|Frank C. Wypijewski|
|End of Watch: March 20, 1938|
|Tour of Duty: 23 years|
|Assignment: Precinct 12|
|Shield Number 45|
During the early morning hours of March 20, 1938 Detective Frank Wypijewski and his Partner, Detective Fred Boye responded to a complaint of a motor vehicle operating without the use of headlights. The detectives spotted the suspect vehicle on Barthel Street near Genesee Street. The two stopped the vehicle in order to speak with the driver.
The detectives quickly recognized the driver as having previously served jail time for burglary. During the course of their investigation the detectives came across numerous bottles of liquor in the trunk of the car. Both detectives suspected these may have been the same bottles stolen from a Genesee Street tavern a couple of days earlier.(1) The driver was ordered out of his vehicle. Until this point in the investigation the driver was cooperating with Wypijewski and Boye.
However, after he was informed that he was being taken back to Pct. 12 for questioning regarding the burglary of the tavern the suspect turned combative.
The suspect became violent and fought with both detectives. It appeared as if the suspect was under control but he managed to break free. Det. Boye again grabbed the suspect as Det. Wypijewski was about to assist in subduing him.
Without warning Wypijewski let out a gasp and fell to the ground. The suspect was able to escape as Boye immediately went to the aid of his stricken partner.
Efforts to resuscitate Wypijewski proved unsuccessful. Although he was rushed to Emergency Hospital Det. Frank Wypijewski was pronounced dead, having suffered a fatal heart attack. The medical examiner wrote on Wypijewski's death certificate that "acute dilatation of the heart while tussling with a Police suspect" had been the cause of death.
Frank Wypijewski was appointed a patrolman with the Buffalo Police Department July 15, 1915. During his career he had been promoted to the rank of detective on two separate occasions. In addition to Pct. 12, Det. Wypijewski had also been assigned to Pct. 8 and Pct. 11 during his 23 years on the job.
Wypijewski's death from a heart attack while fighting with a prisoner happened just 40 days after Ptl. Clayton Clark had died of a heart attack while fighting with his prisoner.
In addition to his wife, Stella, Det. Wypijewski was survived by their two sons Charles and Henry.
(1) It was later determined the detectives were correct. The liquor bottles found in the trunk of the vehicle had been taken during a burglary at Elmer's Tavern. The burglary took place March 18, 1938 at 2212 Genesee Street.
SOURCE: Buffalo Evening News: February 8, 1938 - front page Death Certificate: Clayton Clark