Heroes Roll Call: Patrol Officer Hilary S. Cudnik, Sr., #1939

The Cleveland Police Museum is honored to tell the stories of our Fallen Officers on the anniversary of their End of Watch.

Patrol Officer Hilary Cudnik, #1939, EOW 12/30/1996

Patrol Officer Hilary Cudnik was appointed to the Cleveland Police on June 27, 1988 and served in the 3rd District.

On December 30, 1996 at 2:00 a.m., Officer Cudnik and his partner, Officer Frank Costanzo chased a car with license plates that had been reported stolen from the corner of East 77th and Carnegie Avenue. The suspect’s auto failed to negotiate a turn at that intersection and ended up on the sidewalk against a building. The suspect, a 37 year old convicted felon and drug abuser, exited the stolen auto armed with a M-14 semi-automatic rifle and 30 round magazine, and opened fire.

Officer Hilary Cudnik was hit six times including a fatal wound to the chest. He was rushed to Mt. Sinai Hospital and pronounced dead at 2:33 a.m. The suspect received several wounds in the ensuing gun battle at the scene but survived.

Hilary’s friends all knew “he loved being a cop”. Shop owners in the area respected Hilary as a “good cop”. His friends and co-workers called him hard working and dedicated.

Calling hours for Officer Cudnik took place at Tomon & Sons Funeral Home and funeral services were held at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Parma. He was laid to rest in Holy Cross Cemetery.

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