1918 - First Boonton Police Officer is Killed in the Line of Duty
On September 9, 1918, Special Office Patrick Guiton, the Acting Chief of Police, received a telephone call from Andrew Kabines, a railroad foreman regarding four men looting a freight car at the Boonton Rubber Works. Officer Guiton swore in several citizens as deputies and commandeered a truck and responded to the area of the Reservoir.
Officer Guiton approached the four individuals, in their late teens, and compelled these thieves to surrender. The defendants, members of the “Dusty Dennis” band of Kearny NJ, complied. Officer Guiton and the deputies left the Boonton Rubber Works en-route to police headquarters with the defendants. Officer Guiton dropped off these citizen deputies on Main Street and began to proceed to headquarters.
While on Main Street, defendant Thomas A. Reilly, a.k.a. William Reilly, drew a .38 caliber revolver and fired striking Office Guiton three times. At 48 years of age, Office Guiton died instantly. Mr. Reilly also fired a fourth round which struck co-defendant William Dennis, a.k.a. William Dennison, in the head. Mr. Dennison died at Morristown Memorial Hospital in the afternoon of Monday September 9, 1918, after being transported there by Officer Arthur Meeker.
An alarm was immediately sounded and a manhunt began for the perpetrator. Defendants Howard Jackson and Frank Kennedy were immediately apprehended.
Reilly was apprehended later in the day when he was seen jumping from a coal car in Lincoln Park. A pursuit ensued through a cornfield where Reilly ran right into the arms of some lawmen.
Sheriff Edwin W. Orr and County Detective Edward L. Brennan then transported Reilly to the Morris County Jail. The Grand Jury indicted Thomas A. Reilly for murder. On February 10, 1919, Reilly pled non-vult (no contest) to manslaughter.
Source: The Boonton Police Department 1867-1999 (available at the Holmes library )