P/O Frederick K. Kontner

Fallen Hero

Police Officer Frederick K. Kontner


On this day in Baltimore Police History On February 10,, 1967, we lost our Brother Police officer, Frederick K. Kontner, to gunfire based on the following: Policeman Kontner, who was 27, died at 10:30 a.m. on February 10, 1967, at Union Memorial hospital of shock and infection caused by three gunshot wounds from a fleeing suspect on January 25, 1967, and internal injuries that became infected, causing his death.

The Sun (1837–1987); Feb 11, 1967; entitled Patrolman Kontner Rites


Funeral services for Patrolman Frederick Kenneth Kontner, a city policeman who was shot by a fleeing suspect on January 25, will be held at 10 AM Tuesday at Zion United Church of Christ, Harford road and Iona Terrace.

Policeman Kontner, who was 27, died at 10:30 AM yesterday at Union Memorial hospital of shock and infection caused by three gunshot wounds and internal injuries. He lived at White Hall, Maryland.

Patrolman Kontner was shot in the left arm, chest, and abdomen by a former patient of the Patuxent Institute whom police were questioning about narcotics. The suspect, Donald Leo Sabutas, was killed shortly afterward, followed by a barrage of police gunfire.

A six-year veteran of the police force, patrolman Kontner had been commended four times.

A native of Baltimore, patrolman Kontner was graduated from City College in 1957. He also studied pre-law for a year in Baltimore.

A former member of the Marine reserves, he entered basic training July 1, 1956, and was discharged from active duty at Camp Lejeune as a Pfc. on January 1, 1957.

After joining the police force December 29, 1960, he was assigned briefly to the traffic division. He was transferred to the northern district 16 March 16, 1961, where he remained for six years of duty. He was assigned to cruising patrol 5, which focuses the entire Northern District but focuses particularly in an area bounded by Greenmount and Pennsylvania and North Avenues and 33rd St.

He received official commendations in 1962, 1963, 1964 and 1967. The commendations were for his work in arresting three school burglary suspects, three suspects later convicted of assault and robbery, and three home burglary suspects later found guilty of attempted burglary.

His wife, a former Mary Lou Moniewski, worked as a police clerk in the central records Bureau from February 25, 1960, until October 6.

The bullet wound which led to Patrolman Kontner’s death came after police saw a transaction at North Avenue in Calvert Street, which made them suspect narcotics.

The patrol car, in which Patrolman Kontner was riding, followed the suspect as they ran north at about 8:30 PM January 25.

Patrolman Kontner was shot as he chased the suspect behind the old Department Of Motor Vehicles building, now the State Office Buildings.
Sabutas was cornered and gunned down by police after he sought refuge in a stopped car, carrying eight passengers, on 23rd St. near Guilford Avenue.

Sabutas was later charged with assaulting Patrolman Kontner, but charges were abated because of the suspect’s death.

The Patuxent Institute later revealed that Sabutas had been released from its treatment against the recommendations of the staff psychiatrist.
Besides his wife, Patrolman Kontner is survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Frederick H Kontner, of Baltimore, and his grandmother, Mrs. Robert Davis of Bishop of Maryland.

We take this time to remember him and thank him for his service and sacrifice. We, his brothers and sisters of the Baltimore Police Department, will not let him be forgotten. God bless you and Rest in Peace

Baltimore Sun Article dated November 2, 1967 

A man who shot and wounded a Northern district policeman last night on a parking lot in the 2100 block of Guilford Avenue was killed minutes later in a barrage of police shotgun fire… Patrolman Kontner and Patrolman Raymond

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A slave gunman was Treated at Patuxent

Newspapers reported on 27, 1967; pg. C24    

Psychiatrists opposed release of Officers assailants

The 27-year-old man killed in a burst of police bullets Wednesday night after being critically wounded by a city policeman had been released from the Patuxent institution against the recommendation of a staff psychiatrist.

