The Cleveland Police Museum is honored to tell the stories of our Fallen Officers on the anniversary of their End of Watch.
Patrolman Kenneth Houser was appointed to the Cleveland Police Department on September 1, 1967. After graduating from the police academy he was assigned to basic patrol in the Fourth District.
On April 2, 1969, while off duty, Ken Houser stopped in at Cliffs Bar, 9115 Buckeye Road and was shooting pool with owner Cliff Hatchett, Norma Sykes, and Fred Gilbert.
Around 1:00 am, three armed suspects entered the bar and announced, “This is a stickup.” In the process of robbing the owner and patrons of the bar, the thieves discovered Houser’s badge and weapon and immediately shot him and continued shooting him as he fell to the floor. Hatchett was also shot and killed and Sykes and Gilbert were wounded.
Officers Sopka and Carper arrived on scene and obtained suspect descriptions from witnesses. Officers recalled checking out the same subjects just before the bar was robbed. At the time, the subjects checked out and were sent on their way. Officers immediately broadcast the suspects’ description and the vehicle license number. The three suspects were arrested.
Officer Houser was survived by his wife Perriline, his son Kenneth Jr, his mother Minerva Berry and step-father Henry Berry. Services were held at Union Grove Baptist Church and he was buried at Highland Park Cemetery.