The Cleveland Police Museum is honored the tell the stories of Cleveland’s fallen officers on the anniversary of their end of watch.
George Zicarelli came from a police family. His father and uncles were Cleveland policemen. He was appointed a Patrolman on July 16, 1951. George was nearing the end of his career and planned to retire in February 1980, after completing his thirty-third year on the force. After the fraud unit was disbanded, forgery specialist Detective Zicarelli was assigned to the 4th District detective bureau. He accompanied Detective Sharon Caine and Strongsville Police Detective Max Lehnecher to New York City to extradite two females wanted in connection with grand larceny, forgery and auto theft.
On September 17, 1979, three subjects attempted to rob Zicarelli and the two other officers in a hotel parking lot near La Guardia Airport in Queens. The detectives identified themselves as police officers. One of the subjects opened fire, killing Detective Zicarelli. The suspects then stole the officers’ vehicle and fled. It was later learned the suspects, apprehended the next day, were involved with a string of robberies at area hotels, restaurants, and supermarkets.
Detective Zicarelli was survived by his children Janet, Rick, Debbie, Georgie and Suzy, one brother and two sisters. Services were held at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church and he was laid to rest in Calvary Cemetery.