Local fallen officers honored at ceremony

Local fallen officers honored at ceremony

The Wayne County Sheriff’s Office in association with the Badge of Honor Association of Western New York held a ceremony on Friday, April 25th at the Public Safety Building, to honor the memory of Wayne County Law Enforcement Officers killed in the line of duty.

The ceremony recognized Carl Clingerman, an Investigator with the Sheriff’s Office who was killed when he was struck by another vehicle on November 3, 1971, while on his way home from an investigation.

Also, the Village of Lyons Police honored Chief Amedeo Lese (2/2/1974), the Village of Sodus Police honored Constable Edward Pullman (3/23/1906) and the Village of Wolcott Police honored Constable William DeGreff (9/11/1919), all who died while serving their communities.

Dozens of uniformed officers, past members of local departments, and residents from across the area, all gathered to honor these four men as well as unveil 4 signs to be placed around the county.

Investigator Carl Clingerman – Date of Death Nov 3, 1971
Investigator Clingerman had been working on a Burglary investigation with Investigator Richard Kise and had just made two arrests. After dropping Investigator Kise at his home, Investigator Clingerman headed home to his family. Investigator Clingeman headed north on Rt 414 out of the Village of Clyde. Southbound on Rt 414 was a vehicle whose driver had just dropped off a friend.

As the two vehicles approached each other in a curve in the roadway, only seconds apart, the southbound vehicle suddenly veered into the oncoming lane of travel occupied by Investigator Clingermans car. The two vehicles collided, throwing Investigator from the vehicle which subsequently caught fire and was destroyed. Investigator Clingerman was only 34 years old and was survived by a wife and two infant children.

Chief of Lyons Police Amedeo Lisi – Date of Death January 2, 1974
Chief Lisi had just completed business in Canandaigua and was returning to Lyons. A motorist that was southbound on Pre-emption Road, just outside of the village of Lyons said that the weather was bad, the roads were slipperly and the snow was drifting.

The motorist said that she was being tailgated and when she came to an open spot in the road, the vehicle suddenly passed her. Looking up, the motorist observed a vehicle who she later came to know as Chief Lisi, approaching from the opposite direction. The motorist stated that Chief Lisi had no choice but to either hit the car head on or drive into the ditch. Chief Lisi’s vehicle spun around and struck a post, throwing him from the vehicle.

Edward Pullman – Date of death March 23, 1906.
During a snowstorm, Pullman, a constable and night watchman was checking buildings in the Village of Sodus.
A band of criminals who had been committing crimes throughout the North East was already at work trying to crack the safe in the Knapp Bank. Earlier, the same band had opened the safe at the Rome, Watertown, and Ogdensburg rail station a few blocks away and had found less than a dollar. Hungry for more money than they were able to get out of the rail station the five moved downtown.

Three men stayed inside the bank while two stood watch outside. Constable Pullman discovered the break and challenged the perpetrators. Shots rang out, one round from Pullman’s gun striking one of the criminals and one round from the criminals weapon striking Pullman in the chest. The thieves hastily dragged the body inside and fled the scene, stealing horses along the way back to Rochester where three of the five were captured by the Rochester Police Department. After a 7 month trial that had national coverage, the three were convicted. Edward “ Big Ed”Kelly was sentenced to life and eventually walked away from a work detail at Sing Sing but was never captured. Fred Schultz, sentenced to life was transferred to the Clinton County Prison. James McCormick was sentenced to 15 years at Auburn and Later to Columbus, Ohio.

William DeGreff – Date of Death 9/11/1919.
DeGreff was Constable in the Village of Wolcott and was checking doors when he found that the door for Buckminsters and Graves clothing store was open. A family of thieves from Rochester was already hard at work burglarizing the store. DeGreff drew his pistol and entered the store. The next morning, when the bakery next door opened for business, the owner noticed that Buckminsters had been entered. Summoning help, they found DeGreff, dead on the floor with a flashlight and pistol in his hand. Suspects were developed through the investigation and they were located, one in Erie, Pa and the other who’s bullet was attributed to the death of DeGreff, was located in Binghampton. A trial followed and Howard Baker a 19 year old father of three was found guilty and sentenced to death. The execution occurred December 9, 1920 at the Sing Sing State Prison.

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