Name : Scarangella, John 

Rank: P.O.

Shield #: 22524 Command: 113 Pct.
Date of Death: 1981-05-01   Cause of Death: Shot-Auto Check
     
 Officer Scarangella succumbed to gunshot wounds received two weeks earlier when he and his partner were shot by heavily armed gunmen during a traffic stop. Officer Scarangella and his partner stopped a van that fit the description of a van wanted in connection with several burglaries in the area. It was believed that Jo Anne Chesimard a career criminal was in the van at the time of the stop. Chesimard was wanted in the connection of the killing of a N.J. trooper Phillip La Monico. Before Officer Scarangella and his partner could exit their vehicle, the two occupants of the van exited and opened fire with 9 millimeter semi-automatic handguns, firing a total of 30 shots. Officer Scarangella was struck twice in the head and his partner was struck 14 times in the legs and back.

Officer Scarangella was removed to the hospital where he died two weeks later. Officer Scarangella's partner, Richard Rainey, was forced to retire in 1982 due to the wounds.

The two suspects in the murder fled the state. One suspect was apprehended in North Carolina by detectives from the New York City Police Department and the Sumter County Sheriff's Department. The second suspect was apprehended in Pennsylvania by two Police Officers from the Philadelphia Police Department when they observed him walking down a street in Philadelphia wearing a bullet resistant vest. When those officers approached the suspect, he dropped a gun and fled on foot. He was apprehended after a fierce struggle in which several officers were injured. At that time, he was found to be in possession of the gun that was used to kill officer Scarangella and wound his partner.

James Dixon-York and Anthony Laborde (the occupants of the van) were both member s of the B.L.A. (Black Liberation Army - a spin off of the old Black Panther Party). Both suspects were convicted of attempted murder in connection with the shooting of Officer Scarangella's partner, but in two different trials the juries were hung on the charge of murder in connection with the killing of Officer Scarangella. In July of 1986 both suspects were convicted of murder and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.

Officer Scarangella had been a member of the New York City Police Department for 12 years. Officer Scarangella was working the day shift that day with his partner Richard Rainey. Scarangella had switched his shift so that he could take his wife to a doctor's appointment.
  
 
     
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Comments from Friends    
     
Worked with John (Jerry) in the 60 Pct. You will NEVER find a more caring and gentle man than Jerry,He Never did and Never would hurt anyone and god only knows what he went through to get transferred to Queens to work so he could help his family. I will always remember him a a great person and a great friend. Rest in peace buddy.
— Paul B (teen angel)

I never knew John Scarangella personally, but I later did get to know Richard Rainey, through his brother Jerry, whom I worked with in the 32 Pct. years after this tragic event. I recall the day this happened as I was a rookie cop working out of NSU 18 in southeastern Queens. We responded to the 10-13 and were about the 4th or 5th car on the scene. I recall helping pull both Officers out of that bullet-riddled RMP, particularly Jerry's big 6'5" or so frame, and helping them on their way to the hospital. It was a startling introduction into the NYPD to say the least, but one I will surely never forget. Looking back, I can say these two Officers selfless bravery strengthened my decision for law enforcement as a career choice, with one making the ultimate sacrifice, and the other, only but for a miracle, nearly doing the same.Years later I attended the trial of Laborde and York not as a witness, but as a spectator, and I vividly recall the stone-faced chisseled look of a hardened criminals. I have never forgotten that look throughout my career and I will never forget that day in Queens or the sacrifice you made. God Bless your families.
— Ron Betterly- Lieutenant/Ret.-NYPD

I worked with jerry in coney for many yrs, he was a very funny guy that when you worked with him, you laughed for the whole tour,, i was shocked when i heard the news that day. He was a good cop, guy & family man, To know, you had to love him. He touched the hearts of many people and is missed my all...
— Vinny Curreri

