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.

Originally posted on 30 December 2020 @ 00:15

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