Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Park District Police Department
Served: 3 months*
Unit of Assignment / Detail: South Section
District of Incident (Present Day): 003 - Grand Crossing
Location of Occurrence: 437 East 60th Street
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 25
Date of Birth: 11 Mar 1921
Date of Appointment: 1946
Date of Incident: 07 Mar 1946
End of Watch: 03 Jul 1946
Date of Interment: 11 May 1834
Cemetery: Lincoln Cemetery - Chicago, Illinois
Grave Location: Unknown
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # D-2
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 24
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 2, Line 24
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 40-E: 15
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: U.S. Army
Incident & Biographic Details
Temporary Park Policeman Richard E. Pegue, Star #371, aged 25 years, was a 3 month veteran of the Chicago Park District Police Department, assigned to the South Section.
On March 7, 1946, at approximately 9:40 p.m., Officer Pegue was searching for a suspected rapist that had tried to attack a girl three days earlier in Washington Park on a boat in the lagoon. Pegue saw a man that fit the suspect’s description near the parks boathouse with a female companion and placed both into custody. While standing with them just outside the boathouse, James Cantrell, the park’s concessions operator pulled up in a Ford truck. Officer Pegue asked Cantrell where Nate, the boathouse’s caretaker, could be found. Officer Pegue was looking for Nate in order to identify the suspect he had in custody as the suspected rapist. Cantrell stated that Nate had left the park. It was at this time that Officer Pegue asked Cantrell to transport him and the two suspects to the station.
Officer Pegue loaded the two into the car and climbed onto the truck’s running board. At 437 East 60th Street, while being transported to the Wabash Avenue Station, the un-handcuffed girl produced a bottle and struck Cantrell in the head. The male suspect was able to disarm Officer Pegue in the melee and shot him in the chest striking his heart. The girl and the suspect fled the scene and made good their escape. Officer Pegue was pronounced dead four months later on July 3, 1946.
Witnesses to the commotion were only able to give vague descriptions of the two bandits. The two suspects were never apprehended.
Officer Pegue was waked at a chapel located at 730 East 63rd Street, his funeral was also held in the chapel. He was laid to rest on July 8, 1946 in Lincoln Cemetery, 12300 South Kedzie Avenue, Chicago, Illinois.
Temporary Park Policeman Richard E. Pegue, born March 11, 1921, was appointed to the South Park District Police Department in January 1946. He was laterally transferred to the Chicago Park District Police Department upon the consolidation of park districts on May 1, 1934.
Officer Pegue served in the U.S. Army from January 1, 1915 thru November 2, 1945 in Company AM., 641st Ordnance Company, was a veteran of World War II receiving five battle stars for his bravery at the Battle of Normandy and was Honorably Discharged at the rank of Sergeant. He was survived by his wife, Laura; son, Richard, Jr. and parents: Mary and Mursoy.
The Chicago Park District Police Department, in the City of Chicago, was disbanded on December 31, 1957. On January 1, 1958, the remaining officers were transferred to the Chicago Police Department through an intergovernmental agreement. Fallen Officer of the Chicago Park District Police Department are currently honored on the memorial wall of the Chicago Police Department as Chicago Police Officers. Their stars are displayed in the Honored Star Case located in the lobby of the Chicago Police Department at 3510 South Michigan Avenue.