Dad, there is not a night that goes by that i dont cry myself to sleep thinking of you. Sometimes i still cant belive your not coming back to us, even after all these years, their is still so much pain. I have my own family now, and when my son was born i came home and cryed all night because the love i have for my son was the same love you had for us and we were robbed of that. I love you and miss very much. your son
— Thomas Scarangella

DAD Theirs so many things I want to tell you but I'm sure you already know. Theirs Someone very special I want you to meet but I'm sure you already know. I have you tattooed on my heart so I could never forget How much I miss and await to see you again.
— Gerard

This is to Greatest Uncle anyone would have Uncle Jerry There's not one day that ever goes by that I ever stop thinking about how wonderful you were all the fun we had together Laugh's jokes you told Holidays that were spent with everyone they are well missed I wish you were here to see my family you would be very proud see how much of a inspiration you were in my Life Sharing the same strong Love and Family values as you did for Aunt V G,T,J,G Mom & Grandma were your biggest fans grandma is with you now watching over all of us your are in our hearts alway's Love you Uncle Jerry Nephew Anthony
— Anthony D

hey uncle, i'm 45 years old now and i found myself thinking of something you did when i was just around 10 years old. that was the day you were at my house with my parents and disappeared upstairs in my bedroom.we had no idea where you were but an hour or so later we found you sleeping on my bed with a model airplane of balsa wood you carved laying across your chest. this made me laugh today as all the other funny things you used to do and say. lingering sunsets your nephew joseph s
— joseph s.

Dear uncle, You passed the year i was born so i never got to know you. my mother Tina and father ed have told me what a wonderful man you are and how family was the first priority. I met jack Dempsey who had known you and once he herd you where my uncle he began telling me what a grate "bum you made". I wish every day that i knew you, but you where taken from our family. bless every one you watch over and thank you for being the role model i always needed.
— Edward Savarese

Dear Uncle Jerry, I was only in the second grade when you passed away but I remember what a great uncle, father, and person you truly were. My Dad doesn't go a day without talking about you. He tells us all of the fun times that you guys had together. I can tell that you had a very strong bond. I just want you to know that my dad is ALWAYS there for Aunt Vivian, Gina, Tommy, Julie, and Gerard. I would have really loved to have grown up with you in my life. May you rest in peace and god bless you. Love Always Your Niece, Kristen
— Kristen

"Godfather" Uncle Jerry. I was only 4 years of age when you passed away. In all honesty I don't really remember you and I can't share any of my own memories. I hope this doesn't upset you because I feel like I've known you my whole life. My dad, your brother, Luke, makes it his business to keep your memory alive. One of my favorite times of the year is X-Mas Eve when we all sit around the table and listen as my father tells your tales. We laugh, we cry and these stories seem to be neverending. I can honestly tell you that we have the most amazing family and you are one of the main reasons why. I'm currently 27 years old and I am a New York City Firefighter working in Manhattan. My dad gave me this t-shirt which reads NYPD "HERO" with our name and your badge #. I wear it underneith my work uniform as often as possible. I know when I am crawling into a fire on my hands and knees you are looking over my shoulder protecting me like the angel that you are. I miss you and love you very much and I am honored to be your godson...
— John Scarangello

i have been friends with gerard and tommy for about ten years now and i can only imagine what a great man john must have been seeing what a great family he graced us with.my stepfather had the priveledge of knowing john from the job and has told me only great things of him.gerard and tommy, i can only hope to be half the man and police officer your father was.god bless him.being a fellow police officer now i am proud to call john a brother. god bless you guys and the whole scarangella family.
— christopher oronges

dear brother, They call you a "Hero" because you made the supreme sacrifice. You were always a "Hero" while you lived, to your family and Friend's. I love you. Love your brother, Tony
— Tony scarangella

i never met john...but i know his son tom...im sure he was a great cop ,his son must follow his fathers footsteps..
— james

