Heroes Roll Call: Patrolman Elmer F. Sprotsty, #33

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

Patrolman Elmer F. Sprotsty, #33, EOW 4/21/1921

When Elmer Sprotsy joined the Cleveland Police Department on October 16, 1920, he was following in the footsteps of his father, Captain Frank D. Sprosty and uncle, Safety Director Anton B. Sprosty. Elmer earned a reputation for daring in the short time he was a policeman and fellow officers predicted high honors for the young policeman. He said, “My ambition is to be as good a policeman as my father.”

On April 21, 1921, Patrolman Elmer Sprosty was on duty when he heard shots coming from Philip Goldberg’s Cafe at 1421 Scovill. Observing a group of men running from the establishment, he crossed the street to investigate. Seeing the policeman, one of the males fired at Sprosty. Sprosty fell to the street and the gunman walked up to him and fired two more shots into him.

Witnesses wondered why Sprotsy did not draw his weapon when approaching the gunmen. The explanation was revealed when fellow officers examined his revolver at Charity Hospital. It was out of repair and couldn’t be fired.

Funeral services were held from Elmer Sprosty’s parents’ home on W. 96th Street, Cleveland, Ohio, followed by a mounted police escort to his interment at West Park Cemetery.

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