Leading up to National Police Week, the Cleveland Police Museum tells the stories of Cleveland’s fallen officers.
John Apanites Jr. was appointed a Cleveland Patrolman on April 2, 1968 at the age of twenty-five and was the son of Cleveland Police Lieutenant John E. Apanites. He resigned from the police force to become an F.B.I agent but returned to the police department after six months.
On April 7, 1969, John Apanites and Patrolman John McNamara were working as plainclothes guards at Petrie’s Dress Shop on Euclid Avenue when they stopped a man and woman who they suspected of trying to steal a jacket. While the four of them were in a stockroom waiting to call for a police cruiser, a scuffle ensued at which time the man and the police fired their weapons. The officers fell and the suspect ran from the store and boarded a bus. Two of Petrie’s female employees followed the suspect and flagged down Scooter Patrolman, Walter D. Thornton who boarded the bus and captured the suspect, who had been wounded in the melee. John Apanites died at the scene and Patrolman McNamara was hospitalized.
Detective Apanites was survived by his wife Jacqueline, daughter Barbara J. and son John Michael. His Funeral Mass took place at St. Jerome Catholic Church with internment at All Souls Cemetery in Chardon.
Join the Cleveland Police Museum in honoring our Fallen Officers at Heroes Roll Call on May 15: See our Facebook page for details.