Heroes Roll Call: Patrol Officer John L. Hubbell, #121

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

Patrol Officer John L. Hubbell, #121, EOW 6/4/1979

John Hubbell joined the Cleveland Police Department on February 20, 1973 after spending six years in the Army. Fellow officers described John as a dedicated policeman who would rather catch a criminal than write traffic tickets.

On Tuesday, June 4, 1979, Patrolman John Hubbell and his partner Thomas Smyczek spotted a robbery suspect’s car in his yard at 7024 Hough Avenue. As they approached the vehicle on foot, officers observed the suspect, Anthony Lemay, working on the car in the driveway. Hubbell informed the suspect he was under arrest.

Before officers could arrest Lemay, he quickly drew a hidden weapon and fired several rounds at the officers. Officer Hubbell was struck in the back and Officer Smyczek wounded in the abdomen and thigh. Even though both officers were seriously wounded, they were able to return the gunfire.

Plain Dealer, June 5, 1979

The two officers and the suspect were taken to Mt. Sinai Hospital where Patrolman Hubbell died about an hour and one half later. The suspect died about two hours later and though seriously wounded, Officer Tom Smyczek survived the shoot-out.

Officer Hubbell was survived by his parents Jack and Violet and three sisters.  Services were held at St. Vincent DePaul Church and he was laid to rest in Holy Cross Cemetery.

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