Many people are assaulted each year by their coworkers, but it seems unusual that it would happen at a hospital. On July 30, 1978, this occurred at the University Hospital as William Aparicio shot Donald Koos five times, two of which were in the head. Koos died from his wounds five hours after the shooting, despite being operated on by some of the best brain surgeons in the world.
Koos was the acting chief administrator at the U of M's Neuro-Psychiatric Institute and Aparicio was the manager for fiscal affairs. The two of them had worked together for 18 months before the shooting occurred.
On the day of the shooting the two became involved in an argument and Aparicio pulled out a .38 caliber revolver and shot Koos five times. The two had a strained relationship but no one would have guessed their feud would lead to the shooting.
After the shooting Aparicio calmly walked back to his office still carrying the weapon. He asked his secretary to call police and sat down and waited for them. Shortly thereafter Officer Harry Jinkerson arrived and placed him under arrest without incident.
Evidently a less than flattering job evaluation of Aparicio's performance infuriated him and this seems to have triggered the attack. Lt. Donald Johnson stated, “This is a very simple case, actually. It's one of those classics. These two men had trouble on the job and it ended in one killing the other.”
Edwin Wade was fatally injured during a high speed pursuit, which was initiated by Ann Arbor Officers. This chase took place on December 5, 1978, as Officers Dave Grey and Thurman Warford were attempting to stop Wade's vehicle, as he had threatened his wife.
The officers attempted to stop Wade's vehicle on Liberty Street, but it sped off. The chase entered I-94, where the sheriff's department and the Chelsea Police set up a roadblock. As he sped down the expressway at speeds over 100 mph, Wade turned his headlights off in an attempt to elude the officers. Wade then struck a pillar on I-94 at the Fletcher Road exit and was killed in the crash.
Chief Krasny stated, “It appears the incident grew out of a domestic problem with his wife. He supposedly was going to kill her, then kill himself. He started back to Chelsea and did kill himself.”
Another death involving Ann Arbor Police occurred on February 21, 1979. At that time the area drug unit was called WANT, Washtenaw Area Narcotics Team and Ann Arbor Officer John Francis was assigned to this unit.
The WANT squad was executing a search warrant on South Mansfield in Ypsilanti when the incident occurred. As the raid team began entering the apartment, people inside began jumping out of windows to elude capture. Officer Francis was in the rear of the apartment building, when a man jumped outside from a second floor window.
This man, Lesvah Pugh, turned around as Officer Francis ordered him to halt. It appeared to him that Pugh had a weapon in his hand and Francis fired his shotgun at him. Pugh ran a few steps after being hit, then fell to the ground. Pugh was found to be unarmed. Drugs and weapons were seized in the raid, however.
Chief Krasny stated, “There will be an investigation here. Things will be handled the same way as any other shooting. When the investigation is complete, it will be turned over to the prosecutor's office for a decision on whether or not any charges will be brought.”
The investigation revealed that Pugh was holding a pair of six inch toenail clippers when Officer Francis saw the glint from them and made a split second decision to shoot. Pugh died when one of the pellets from the blast ripped through his aorta. The toe nail clippers had a hollowed out portion on the end of the file, which was commonly used as a cocaine spoon.
After his review, Prosecutor William Delhey declined to file any charges against Officer Francis. He stated, “A policeman must make a decision in a split second and under the totality of the circumstances, Officer Francis' decision that his life was in danger was not unreasonable. Considering all the facts and circumstances, it is my conclusion not to charge Patrolman John Francis with homicide.”
Ann Arbor Officers have been called upon for many different duties during their careers, but a horse roundup is certainly nothing any officer would expect. On June 4, 1979, Officers Alan Doads, Eric Jensen, Larry Jerue and Norm Melby had to do just that.
A passing motorist observed 12 horses grazing near Clauge Middle School, located on Nixon Road. When the officers arrived, the horses had fled, but they continued to search for them. The officers followed the horses to Antietam Court, where they were again grazing in a citizen's backyard. The four officers surrounded the horses, but could not lead them back to their corral on Nixon Road.
For two hours the horses were chased, while dogs in the neighborhoods howled. The owner of the horses was located and he arrived on scene with a saddle. The tactical plan was to saddle one of them up and ride it back to the corral, with the others following. Officer Jensen did just that and rode one of the horses to the corral, while the others followed along.
An era ended when Chief Walter Krasny announced his retirement on September 11, 1979. His actual retirement was to be March 1, 1980, to allow time to search for a replacement. Mayor Louis Belcher stated, “I can't tell you how much the city owes him.”
Chief Krasny joined the police department on July 1, 1939, and rose through the ranks to police chief. He was promoted to chief in 1966 after Chief Barney Gainsley retired. A study of the department found, “Krasny's leadership and his unique style have brought the department through some of the most turbulent times in American law enforcement.” His retirement led to the hiring of the first chief to come from outside the department.
When Chief Krasny started with the department in 1939, the pay for new officers was $1500 a year and the police department's budget was $60,000. When he left the department in 1980, the force had grown to over 150 sworn officers with a budget of $5 million.
With the current focus on community policing, Chief Krasny's comments upon retirement are very interesting. He stated, “We have better educated, better trained officers than ever before. But the very nature of their job today does not permit them time to cultivate personal, community support of former years. In my patrolman days I knew personally every businessman and practically every customer of those businessmen in my beat. Every patrolmen did, it was considered part of their job.
“Today officers don't have time to stop and chat. They have too many calls in front of them, too much territory to cover. The whole system has become impersonal. I think that aspect, that removal of the person-to-person contact, has been a great loss to every community in the nation. Now the only time a citizen sees a policeman to talk to, it's about trouble.”
Chief Krasny died suddenly on November 6, 1988. At his funeral Chief Corbett stated of Krasny, “He was loyal, dedicated and intelligent. He was highly regarded by his contemporaries. In the turbulent days of the 1960s and 1970s, it was Walt Krasny's calmness, his even disposition, which maintained the domestic tranquility of Ann Arbor. The Ann Arbor Police Department was a respected agency because of him. We will miss him.”