As I sit here like I do daily, reading about our heroes, the tears are rolling down my cheeks. What a beautiful family. I was in the Police Academy when he was murdered and was assigned to NSU-18 when I got out. The 113 Precinct was part of the 113 and when they teamed us up alone with another rookie, our sector was 13 NORA, Jerry's sector. I was honored to ride that sector and although I didn't remember the date he was murdered I always thought about it this time of year. I remember at a SILVER SHIELD day at Yankee Stadium the whole family was honored and I believe his wife threw out the first pitch. God bless you all.
— Joe Torregrosa

Dear Uncle Jerry, I just had some really good news and I wanted to share it with you... The woman, Tarika Tibbs, that we pulled out of that fire in the Park Hill projects is going to live. It didn't look good for a long while as she was in the burn center not breathing on her own. I just received a letter from her grandmother saying that she is on her way to full recovery and is now home with her two children.. I know you were with me on that day and I know you had something to do with her returning to her children.. Thank you... I love ya. John
— John Scarangello

I was best friends with your nephew Danny who lived on Bay 34th St.when we were small kids.His dad your brother was a P.O.I often think of you and the sacrifice you.Rest in peace.
— sjs
Posted: November 7, 2006, 9:18 am

I was a rookie police officer in training at the Police Academy when the shooting took place. It really hightened my awareness as to the dangers of being a police officer in New York City. I remember going to medal day at HQ and seeing Officer Rainey go up for his medals, a site I'll never forget. May he rest in peace, and God watch over Officer Rainey. James Sullivan, Retired Sergeant, NYPD
— James Sullivan
Posted: February 3, 2007, 6:55 pm

I worked with John (everybody called him Gerry). A guy with a smile on his face and lightness in his step. He had a great love for his family and his job. I reported for a 4x12 on the day Gerry got shot and saw his RMP in the 113 garage. I will never forget that site, just thinking two friends of mine were in that RMP. May God have a special place in heaven for a good cop named John (Gerry) Scarangella.........P.O. Joe Bradley, Retired NYPD
— Joe Bradley
Posted: March 18, 2007, 8:04 am

Well Dad the day has finally came. I going to follow your footsteps. I am now a port authority police officer. At graduation I held my tears back wishing you where there. Mom has a picture of you in uniform and when your grandson luke sees it he thinks its me because we look so much alike. Dad I know i will never be the police officer you were, But guide me and keep me safe. You are forever in me heart.
— Thomas Scarangella
Posted: July 18, 2007, 4:57 pm

John, I have never met you. I hear excellent things about you. I know your sons Tommy and Gerard. I tell them all the time if your family ever needs anything please let us know. I worked in your precinct the 113pct in sector Nora for 12 years. I am proud to work in your sector. I know you look down on your family and they make you proud. Please watch over them and protect them. the brotherhood of the NYPD is here for them.
— John Moran
Posted: November 10, 2007, 7:55 pm

I never met John, but I was assigned to the 113th Pct for almost seven years. I worked with several Police Officers that had the honor to know him and worked with him. Sometimes I found myself asking so many questions about him to those who knew him. While on patrol in the 113th I drove numerous time by the location where the shooting took place and always though about John. I presently have the honor to work side by side with his son as Port Authority Police. Every time I look at his son I always think about John Scarangella and think of the admiration and respect that I will always have for him and his family. John will always be a hero and will never be forgotten.
— ROB MEJIA
Posted: December 21, 2007, 2:45 pm

MY PARTNER AND I MICHAEL J.HUGHES-(NEWARK POLICE--NJ) HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO KILL THIS JAMES DIXON YORK IN 1969--TOO BAD WE DIDN.T--HE WAS A PIECE OF GARBAGE
— CAPT DANIEL R. DEL BAGNO
Posted: September 3, 2008, 1:03 pm

Good news pops 1 down 2 to go.
— your youngest son
Posted: November 6, 2008, 8:40 pm

