March 5th, 2014 by milwaukeepolice
APPOINTED: JULY 23, 1978
DECEASED: DECEMBER 23, 1981
Officer John Machajewski and Officer Charles Mehlberg were killed in the line of duty on December 23rd, 1981.
The suspect went into Alfred’s House of Bourbon shortly before midnight. He had a beer and then grabbed a woman around the neck and held a gun to her head as he announced a robbery. As the bartender was emptying the cash register, the suspect fired a shot at a patron. No one was injured.
The suspect scooped up about $200 in cash, some wallets and the woman’s purse.
As Officers Machajewski and Mehlberg arrived on scene, they saw the suspect running east on W. Brown Street toward N. 2nd Street. They jumped from the squad car and chased the suspect on foot into an alley.
In the alley, behind 210 W. Brown Street, the suspect ambushed and fatally shot both officers. Officer Machajewski died at the scene. Officer Mehlberg was taken to Froedtert Hospital where he was on life-support until 5 p.m. that afternoon.
The suspect, armed with two handguns including Officer Mehlberg’s .38 caliber service revolver, fled into a home on W. Lloyd Street. A woman in the home called police.
Police surrounded the home and the suspect surrendered a short time later. He was arrested without incident when he came out of the house with his hands up.
The 19-year-old suspect had an extensive record. In 1979, he was described by a judge as a danger to the community. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to two life terms plus 110 years.
Officer Mehlberg was 25-years-old and had served as a police officer for nearly four years and was previously a police aide. Officer Machajewski was 24-years-old and was married. His wife was three months pregnant at the time of his death. He had served for three and a half years.