Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 9 years, 8 months, 3 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: Bureau of Operational Services - Patrol Division: Unit 054 - Area 4 Task Force
District of Incident (Present Day): 012 - Near West
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 33
Date of Birth: 31 Aug 1937
Date of Appointment: 13 Feb 1961
Date of Incident: 16 Oct 1970
End of Watch: 16 Oct 1970
Date of Interment: 20 Oct 1970
Cemetery: Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery - Calumet City, Illinois
Grave Location: Grave 4, Lot 50, Block 46, Section 18
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case:
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 21
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 3, Line 23
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 37-E: 13
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: U.S. Marine Corps
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman John James Matonich, Star #5760, aged 33 years, was a 9 year, 8 month, 3 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the Bureau of Operational Services – Patrol Division: Unit 054 – Area 4 Task Force.
On October 16, 1970, at 6:35 p.m., Officer John Matonich was on special events assignment patrolling the area near the Chicago Stadium, 1800 West Madison Street, during a Chicago Bull’s Basketball Game. Two miles away, Donald Davis, age 21, of 184 North Wacker Drive, was hailing a taxi cab from Union Station wearing a wig, a bandolier of 20-gauge shotgun shells, and a false beard. Davis hailed a taxi and had the driver take him to the intersection of Madison Street and Winchester Avenue. Upon arriving, Davis brandished a gun and robbed the driver of his money and stole his taxi. The taxi driver saw Patrolman Warren Lindvig in his squad car and reported the incident to him. Officer Lindvig was following the taxi, as Davis attempted to flee in heavy stadium traffic and crashed into two parked cars in front of Gate 1. Officer Matonich had witnessed the chase and the crash and proceeded to run to the taxi. As he opened the driver’s side door, Davis shot Officer Matonich five times. Officer Lindvig then opened fire, fatally wounding Davis. Police recovered a 20-step plan for hijacking an armored truck, a dismantled shotgun, and a .22 caliber gun from Donald Davis’ suitcase. Officer Matonich was shot five times; once in his right shoulder and four times in his left chest rupturing a lung and penetrating his aorta. He was transported to Illinois Research Hospital by CFD Ambulance #2 and was pronounced dead by Dr. Bacon at 7:21 p.m. on October 16, 1970. Davis was transported to Cook County Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival by Dr. Boswell at 7:35 p.m. on October 16, 1970.
Officer Matonich was waked Golich Funeral Home located at 9725 South Commercial Avenue. His funeral mass was held at Sacred Heart Church located at 11652 South Church Street. He was laid to rest on October 20, 1970 in Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery, 801 Michigan City Road, Calumet City, Illinois. His grave is located in Grave 4, Lot 50, Block 46, Section 18.
Patrolman John James Matonich, born August 31, 1937, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on February 13, 1961.
Officer Matonich served in the U.S. Marine Corps from October 31, 1956 thru October 30, 1958 and was Honorably Discharged at the rank of Corporal. He was a member of the Confederation of Police, Fraternal Order of Police, Illinois Police Association and St. Jude Police League. Officer Matonich was survived by his wife, Irene (nee Lamb); parents, Peter and Veronica (nee Haipek) and sister, Mary Ann.
Incident Recorded under Chicago Police Department RD #J446950.