe lacerations. The woman, Bertha Bernhart, was located and stated that Kelleher had saved her life because the two assailants had threatened to kill her. One, Salvatore Guto, was arrested at Warwick, New York, and the other, Stefano Pucella, was apprehended at Graycourt, New York. The trial was brief, as Bernhart faced her assailants in court and identified them as the killers. On October 29, 1908, Guto was hanged at the Berks County Prison. Pucella was sentenced to 12 years of hard labor in the Eastern Penitentiary.
    Kelleher was survived by his father, Mr. Timothy X. Kelleher of County Cork, Ireland, and two brothers in Pittsburgh. Kelleher’s body was released to his brothers.




    Page Last Updated: May 27, 2018 (12:44:00)
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