Officer Timothy Ridenour

 Fallen Hero

Police Officer Timothy Ridenour



On this day in Baltimore Police History 1975, we lost our brother, Police Officer Timothy Ridenour, to gunfire based on the following: Southwestern District Police Officers Timothy Ridenour and Bernard Harper received a call indicating that a man was running naked in the 4400 block . of Old Frederick Road. Arriving on the scene, they found the suspect, wearing only a shirt, walking around in a grassy area, which is out of view of the thoroughfare. The man had been placing Christmas decorations on a tree growing in the apartment complex. As the officers approached the man, the suspect bolted past them and sat down on the passenger side of their patrol car. He bounced out again and ran toward the front steps of his apartment, where he apparently began moving a sofa, which had been sitting partly on the grass. As the officers approached, he turned and raised his hands in a defensive position, as would a pugilist before a match, He was in a defensive position, seemingly ready to ward off the expected blows of his opponent.

Officer Harper explained to the suspect that they were there to help him and not fight or injure him. Officer Harper had already requested back-up units. At this point, the suspect, who never uttered a word to the officers throughout the entire incident, pointed to Officer Ridenour’s service revolver. Officer Ridenour checked the holster strap, assuring that the weapon was secure. The suspect then reached for the weapon. A scuffle ensued as Officer Harper succeeded in pulling the suspect away from the younger officer, who dodged through a hedge in order to obtain a better position. The suspect followed, pouncing on Officer Ridenour and tripping him over a hedge. Frantic efforts were made by Officer Harper to pull the suspect away from the downed officer, but his efforts failed. As he recovered from being pushed off of the suspect himself, he observed the suspect with Officer Ridenour’s service revolver, firing point blank into his partners head. Back up Officers arrived as the suspect and Officer Harper traded shots. The officers fired several rounds while Officer Harper retrieved a shotgun from his vehicle and approached the suspect, who was attempting to reload Officer Ridenour’s weapon with round he was taking from the gun belt of Ridenour’s lifeless body. Demands to drop the revolver were shouted at and ignored by the suspect. Then, as the suspect leveled the weapon once again at Officer Harper, a single round was fired from the shotgun. A civilian who attempted to assist the officers had been shot once. His condition was listed as “serious.” But stable. The medical staff at Saint Agnes Hospital tried vainly to save the life of Officer Ridenour, but it was to no avail. Officer Ridenour died in the hospital’s emergency room at 1706 hours. The 32-year-old assailant, who had a history of mental problems, was pronounced dead at the scene of the incident.

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Officer Ridenour

Oct 31, 1975

The Sun (1837–1989); p. . A13

Officer Ridenour, 26, services set today

Funeral services for Police Officer Timothy B. Ridenour, Sr., a city policeman, will be held at 11 A.M today at the McCully funeral establishment, 130 East Fort Avenue. Officer Ridenour, who was 26 and lived in Glen Burnie, died Monday at St. Agnes Hospital after being shot while attempting to make an arrest in the 4400 block . of Old Frederick Rd.

He attended school #84 and City College. Officer Ridenour joined the police force in November 1974 and was assigned to the Southwestern District. Officer Ridenour is survived by his wife, the former Kathleen Stallings; two sons, Keith and Timothy B. Ridenour Jr.; and a daughter, Denise Ridenour, of Baltimore; four brothers, Edward, Wayne, Reginald and John Ridenour, all of Baltimore, and a sister, Mrs. Shelby McElroy, also of Baltimore

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Police Honor Fallen Officer While Across Town . . .

Nov 1, 1975

The Sun (1837–1989); p. . B1

Police Honor Fallen Officer While Across Town.

Ridenour Rites Attract Big Crowd 

More than 1,000 Law officers from all over Maryland and at least three other states filed silently by a mahogany-stained hardwood coffin in a South Baltimore funeral establishment yesterday to pay final tribute to Officer Timothy B. Ridenour, who was shot to death on a routine call Monday. The brief, halting words of the priest conducting the prayer service seemed to reflect the mood of the policemen, the dignitaries and the family of the 26-year-old rookie officer. 

