End of Watch: May 20, 1926
It was Sunday, May 16, a cool evening in the spring of 1926. Twenty-six year old motorcycle patrolman Michael Beuerlein patrolled the village of Parma on his Harley Davidson motorcycle as the sun began to set over Lake Erie. Officer Beuerlein's thoughts were not entirely devoted to his job but skipped occasionally to thoughts of his upcoming marriage on June 15 to sweetheart, Edna Tiedjan, daughter of Parma's Justice of the Peace.
At 7:30 p.m., a call came to Beuerlein of a riot, a free-for-all fight reported in progress on Commonwealth Avenue in the residential district. Officer Beuerlein, in answer to the call, sped his motorcycle north on State Road, where fate would determine that Beuerlein would become the first Parma Peace Officer to die in the line of duty. As Beuerlein's motorcycle was approaching the intersection of Wick Road (now Grantwood Drive), a Ford Coupe, driven by Fred Sattler and occupied by three passengers, was approaching the intersection from the opposite direction. Sattler, intending to enter Wick Road, began his left turn and his automobile lumbered across the streetcar tracks laid between the north and south roadways, not yet aware of Beuerlein's motorcycle approaching with siren wailing and emergency lights flashing.
As Sattler's automobile left the tracks and entered Beuerlein's path, Sattler, upon seeing the speeding cycle upon him, abruptly stopped his vehicle, intending for the officer to pass in front of him. Instead, Officer Beuerlein's motorcycle crashed into the Ford broadside to the astonishment of its occupants who escaped the crash unhurt.
The impact of the crash broke Beuerlein's leg as he was thrown from his motorcycle. He was hurled twenty feet and suffered a fractured skull as he struck the roadway. Beuerlein was taken to Deaconess Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries and passed away on May 20, 1926. Officer Beuerlein was laid to rest in his home town of Nashville, Tennessee.
Those involved in the riot, Fred Stauch, twenty eight, and John Moutauski, thirty-five, were charged with creating the disturbance which led to Beuerlein's death. Both were hospitalized as a result of the riot with Stauch receiving a fractured skull.