George Sauer

Fallen HeroPatrolman George C. Sauer


On this day in Baltimore City Police History 18 April, 1915, we lost our brother Patrolman George C. Sauer to gunfire based on the following:


April 10, 1915

The Sun (1837 – 1987) Page 16

Shot Down by Gunmen
Policeman Sauer Badly Wounded in the Early Morning Battle
Fusillade in Highlandtown

Running Fight Started When New Yorker and Philadelphians Were Ejected From Saloon

Patrolman George C. Sauer, of the Eastern district, was shot in the stomach by gunmen yesterday morning, following a running battle between the gunmen and a gang from Highlandtown, in which more than a dozen shots were fired. Sauer was unconscious for eight hours, and when revived he was found to be too weak to allow any deposition to be taken.

Three hours after the encounter three men had been rounded up on the charge of shooting Sauer, and the confession was obtained from one that he shot Sauer.

The prisoners were:
David Bender, alias Daniel Martell, alias kid Bender, 22 years old, 344 S. 3rd St., New York.
James Miller, alias Slim, alias Harry Martin, 23 years old, 1722 N. 8th St., Philadelphia
Joseph Grose, 25 years old, 2543 Jessop St., Philadelphia.

Bender Admits Shooting
Bender and Miller were directly charged with the shooting. Grose was held as a state's witness. Bender admitted shooting the patrolman. He said he fired at Sauer, thinking he was one of the gangs from Highlandtown that were chasing them.

Within 30 minutes after Bender and Miller were arraigned on the shooting charge, they were identified by Charles M. Budd, 1314 N. Broadway, as the pair who held him up near his home early Thursday morning, as told exclusively in the son yesterday. A watch bearing the initials “C. M. B.” Led to the summoning of blood to the station. The watch was found in their room at O’Hara’s hotel, N. Liberty St. Bender readily admitted he and Miller held up Mr. Budd.

Sauer was wounded soon after he had gone on duty, at four a. M. He was in Baltimore Street and Milton Avenue when he heard shots beyond the Eastern and of Patterson Park and hail of a passing taxicab, which had just come from Highlandtown, and ordered the chauffeur to take him to the scene.

He stood on the Wanting board as the auto sped East, and Ed Decker Avenue he saw three men run to the corner.

The men fled as a taxi stopped, and soured leaped from the running board in pursuit. They turned into a small alley running east and west from Decker Avenue, and as Sauer ran after them two of the three swung around in their steps and fired. Three shots were fired.

One of the balls and struck Sauer in the stomach, but did not hold him, for he ran forward about 8 feet and seized one of the men. It was only then that he realize he had been shot and, crying for assistance, he pressed down on his prisoner and bore him to the ground, with his knee jammed on the man’s chest. The chauffeur, Larry Purcell, 204 North Pine St. ran to his aid.

Chauffeur Helps Sauer
“Oh, I’m shot! I’m shot; hold him!” Cried Sauer.

Joseph Jasckoliski, a park patrolman, ran from his home to Sauer’s side, but when he saw Purcell helping hold the prisoner he started after the fleeing pair. Then disappeared around the corner of the second alley, and Jasckoliski emptied his pistol to attract other policeman.

Detective Lawrence King, of headquarters, ran from his home nearby a moment later, and also Frank link a former wrestler, 20 North Decker Ave. Then hurried to Sauer, and the policeman was placed in Purcell’s taxi and taken to St. Joseph hospital.

A report of the shooting of Sauer was telephoned to Detective’s headquarters, thence to all the stations, and detectives Hogan and Kahler went to Highlandtown to pick up the lines of the case. They found the Eastern neighborhood for a mile around aroused by the shooting, and there were wild stories of a running gunfight in Highlandtown that preceded Sauer’s wounding and withdrew him to the scene.

This brought them to the club, a saloon at Eighth Street and Lombard Highlandtown, where they learn to the three men had been ejected from the place about 20 minutes before Sauer was shot. Descriptions were obtained, one of which tallied with the man captured by Sauer. This was Grose.

These descriptions were wired around the city to the entire force, and within two hours sergeants Wortman and Kelly and patrolman Sedicum, of the Western district, had arrested Bender and Miller in their room at the O’Hara hotel.

The pair were furious over their arrest, and expressed their regret that they hadn’t finished “the other guy,” Sauer.

