SOME HAVE MORE TO GIVE ~Agent Eugene Cassidy~ "Medal of Honor Recipient" Baltimore City Police Officer September - October 2005 Volume 32, Number 5 From the Office of the Executive Director Patrick L. Bradley Maryland Police Training Commission Over the last decade I have had the honor of attending many graduation ceremonies for new law enforcement and correctional officers. Given the sentiments at these ceremonies it is not unusual for speakers to reference the sacrifices these (usually) young men and women are making to serve their community. Nearly all have the skills, talents and intellect to earn more money than they will in public safety. They have “answered the call” to serve their communities, and have sacrificed higher compensation, regular hours and a safe working environment. I get a very special feeling of appreciation that comes with the understanding of the willingness of these men and women to give up so much. For some, service as a public safety officer will require even more sacrifice…. when injury and harm go from potential to reality. For a few, thankfully a very few, the ultimate sacrifice of their lives will be the cost of their service. Others may incur physical or emotional injuries. It will be a life-long or life altering consequence of their duty as a police officer, sheriff or correctional officer. For those officers who survive the debilitating line-of-duty service injury there are few choices available. Certainly the career as a public safety officer is over. Insurance, pension or other compensation may offset the lost earnings, but there is nothing to replace the loss of what was once a promised and promising future. There are, of course, exceptions. One of these exceptional people is Baltimore City Police Agent Eugene Cassidy.
In 1987, Police Agent Eugene Cassidy was patrolling the Baltimore City’s Western District when he spotted an individual he believed was wanted. In the ensuing confrontation, Agent Cassidy was shot in the head. His life was spared, but he lost his sight; totally, irretrievably, permanently. After the hospitalization and therapy, Agent Cassidy was faced with the decision as to his future and that of his young family. A full, tax-free, line-of-duty pension was available to him. But that injury-based retirement also meant the termination of Gene’s dream and desire to serve public safety. He wasn’t ready to call it quits. He wanted to stay a police officer. He would become a police trainer. College educated and experienced as a patrol officer in Baltimore’s most challenging neighborhoods, Gene Cassidy felt he had something to offer new recruit police officers. Not only could he instruct them on the knowledge and skills they would need, he could also demonstrate what it meant to be a police officer…..to serve the community and to give, above and beyond the call-of-duty, and to keep giving long after even the most committed would stop. I was the commanding officer of the Baltimore City Police Academy when Agent Cassidy was being considered for appointment as an instructor. When I asked the obvious question about why he would opt to continue working when a full pension was available he response was simple. He said he felt he had more to give. Working with a companion dog, an array of sophisticated Braille-related equipment and a contingent of supportive fellow- instructors, Gene Cassidy developed into one of Maryland’s premier public safety instructors. He is the living testimony of true essence of commitment to a vocation. Over the last fourteen years, Agent Eugene Cassidy has influenced more recruit and veteran police officers as an instructor than he could ever hope to in another capacity. Last month, Agent Eugene Cassidy accepted a retirement from the Baltimore City Police Department. He leaves a legacy of influence that will transcend many generations of officers. I am proud to have once been his commanding officer at the Academy and to have played some small role in his development as a trainer. I regard Gene Cassidy as an outstanding instructor, an extraordinary police officer and an exceptional human being. An example to all. "Butchie Frazier" the COWARD that shot Cassidy
Agent Eugene Cassidy
Today in Baltimore Police History 22 Oct 1987 our Brother Eugene Cassidy was shot at point blank range leaving him blinded in the process…
Based on the following Sun Paper Article this head shot took place today 29 years ago in 1987
Man is charged in shooting of city policeman 24 Oct 1987
Man is charged in shooting of city policeman
The Sun (1837-1989); Oct 24, 1987; pg. 6A
An 18-year-old alleged cocaine dealer, accused of shooting a city police officer twice in the head at point-blank range late Thursday night, was charged with attempted murder last night after turning himself into police.
Agent Eugene J. Cassidy, 27, who had approached a group of people on the street while patrolling the Western district, remained in critical condition at the Maryland shock trauma Center, where he underwent six hours of neurosurgery and reconstruction of the bones in his face.
Doctors were able to remove only one of the two bullets in the officers head.
Anthony Terrel Owens, who just a week ago was arrested on charges of distributing cocaine, turned himself in at the central district shortly after 8 PM
Police reported that the teenagers mother persuaded him to surrender.
Police began searching for Mr. Allen about 6 PM after a full day of questioning witnesses who were taken into custody after the 11 PM shooting.
Police gave Mr. Owens address as the 3900 block of Penn Hearst Avenue in Northwest Baltimore.
By early yesterday evening, police had pieced together this account of the shooting;
agent Cassidy had just filed a report at his district and return to patrol at the corner of North Appleton and Mosher streets.
The officer parked his patrol car on Appleton and walked about 90 feet, around the corner to Moser said police spokesman Dennis S. Hill.
“He apparently had no idea it was not a crowd idly standing on the corner, it was someone selling cocaine,” Mr. Hill said.
The also did not draw his gun, but one man in the crowd “all the officer and pulled his weapon. The gun was 1, 1 ½ feet from the officers head when he pulled the trigger.”
The officer “reeled back against the wall. The gunman lowered the gun and walked up to him puts the gun to the left side of his head and pulled the trigger” a second time, “the crowd all scattered,” Mr. Hill said.
Agent Cassidy was hit in the left cheek and the left temple.
An unidentified caller notified police at 11:06 PM that the officer was hurt, officer Cassidy apparently had not notified his dispatcher when he left his patrol car and approached the crowd.
Agent Cassidy, who had recently married and moved to Carroll County, had been assigned to the Western district since 1983, when he joined the force.
His title is police agent, rather than officer, because he had college education they gave him equal rank but a slightly higher salary than an officer.
“He was one of the more well-liked officers and Western,” said Sgt. Ernest Judd, “and not everyone at the Western is well-liked,”
Sgt. Bert Ricasa, who supervise Ofc. Cassidy for some time, described him as “an easy-going guy, happy-go-lucky, most of the officers from his shift stayed over last night and helped with whatever they could do,” he said
“he is a fine young man and a good officer – a very good police officer, very thorough, very dedicated,” added Lieut. James W. Madigan acting commander at the Western district.
Through the day, rumors and reports about the officer’s condition changed from hopeful to discouraging and back again, but Mr. Hill said it will be “a couple days before they can make a prognosis.”
Mr. Hill said he remained hopeful because agent Cassidy “is a young person an extremely excellent, excellent physical condition.”
Citations for a Hero
The Sun (1837-1989); Dec 13, 1988; pg. 1F
Citations for a Hero
Agent Eugene Cassidy. 28, a Baltimore police officer blinded by a bullet fired by a drug suspect on Oct. 22. 1987, was awarded the Police Department’s Medal of Honor and Citation of Merit during a ceremony yesterday (12 Dec 1988) at the Western District Police Station. He was accompanied by his guide dog. Izzy; his wife. Patty; their 6-month-old daughter, Lauren; and his mother, Mary Cassidy.
Copyright © 2002 Baltimore City Police History - Ret Det Kenny Driscoll
|End of Watch||M/A|
|City, St.||Baltimore City Western Dist|
|Date of Injury||22 Oct 1987|
No right click