The Cleveland Police Museum is honored to tell the stories of our Fallen Officers on the anniversaries of their End of Watch.
John F. Saxton joined the Cleveland Police Department in 1919 and was assigned to the Fourth Precinct in 1923. On March 7, 1923, Patrolman Paul Saxton and his partner, while following up on tip regarding a stolen car and wine theft, searched a Prospect Avenue restaurant for a gang of criminals. They found Joseph Clayton who became alarmed, jumped to his feet, and pulled a .25 caliber automatic pistol from his pocket.
After a struggle, Clayton shot Saxton in the groin. Fellow officers overpowered Clayton and disarmed him. Saxton was taken to St. Luke’s Hospital where surgeons informed him he had a very good chance of recovery. Saxton never fully recovered from his injury and passed away three years later. Officials believed the wounds he received during the incident with Joseph Clayton were a contributing factor in his death.
Clayton was charged with shooting with intent to kill and carrying a concealed weapon.
John Saxton was survived by his wife Alma; sons Jerome, Kenneth, and John, Jr.; sisters Mrs. J.O. Sayers and Mrs. Henry A. Fenderbosch; and a brother Leo. Services were held at his residence on West 99th Street and he was laid to rest in St. Mary’s Cemetery.