They told the sergeants they were lucky the gunmen had not seen them first when they approach their room. Two loaded pistols were found under the pillows of Bender and Miller’s bed and when the two were about to be taken from the patrol to the station a black mask was found on the patrol floor, where one of the pair had dropped it.

Met Grose in City
In effect, Bender statement was that he and Miller met Grose at the Raleigh Hotel at about 8 o’clock Thursday night. Grose was in town was to show of Thurston, the magician. They spent the evening together in the city until about 1 AM when they went to “Scotty” Pugh’s saloon, 1 S. 8th St., Highlandtown.

Shortly after 3 o’clock they left pews and went to the club, next door, where an altercation arose between them and the club employees, and they were hustled into the street. Bender said a mob of nearly 20 men followed them, and a volley of bricks and bottles force hurled at them.

“Benny” Franklin, proprietor of the club, said the three went into the place sometime before 4 o’clock and order drinks.

“I’m looking for ‘Sammy’Harris,” said Bender.

“I can’t give you any drinks,” said the waiter, “you’re under age.” Bender, while heavy – set, has an extremely useful face.

“What’s that?” Cried Bender. “Do you know who I am? I ‘Kid Bender.”

“Well, you can have any drinks, the boss says,” replied the waiter.

“Well, tell your boss to bite his neck,” cried Bender. “Tell him all give him one of these pills.” “He pulled out a 38 caliber at that” said Franklin, “and shoved it under my waiter’s nose. A couple of the other men came up just then and grabbed this Bender and the others and fired them down the steps.”

Stolen Watch in Room
Bender and Miller declared to the police that they had come on from Philadelphia “to look things over on a chance.” A search of the room, where they were arrested, resulted in the finding of Mr. Budd’s watch, and later information was obtained that the two had police records. 22 cartridges were also found in the room. Bender, known to the Philadelphia police as a pickpocket, served time for highway robbery there, while Miller served time for shoplifting.

Patrolman Sauer is 55 years old. He has been on the police force since 1898 and bears an excellent reputation. He has a wife and four children – three daughters and a son.

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Apr 11, 1915

The Sun (1837-1987); pg. 11

Hope for Policeman

Sauer, Shot Early Friday, Reported Holding His Own.

His Deposition Not Taken

Bender, One of The Men Held For Shooting, Was Paroled In This City And It Had Just Expired.

Patrolman George C Sauer, of the Eastern district, who was shot in the stomach by gunmen early Friday morning in the Eastern city limits, was reported yesterday to be holding his own at St. Joseph’s hospital.

Dr. Frank C Kirby, of the hospital staff, has expressed the opinion that he may be able to save his life.

One Sauer regained consciousness Friday afternoon an effort was made by Capt. Zellers, of Eastern district, to have Dr. Kirby grant permission to allow a deposition to be gotten from the wounded patrolman, and also to have Sauer identify kid Bender and slim Miller, the gunmen. The surgeon said it would be perilous.

“It would likely excite Sauer,” said Dr. Kirby.

Promises Statement Later
Dr. Kirby however promised that the Capt. that if Sauer should lose strength again and reached the point where he was doomed he would immediately notify the police that the necessary deposition and identification could be obtained

Bender and Miller were put through a strenuous grueling at the Eastern district police station late Friday night by state’s attorney Broening in a move to ascertain the real records of the two. One result was the identification of Bender as paroled prisoner from Judge Elliott’s court. The parole expired last month. The charge was larceny.

The two men showed the result of their growing and their increasing anxiety yesterday when they were taken to headquarters to be “mugged” and Bertillonized. Bender had lost something in his jauntiness. Which amazed everyone Friday.

Sends for His Father
This jauntiness apparently remained with the boy till the states attorneys siege began, and was evidenced in a telegram he sent to his mother. The message read:

“am in trouble; have popped come on as soon as possible. 2nd°. But don’t worry. Here’s a kiss.”

Pending the outcome of patrolman Sauer’s wound, Miller and Bender were arraigned before justice Smith on the charge of attacking and holding up Charles M. Budd, 1314 N. Broadway, Thursday morning, a day previous to the shooting. Budd was seized by the throat by Bender and struck in the face while the other seized his watch and chain and diamond stickpin.

Both Held on $5000 Bail
Bender admitted the charge and the magistrate held each man on $5000 bail on that count.