Donald Leo Sabutas, the dead man, was described in the criminal court hearing on his release in October 1966 as being “rather severely disturbed and schizoid, and grossly immature and [having] the potential to do real bodily harm.”

The policeman he shot, patrolman Frederick K. Kontner, of the northern district, remained on the critical list at Union Memorial Hospital yesterday after surgery for four gunshot wounds.

A hospital official said the officer was “improving” and had received numerous blood transfusions during the day. He was in the hospital’s intensive care unit with wounds to the chest, abdomen, and left arm.

Charges dropped

Meanwhile, charges of assaulting three policemen and intending to murder them against Sabutas, of the 2600 block of N. Calvert St., were dropped in northern Municipal Court because of his death.

Sabutas was killed by police bullets and gunshot fire as he scrambled to get out of a car parked on 23rd St. near Guilford Avenue minutes after he shot patrolman Kontner in the parking lot of the old department of motor vehicles building in the 2100 block of Guilford Avenue.

The chain of shooting started when Sabutas and his companions were stopped by patrolman Kontner and another officer for suspicion of a narcotic violation. Sabutas and his two companions had been seen at North Avenue and Calvert Street with two other men, who fled when they saw police.

Lieutenant . James Cadden, of the homicide squad, said Sabutas had been questioned about narcotics usage in 1962 after being arrested on suspicion of committing a larceny.

But officials at the Patuxent Institute, from which Sabutas was released last October after three years, said they had no evidence “that he ever had a narcotic problem or ever used narcotics.”

Patuxent officials also described the background of Sabutas, a ninth-grade dropout with a long record of criminal convictions.

Released: October 19th

Forced Calhoun, Junior., Assistant superintendent of Patuxent, said Sabutas was released 19 October 19, despite the recommendations of Dr. Giovanni C. Croce, a staff psychiatrist, that Sabutas should be kept there longer.

Mr. Calhoun read a psychiatric report written when Sabutas was set free. In part, it was read:

“If released to a free society and this patient is placed in a conflicting or frustrating situation over which he has little or no control, he would have a tendency to revert to his formal mode of antisocial behavior.”

The report described Sabutas as still being a defective delinquent, the status under which he was sent to Patuxent after a burglary conviction early in 1963.

The report concluded that Sabutas “has the potential to become an even more severe danger to society” because of “aggravated antisocial behavior.”

When at Patuxent, Mr. Calhoun said Sabutas had made a reasonable adjustment to the institution, finishing his high school education and showing aptitude enough to become an instructor in welding. He had taken vocational training there.

Still, Mr. Calhoun added, the institution staff thought Sabutas overall improvement in three years had been superficial and that he was not ready for release, even under supervision.”

Tangled with law at age 16

Sabutas tangled with the law for the first time when he was just 16 and was sent to the Maryland training school for boys on a conviction of assault with a deadly weapon.

In November 1956, he was given four years in the Maryland state reformatory in Hagerstown for the same charge. While there, he participated in 17 violations of prison rules, most of them fights.

He had also served time in the house of corrections for assault, cutting and larceny. Three days after he was released on the second sentence,. On November 13, 1962, he was arrested for the burglary that eventually sent him to Patuxent.

Two others being held

Yesterday police release two men arrested within an hour after patrolman Kontner was shot. They were a 21-year-old sheet metal worker and a 22-year-old crab House employee and were arrested for questioning in the case.

One of two pistols taken from Sabutas after he shot it out with police getting out of the car had been used in a tavern hold-up on the second of January this year, police said.

The second gun had been taken from patrolman Raymond Tartel L of the northern district. Patrolman Kontner’s partner was in a patrol wagon they were driving in. A charge against Sabutas of taking the pistol was also dropped yesterday because of his death.

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More details

End of Watch 10 February, 1967
City, St. 2100 block of Guilford Avenue
Panel Number 59-E: 17
Cause of Death Gunfire
Weapon Officer's Handgun
District Worked Northern

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