P/O Charles W. Robb

Fallen HeroPatrolman Charles W. Robb 

31 Oct 1926

On this day, October 31, 1926, in Baltimore Police History, Patrolman Charles W. Robb [Northern District]took his own life out of shame for an accident that had occurred a day earlier [October 30, 1926], in which the vehicle he had been operating was struck by another, causing a permanent, life-threatening injury to one of the passengers, Miss Elizabeth Miller, who was in his care. Ms. Miller and her friend Miss Pauline Shaw were being escorted to Miss Shaw's residence in the 400 block of Hawthorn St. when the vehicle they were in reached the intersection of Charles Street and Cold Spring Lane and was struck by a vehicle owned and operated by Mr. Emil Stuart.

Patrolman Robb and his partner, Patrolman James Novak, had been transporting the young ladies in a departmental vehicle at the time. The driver of the striking vehicle, Mr. Stuart, was a student at Johns Hopkins University. He was transported to an area hospital for treatment, where he was also taken into custody, arrested, and charged with reckless driving, speeding, failing to yield the right of way, and failing to have an operator's card at the time of the accident. The two patrolmen, Robb and Novak, were both suspended by their captain, Frank R. Gatch, pending the outcome of the investigation. Reports at the time said the police car had been thrown 75 feet due to the speed and impact of Mr. Stuart's vehicle.

Patrolman Robb shot himself through his heart with an issued service revolver. Miss Miller died 2 hours later from her wounds. Those that think officers are some kind of machines that have no hearts and don’t care don't realize just how much this job takes from our police, and while this will unlikely ever officially be considered a line of duty death by the city or the city police department, we at the Baltimore Police Historical Society hope you will agree with us in feeling, as if his vehicle had not been struck that day, Patrolman Robb would have gone on to live a full and complete life. It was his heart, his caring for the community, and his being a Baltimore Police Officer—that he himself was the victim of an accident that ruined and eventually took the life of a girl that was in this officer’s care—that gave him a kind of PTSD, causing him to take his own life. For that reason, we feel his death was not only work-related but also caused by the job, and for that reason, we feel his life was taken from him in the line of duty. Therefore, we’ll put his name on this page and all other pages on our site, along with those of his fallen brothers and sisters. 

May he rest in peace and never be forgotten. 

The Baltimore Sun Mon Nov 1 1926 PRT 1 72

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The Baltimore Sun Mon Nov 1 1926 PRT 2 72

For Full Size Article Click HERE or Article Above

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