Patrolman James Ryan was the forty-second Cleveland Police Officer to be killed in the line of duty. Ryan was born in Ireland, his parents stayed behind when he came to the United States. James Ryan was a World War I veteran and served overseas. He was appointed a Patrolman on June 16, 1925 and assigned to the 2nd district. On January 7, 1931, Patrolmen James Ryan and John Cleary, both in plain clothes, tracked a robber first to a pool room and then to a nearby hotel on West 25th Street. As they were searching the hotel, “Chuck” Glasscock emerged from a room and started shooting, wounding Clearly. Glasscock jumped over Cleary and escaped, with Ryan in pursuit.
Glasscock shot Ryan three times and he collapsed in the street. In the exchange, Ryan wounded Glasscock, who was later arrested after police followed his blood trail to a nearby rooming house. James Ryan had no next of kin listed but his parents were believed to live in Ireland. Services were held at St. Ignatius Catholic Church with internment at Calvary Cemetery.