Both men will be kept in jail without bail on the charge of suiting patrolman Sauer a tentative hearing has come granola mortality get that been set for April 23

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Apr 12, 1915

The Sun (1837-1987);
pg. 12


Police Officer Shot: By Gunman Reported Much Worse

Patrolman George C. Sauer, of the Eastern district, who was shot by gunmen following a running street fight between the gunmen and a Highlandtown gang early Friday morning, developed a

Severe vomiting spell last night and the surgeons feared that he would not live through the night an effort was made to have the two gunmen, Harry Bender and "Slim" Miller, released from jail temporarily that they might be taken before Sauer for identification, but it was found impossible to get the prisoners before this morning. Sauer passed a good night. Saturday and seemed to have gained slightly in strength during the day. Detective C. A. Kahler received a telephone message from Robert D. Cameron chief of detectives of Philadelphia, that Bender is not only wanted there for shooting a man in a poolroom brawl but that he attacked a policeman who interfered, taking from him his pistol after a stiff fight. It is believed that one of the pistols that Bender and his alleged pals used here is that taken from the Philadelphia policeman. Arthur Keller, 21 years old is the Philadelphian Bender is alleged to have shot through the mouth during the brawl in the poolroom. He is in a serious condition in a hospital.

Marshal Carter said he did not expect to deliver Bender to the Philadelphia authorities on warrants that they will bring here today for him on charging that he shot Keller and pocketed the policeman's pistol. "We have obtained a confession from Bender that it was he who fired the shot that wounded Patrolman Sauer and we will try him here as soon as the officer is able to leave the hospital and appear in court against him. It will be the same with the other two men under arrest. We will try them here unless, we find serious charges are being held against them in other cities."

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Apr 19, 1915

The Sun (1837-1987); pg. 12


Patrolman Sauer Dies Of Wound At St. Joseph's Hospital.


End Comes Suddenly and Officials

Are Too Late To Get Statement

Of'. Attack On Him April 9,

Patrolman George C. Sauer, of the Eastern district, shot by a gunman on 9 April, died last night at St. Joseph's Hospital.

His death came suddenly. A rapid turn for the worse was noticed about 8 o'clock and a hurry call was sent to the police. Captain Zellers, with Sergeant Roche and Justice Smith, hurried to the hospital to obtain Sauer's deposition, but the patrolman had become unconscious in the meantime. He died at 9.30 - Mrs. Sauer and Sauer’s four children, George V. Sauer and Misses Clara A., Regina and Helen C, Sauer, were with their father when he expired. One of the daughters collapsed and was carried from the room. Sauer had a previous sinking "spell last Tuesday and the gunmen, "Kid" Bender and "Slim" Miller, of New York City, together with the· companion of the gunmen, David Grose, New York where hurried to Sauer's bedside for identification. He refused, however to make a dying deposition", declaring stoutly and persistently that he would recover, and it was unnecessary for him to make such a statement.

Shooting was Spectacular
Sauer's shooting was one-of the most spectacular in the department's history. He had been on duty only a few minutes, when at 4:15 in the morning he heard a fusillade of shots, from the Eastern city limits. Sauer "·as then at Patterson Park avenue and Baltimore streets, and he hailed a passing taxicab, standing on the running board ordered the chauffeur, Larry Purcell, to hasten to the location of the shooting.

At Decker Avenue and Baltimore Street he found three men standing on the corner, consulting excitedly... The men darted up Decker avenue as the taxicab slowed up and Sauer leaped to the street and started his pursuit. The trio dodged into a small alley running off from Decker Avenue, and as the patrolman turned into the alley after them one stumbled. Sauer pounced on him, and a moment later one of the other pair turned and fired at the policeman. Sauer fell across the body of the fallen man, but; despite his injury, held on to him. Others were soon attracted to the spot but the fleeing pair escaped. Sauer cried for aid; saying he was shot, and he was hurried to the hospital in a Taxicab.

Two Arrested; Bender Confesses
Two hours later the two fugitives Bender and Miller were arrested in O'Hara's Hotel, North Liberty Street, by Western district officers. Bender confessed to shooting the patrolman and signed a confession to that effect. His explanation was that he, Miller, and Grose had been thrown from the Club Cafe in Highlandtown, following an argument that resulted when Bender was refused service on the ground that he was not of legal age.

