Name : Ruotolo, Thomas 

Rank: P.O.

Shield #: 14130 Command: 041 Pct.
Date of Death: 1984-02-14   Cause of Death: Shot-Robbery
 Officer Ruotolo was shot and killed after he and his partner stopped a suspect with a stolen Moped. Officer Ruotolo and his partner were on patrol when they heard a report of a stolen moped over their radio. When the stopped at the corner of 149th Street and Bruckner Avenue in the Bronx, they observed the suspect filling the moped with gas at the corner gas station.

Officer Ruotolo pulled his patrol car up behind the suspect and he and his partner exited. As they approached, and before they said a word to the suspect, the suspect drew a snub nosed revolver and opened fire. Officer Ruotolo was stuck in the head and killed. His partner returned fire, but was shot and wounded. An off-duty Officer who was using the pay phone at the gas station witnessed the incident and opened fire at the suspect, but he to was shot and wounded.

Officer Ruotolo was pronounced dead at the scene, and his partner and the off-duty officer were removed to a local hospital and later recovered from their wounds.

The suspect fled, but was later apprehended at a local hospital when he showed up seeking treatment for four gunshot wounds. The suspect, a career violent criminal who was on parole for manslaughter and robbery, plead guilty to one charge of 1st degree murder and two charges of 1st degree attempted murder. He was sentenced to 40 years to life in prison. He is not eligible for parole until January of 2024.

Officer Ruotolo had been a member of the New York City Police Department for three years.
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Comments from Friends    
I knew Tom Ruotolo at Hastings Taxi for several years before he became a police officer. He had a great sense of humor and a clear sense of what is right. What a huge tragedy that he has been lost to his family for more than 20 years.
— Tom Edmonds

I was in Tom's Police Academy Company 81-19. He was a great man, and also very funny. I remember sitting directly across from him in every class, and laughing when I saw him attempting to stay awake during those valuable Social Science Classes. The little things that you remember like him being a lefty (we also boxed each other during phys ed) and him hitting me basically at will. It was a very sad day when I heard he had been killed. It was the 1st NYPD funeral I ever attended being so young on this job. For Tom's wife and children-hold your heads high, he was a great man!
— John Rittenhouse

We all miss you greatly. Your cousin, Phyllis
— Phyllis Ruotolo

If you are going to tell a story about a hero who was killed in the line of duty do not do a disservice to all involved to make his partner into some kind of hero. His partner PO Brathwaite was found two blocks from the scene without her service revolver. I know this because I was one of the first officers on the scene that day and took PO Ruotolo to the hospital. The NYPD made her into a hero to save face. At the time if you spoke out about the incident in a negative manner you would get in serious trouble. RIP, Tommy
— Mike lazos

rest in peace
— sjs
Posted: November 14, 2006, 12:33 pm

Rest in peace
— Anthony
Posted: March 13, 2007, 6:35 pm

RIP Officer Ruotolo. You have not been forgotten.
— vee4250
Posted: November 1, 2007, 6:32 am

One of the sweetest young men you ever could meet. A true gentleman. May God bless his lovely family.
— Edith
Posted: August 8, 2008, 7:22 am

tom and i grew up together in dobbs ferry. we ran track together and were good friends.tom was truly one of those very nice people that no one could ever say an unkind word about. it is hard for me to think that 2009 will mark 25 yrs he has been gone. god bless you tom. your friend ,rich
— rick casadone
Posted: November 7, 2008, 5:47 pm

I was Tommy's NSU 8 sergeant in '81 and I never met a kindler, gentler, truly nice man. On the date of his death he was in the process of adopting an adolescent hispanic boy who he was a Big Brother to. That kinda explains what a truly great guy Tommy was. He was an extremly bright fellow who had unlimited potential in the NYPD. I miss him and think of him often with great fondness.
— Tom Mullen
Posted: February 1, 2010, 6:52 pm

Great memories from academy class of January 1981 and NSU-8. R.I.P., GOD bless, till we meet again.
— Frank Ruiz
Posted: February 2, 2010, 11:52 am

I worked with Tommy out of college and considered him one of my closest friends. We did everythin together. He was a great friend and I still think of him often. Hope you are resting in peace.
— Danny Seid
Posted: August 10, 2010, 4:58 pm

Have thought of you often, rest in peace tommy.
— Edgar Lugo
Posted: September 21, 2010, 10:41 pm

I worked with Tommy summers at Ferncliff and hung out with him and friends down in Dobbs Ferry. He had a great sense of humor and was a practical joker. Have been in Florida since the 80s; think about him often. God Bless.
— Paul Schmidt
Posted: November 11, 2010, 7:35 am

May God bless those who protect and serve and their families and friends.
— Charlie Read, NYSP (retired)
Posted: February 12, 2011, 10:27 pm

— rc
Posted: February 14, 2011, 6:08 am

Tom and I were together in the Police Academy, company 81-19 and sat next to each other the entire six months. He made the Academy bearable with his sense of humor and being down to earth. I met his wife at family day at the Academy and she was very proud of him. The last time we spoke he told me that he was leaving the 41 Pct. to work at MISD. We were at the funeral of Officer Mccormack, ESU. Still to this day I think about him. His death had a profound effect on me for the rest of my career. Thanks for being a friend Tom.
— Ted Rohrs
Posted: February 15, 2011, 1:17 pm

knew you for short period.. but will be in my heart forever! tony (hoe) GROCERY STORE..914 HOE..
— tony(hoe ave) padilla
Posted: March 3, 2011, 8:35 pm

Do miss Tom everyday. Can anyone provide Mary-Beth's contact information?
— Danny Seid
Posted: May 2, 2012, 1:34 pm

Tommy, I just wrote a letter to the Parole Board regarding P.O. Eddie Byrnes and yourself. I thought of you and how honorably you protected NYC in 1984. You see, I was at the M.E.'s office the day after you were shot and killed. As they rolled you past us I realized who you were. You looked like an Angel...and you are an angel. I will never forget you. I thank you for your service...and you will alwyas be in my heart. Brenda Vincent-Springer
— Brenda Vincent-Springer
Posted: September 27, 2012, 8:10 pm

PO Ruotolo, you may have passed but you will never be forgotten. Test in Peace Tommy we pray for you.
— Tommy
Posted: February 14, 2014, 4:43 pm

Just found this site...I grew up with Tommy in Dobbs....what a great guy...and a horrific loss to his family. RIP my dear, old friend and help us pray for the two NYPD officers who were ambushed and executed today..
— Diana Monteleon
Posted: December 20, 2014, 7:23 pm

I remember directing traffic for Tommy's funeral. It seems like yesterday this tragedy occurred. Merry Christmas in heaven. RIP brother.
— Larry Migliore
Posted: December 23, 2014, 10:33 am

Thomas we continue to pray for you. Rest in Peace.
— Tommy
Posted: February 3, 2015, 7:53 am

I was in Toms class 81-19 , he sat next to me Greg Rupelli on one side Tom on the other we boxed in the gym and I thought the job was on the level and boxed a bit to hard. I gave tom a bloody nose more than one time which I regret to this day. A sweet guy . He death was a shame, his partner when on to receive an award for valor for the incident that caused his passing .
— Carl Russo
Posted: May 25, 2015, 9:01 pm



Those who bloom in the hearts of others never fade away