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06-18-06, 07:01 PM #1
Police Captain Grabs Homicide Offender
New Police Captain Nabs Alleged Killer
June 18, 2006
BY ESTHER J. CEPEDA Staff Reporter Advertisement
Six hours after coming home from a ceremony Thursday that promoted him to Chicago Police captain, Gerard Carroll found himself in his Morgan Park alley, face to face with a knife-wielding man.
"Don't do anything stupid, I'm the police," the off-duty Carroll warned before pulling out his gun and uttering a line straight out of the movie "The Untouchables."
"You don't take a knife to a gunfight," Carroll told the man, identified by police as Edward Smith, 37, of Tinley Park. "Drop the knife."
Police believe Smith had stabbed Vicky Kowal, 27, and left her mortally wounded just before he encountered Carroll. When he saw the new captain, Smith turned and ran, Carroll said.
But he gave chase and caught Smith, subduing him with the help of six of his neighbors Thursday evening, police said.
Smith was charged with murder and ordered held on $500,000 bond Saturday. Former neighbors in Tinley Park described him as a "nut case" known for erratic behavior. Police said Smith might have been renting a room near where he stabbed Kowal at 110th and Artesian, but a motive or a connection to the woman is unknown.
Carroll, 51, said he had been home only a short while after attending a ceremony where he was promoted from lieutenant to captain. At about 6:45 p.m. Thursday, as he cleared office boxes from his garage, he heard a woman screaming for help.
When Carroll stepped out of his garage, he said he saw Smith running into the alley holding the knife. Carroll, in plain clothes, said he tried to stop him to see what had happened.
In a failed attempt to be nonchalant, Smith told him, "That woman's crazy, that woman's nuts," Carroll said. Smith then took off running down the 10900 block of South Campbell and ducked into a gangway. Smith stopped to say, "Leave me alone or I'll hurt you like I hurt her," Carroll said.
That's when Carroll coolly said, "Man, don't do anything stupid, I'm the police. ... Drop the knife." He drew his service revolver and pointed it straight at Smith, he said.
Shocked but not ready to surrender, Smith dropped the knife and ran, Carroll said. The captain caught up and subdued him in the 10900 block of South Artesian with the help of neighbors -- including Dennis Nolan -- who'd rushed to help when they heard the commotion.
'A little too close' to home
It was the residents of this quiet block who were the real heroes, according to Carroll. Not only did the men selflessly step into a dangerous situation to help their neighbor, but several women comforted the victim as she lay dying.
Kowal, of the 2400 block of West 110th Street, was pronounced dead at 7:17 p.m. Thursday at Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn. She had just applied for a waitressing job and was walking home when she was attacked.
"The whole neighborhood was pretty shook up," Nolan said. "This was just a young woman walking down the street and got attacked. I've never seen anything like this."
Despite having faced similar chases in his 25-year career, Carroll admitted this one was especially jarring. "I've made a lot of murder arrests as a detective, but you don't want it to happen in your backyard. This was close to home -- a little too close."
"I am the guy that keeps Mister Dead in his pocket." -'Mad' Max Rockatansky
"An Englewood Ranger is no stranger to Danger.." -Unk
Good Night Chesty Where Ever You Are.
A Good Friend will bail you out of jail, but a true friend will be sitting next to you in the cell saying, "That was Awesome."
God Made Police Men so Fireman Would Have Heroes.
06-18-06, 07:04 PM #2FishTail Guest
Good for him.
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