A running fight with a Highlandtown gang ensued, and Bender claims he thought Sauer was one of the pursuing gang when he jumped from the taxicab. Bender and Miller will be brought from jail today to await the action of the coroner's jury, which will meet tonight at the Northeastern Police Station. They will be arraigned tomorrow on the charge of murder for no matter what the result of the inquest is, the Police will press this charge against them.

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Apr 30, 1915

The Sun (1837-1987);pg. 9

Pension For Patrolman’s Widow

The Police Board on Wednesday awarded a pension of $10.a week to the wife of Patrolman George C. Sauer, of the Eastern district, who was shot and killed by an out-of-town gunman on 9 April 1914, Sauer died from the wound at St. Joseph's Hospital. It was on the recommendation of Deputy Marshal Samuel W. House that the pension was Awarded for life to the patrolman's Widow.

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Oct 8, 1915

The Sun (1837-1987);
pg. 5

Two Slayers Sentenced

Men who killed patrolman Sauer confined for 18 years

Bender’s mother collapses as he and McQuaid are led away to lock up.

David Bender and James McQuaid, whose correct name is said to be Miller, charged with the murder of patrolman George C Sauer, who was shot early on the morning of 9 April 1915, were both convicted of murder in the 2nd°. They were each sentenced to 18 years in the penitentiary, the maximum penalty. The verdict was rendered and the sentences imposed by judge bond of, before whom the case was tried this week without a jury.

“For a while.” The judge said in rendering the verdict. “I was rather of the impression that this murder must be held one of 1st°. I see the difficulty on this point with the state's attorney seems to experience. There is a margin of doubt which in my opinion saves the prisoner from a verdict of murder in the 1st°, but it seems to be a very wide margin. With men of this age I’m especially relieved to find that the verdict of a lesser degree. I find each of the prisoners guilty of murder in the 2nd°.”

Harry B. Wolf, attorney for the defense, called the court’s attention to the fact that his client had been in jail six months awaiting trial.

Sent to the Penitentiary for 18 Years

“I think,” the judge replied, “this is a very sad case. Each prisoner will be sentenced to 18 years in the penitentiary.”

Instantly there was excitement in the courtroom. As Bender and McQuaid were started toward the courtroom lockup, Bender exclaimed: “I want my case taken to the court of appeals.” In reply, judge bond said he had a lawyer he could attend to that.

Bender’s parents, who were in the courtroom, added to the excitement. Mrs. Bender began to scream, and can tinued her lamination until taken outside. There she collapsed. But was revived and went away sobbing. In the lockup Bender raved and threatened, while McQuaid was,.

Bender was the only one of the two who testified. He said that Bender was his correct name. That he belonged in Brooklyn New York and that he was just 18 years old. He is a fat and chubby, with an exceptionally clear complexion and a bushy mass of black hair. McQuaid, or Miller, is about the same age as Bender, but is the opposite and appearance being a lean and lanky. Both have criminal records.

Patrolman in Pursuit one Shot

Patrolman Sauer was shot in an alley north of and parallel to Baltimore Street and East of Hare Street. He died 18 April 1915. The testimony showed that he was chasing the men, who had created a disturbance at a Highlandtown bar. When he was shot. Another man named John Grose, who was with Bender and McQuaid, stumbled and fell as they ran into the alley. The wounded patrolman fell on top of and held him until help arrived.

Bender McQuaid were arrested the same morning in a hotel on N. Liberty St.

Denies assigning confession

Bender denied that he signed a typed written confession that he fired the fatal shot. He also denied Sgt. Kelly’s testimony. He said he and his companions were chased by a gang from Highlandtown, and that he fired at them when they fired at him. Denying that he saw patrolman Sauer, he said he only shot at the men who were shooting at him. Just 24 hours before the shooting Bender and his companion held up Charles Budd on Broadway and robbed him of a scarf pin and a watch.

Grose, who had been held as a witness for the state, was released when the other two were sentenced.

deviders our fallen

We his brothers and sisters of the Baltimore Police Department will not let him be forgotten – RIP Patrolman George C. Sauer and may God Bless You - For your service "Honored" the City of Baltimore, and the Baltimore Police Department" #BPDNeverForget

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More details

End of Watch 18, April, 1915
City, St. Decker Avenue
Panel Number 38-E: 1
Cause of Death Gunfire
Weapon - Handgun
District Worked Eastern

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