Thursday, July 17, 2008

Officer Albert Matthies Remembered

The only Arcadia Police Officer to be killed in the line of duty is Albert E. Matthies. Officer Matthies was shot while detaining three young men near the intersection of Northview and Foothill in north Arcadia on July 18, 1927, shortly before midnight. Officer Matthies came upon the men inside a vehicle parked on Northview. The men were preparing to conduct a robbery at a business nearby. The rear seat passenger was Frank Miller. Miller pulled out a .45 cal handgun and shot at Matthies, striking him in the neck. Matthies died from the gunshot wound. Matthies died at 12:07 AM on July 19, 1927.

Leo Bertolina, a friend of Matthies, was riding along that night in the police car. Bertolina was able to scramble away after being shot at and hit with flying glass from windows being struck by gunfire. Bertolina telephoned for additional police assistance. The trio of suspects got away that night but were later apprehended in Los Angeles within days. The three suspects were later convicted of the murder of Officer Matthies and sentenced to prison. The shooter died in prison. The two accomplices were later paroled and died shortly after release.
The APOA has a nice article on our website, dedicated to the memory of Officer Matthies, written by Lieutenant Paul Foley. Matthies is remembered with a small memorial at the Police Department. Northview has been co-named Albert Matthies Way and there is a plaque placed near the intersection where Matthies was killed. Officer Matthies is also memorialized on the California Peace Officers' Memorial in Sacramento, across from the State Capital.

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