Officer John F. Heiderman
Officer Heiderman Has been a historian for our agency long before he knew he was a historian. He started trapping BPD items that had been tossed in the trash, and taking them home, nearly 30 years would pass when he would become friends with Kenny Driscoll and either give or sell Ken the majority of his massive collection. Ken researched these items and began adding them to the museum. Aside from the items picked from BPD dumpsters over the years, John was called when someone knew something was about to be discarded, and John would bring his vehicle to the site and again rescue a piece of history that was headed for the Baltimore incinerator or dump. Without John most of the items he saved wouldn't be around to show. John was also one of the first Baltimore Police Officers to have been shot off his horse, a horse named Tony, on 14 June 1985 and the horse (Tony) was shot too. There are a lot of police that trap items, pull them from the trash, but few packed them away filling several rooms of their home for more than 30 years only to give the bulk of it to us for historical purposes and we used it for display, research and showing people our past.
Policeman is shot while checking car in Druid Hill Park
On 14 June 1985, Officer John F. Heiderman, Traffic Division, (Mounted) was patrolling Druid Hill Park when he noticed a parked vehicle bearing only one license plate. He dismounted from his horse, “Tony” and approached the vehicle which was occupied by two men. Officer Heiderman requested the driver’s license and a vehicle registration. At this time the driver of the car started the ignition in an attempt to flee. Officer Heiderman quickly reached into the car through the open window, in an attempt to shut the car’s ignition off. As officer Heiderman was reaching toward the car keys, three shots rang out, striking the officer twice, and his Horse “Tony” once.
Police officer Joseph V. Fonte, Northern District, heard the shots and saw Officer Heiderman stagger to the side of the road where he would collapse. Exiting his vehicle Officer Fonte called out to the suspects who were driving away. Ignoring commands to stop, officer Fonte fired at the suspects’ car several times. The suspects turned their guns on him shooting back, as they made their escape, several of their rounds would strike, Officer Fonte’s vehicle. He then went to the aid of Officer Heiderman and radioed for medical help.
Within seconds, a description of the suspects’ car and license tag was broadcasted by Officer Heiderman. Police units from throughout the city and surrounding jurisdictions were all on the lookout for the suspects and their vehicle.
Officer Heiderman was flown by Maryland State Police helicopter to University hospital’s Shock Trauma unit for gunshot wounds to the right arm, and upper chest.
In the early evening, an alert citizen called the police to report that a car matching the description of the suspects’ car was seen in Northwest Baltimore on a parking lot. Foxtrot responded to the area located the suspect’s car for searching ground units. It was learned that the car was taken in an armed robbery, and kidnapping that had been committed in Weehawken New Jersey the day before.
With the assistance of the Weehawken Police Department, the identity of one of the two persons involved in the offense was obtained. Still, both suspects remained at large.
Officer Heiderman was later released from the hospital with a bullet still lodged in his upper chest. It will be determined at a later date if the round in his chest will be removed. Recovery is expected to be full and complete.
“Tony”, Officer Heiderman’s horse, was also shot by one of the suspect’s bullets. The bullet remains lodged in the horse’s right hip, and will not require removal unless the horse begins to show signs of discomfort.
Wanted in this incident is, Juan Lugo, DOB 6 April 1962 is one of two Hispanic men sought for questioning in connection with the wounding of Baltimore Police Officer John Heiderman, and his Partner “Tony”. The Incident occurred on 14 June 1985, in Druid Hill Park, Central complaint number 85-5F-31855. He is also wanted in Weehawken, New Jersey for armed robbery, and kidnapping that occurred on 13 June 1985. Suspect Juan Lugo, 6 April 1962, has a last known address in Union City, New Jersey, he stands 5’5” and is approx. 140 pounds with tattoos on the upper and lower right arm. He also has track/needle marks on his left arm. As Lugo is believed to be in possession of a 32 caliber handgun, he was to be considered armed and dangerous.
More to Come
Aside from the various items John had, he also had boxes on boxes of photographs, this is just a small sampling of some of the shots John had
Baltimore Police Department
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Copyright © 2002 Baltimore City Police History - Ret Det Kenny Driscoll