"He came to serve, not to be served," the Rev. Joseph F. Martel said. "Through the example of his life and his death, we can ask ourselves to be of service to each other." Five blocks of East Fort avenue flanking the McCully funeral establishment were closed off before 8 A.M. as sparkling police cruisers from every district began filling the street three abreast. The slain patrolman's wife, Kathleen Stallings Ridenour, and her oldest son were last out of the funeral chapel after the quiet services. They sat In a limousine with the patrolman's mother, Mrs. Mary Ridenour,. while the coffin was wheeled two blocks past an honor guard of officers.  A motorcycle escort led the hundreds of cars through the center of Baltimore, creating traffic jams for an hour and' trapping at least one fire truck on Pratt street bound for a small fire. The motorcade wound north up Falls road and into the colorful, rich countryside near Timonium, a far cry In distance and atmosphere from the beat In Southwest Baltimore, Patrolman Ridenour died. He was buried in near silence in the small cemetery under the oak trees behind Mays Chapel Methodist Church, where his family has a burial plot

As his brothers and sisters of the Baltimore Police Department, we will not let him be forgotten, His service Honored the City of Baltimore and the Baltimore Police Department may he rest in peace, and may God bless him.

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Friends, Remember Fenwick?

Nov 1, 1975

The Sun (1837–1989); p. . B1 
Friends remember Fenwick  

While hundreds of police officers and many of Baltimore's political leaders attended services yesterday for slain Officer Timothy B. Ridenour, another funeral, marked by less fanfare, was taking place in West Baltimore.

About 60 friends and relatives of Joseph S. Fenwlck, who police say shot Office Ridenour dead during a bizarre struggle Monday at the Uplands Apartments, gathered at the Bailey funeral establishment in the 1300 block North Calhoun street to mourn.

The Rev. Joseph M. O'Meara, pastor at St. Edward Rectory in the 900 block of Poplar Grove Street, told the mourners that the death of the 31-year-old Mr. Fenwick was "framed in tragedy—his own and the tragedy of others." "The difficulty and trials Joe experienced are the very things that brought about the tragedy that occurred," Father O'Meara said.

Father O'Meara was referring to Mr. Fenwick's 10-year history of mental illness. According to Dr. John M. Hamilton, administrator for Spring Grove State Hospital, Mr. Fenwick was an involuntary patient at the hospital on three separate occasions.

Mr. Fenwick was last committed to the hospital on October 5, following his arrest on charges of disorderly conduct. He was released on October 22, just five days before he was killed by Officer Ridenour's partner, Officer Bernard Harper.

Father O'Meara said that Mr. Fenwick's mother, Viola, was seriously ill and could not attend her son's funeral. But most of the slain man's eight brothers and sisters came.

Wilbur F. Fenwick, Sr., one of Mr. Fenwick's three brothers, accompanied his brother's widow, Carolyn, and three daughters to the funeral. Earlier this week, he said that his brother's mental condition was "serious" and that Spring Grove failed to recognize it.

At the New Cathedral Cemetery yesterday, where Joseph Fenwick was buried, many of his boyhood friends stood silently by as Father O'Meara performed the graveside service.

Mr. Fenwick's two twin daughters, Kim and Kit, appeared to be the most affected by the somber occasion. As they left the grave site, they both burst into tears.

The events that led to their father's death began just after 3.30 p.m. Monday when Officers Ridenour and Harper received a call to go to the Uplands Apartments, where he lived.

police said that when the officers arrived, they found Mr. Fenwick on the sidewalk, dressed only in a shirt.

Police said that Mr. Fenwick initially co-operated but later tried to flee. A struggle ensued, during which Mr. Fenwick apparently grabbed Officer Ridenour's gun and fired several shots.

One apparently struck the police officer in the back of his head. Officer Harper emptied his service revolver in an attempt to subdue Mr. Fenwick and finally killed him with a shotgun wound.

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More details
End of Watch 27 October 1975
City, St. Old Frederick Road
Panel Number 32-E: 5
Cause of Death Gunfire
Weapon Officer's Handgun
District Worked Southwestern

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