We were the first rookies of nsu#18 out of the 113. Rainey and Scarangella had lockers by us downstairs. Both of them treated us young guys nicely, no cold shoulder, no silence. I remember them occasionally on patrol; as we progressed we rookies patrolled those sectors in rmps. The both of them put up with our immature hijinks, including not reporting ryan for shooting schnebly with a blank round, hurting him with the wadding. I was out of the 77 when I heard of the shooting. All I could think of was Rainey's huge bulk and smiling face, and Scarangella quietly saying hello to us whenever he saw us. I remembered the location exactly, in that myself and James Polanco had patrolled the sector, new and full of p & v. I never forgot them. A month later we came across two gunmen, in june 81. The lessons of Rainey and Scarangella vivid in my mind, I shot one from my car. I thought of them again, and how lucky I was to have my partner with me, and a car full of anticrime cops behind me. No one but a cop understands a cop, or the terrible world he is witness to. We mourn you, Scarangella; we think of you, Rainey.
— Pete Heron
Posted: December 21, 2008, 1:30 am

ILL NEVER FORGET WHEN JOHN WAS MURDERED.THAT INCIDENT WAS THE FIRST POLICE SHOOTING THAT STOOD OUT TO ME BEFORE I BECAME A POLICE OFFICER.I LATER PROUDLY JOINED THE NYPD AND WAS ASSIGNED TO THE 113PCT AND PROUDLY WAS ASSIGNED SECTOR 113 NORA/PAUL AS MY SECTOR WHERE JOHN WAS KILLED.I ATTENDED THE MURDER TRIAL AS DID MANY MEMBERS OF THE 113 DID.JOHN AND HIS PARTNER WERE HEROES TO ALL OF US AT THE PCT AND MADE US PROUD TO BE MEMBERS OF THE NYPD 113PCT .YOU STILL INSPIRE ME TODAY AS A DETECTIVE TODAY W/SCPD.GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY.
— GENE LOPEZ
Posted: February 10, 2009, 1:19 am

Tommy, you and I work together and even though I hadn't the pleasure of meeting your dad, I had heard and read about your father. I had never made the connection, even though it was obvious you shared the lastname. You are truly a nice, genuine and funny guy and your dad would definetly be proud of who you've become and the career you have chosen. It saddens me to know that your dads life was cut short, when you were only a child, but despite those difficulties God has steered you in the right direction and guided you in making the right decisions in your life. God Bless you and yours and may God have mercy!
— Wings
Posted: August 21, 2009, 12:48 am

I was a close friend of Jerry (John) during high school and was and usher at his wedding. I have some photos that I think his family might like to see. How do I get in touch with his wife or children. I thought his son had a web site in his honor but I cannot find it
— Anthony DiGiacomo
Posted: August 2, 2010, 10:45 am

Tommy It is about time that your father is going to have a street named after him God Bless Frank M Costanzo Cleveland Police Dept.
— Frank Costanzo
Posted: January 18, 2011, 1:49 am

I never new John Scarangella but his sacrifice and bravery inspired me to become a police officer in 1983. I'm glad to see they will finally name a street in Queens in his memory. I will be attending that ceremony for sure. Rest in peace brother.
— Louie Franco
Posted: January 29, 2011, 6:23 pm

Jerry and I grew up to gether in Brooklyn , He had many Friends on 16th Avenue in the 62 Pct.I remember how much Jerry wanted to get on the Job , I was in the Class in June 1961 and He always called Me while waiting to be appointed to ask how I was doing and about The Job .Then We parted ways when I moved to The Suburbs ."So sad" I was devastated and couldn't even attend His Funeral. Rest in Peace Jerry , You were a Wonderful Man , Friend and Police Officer , You are always in My Mind and Prayers Tom Mistretta Retired Sgt NYCPD
— Tom
Posted: February 21, 2011, 10:26 am

I worked with Jerry in the 60 Pct. He was a great and funny guy. Rest in peace.
— Lenny Genovese
Posted: April 26, 2011, 12:53 pm

I worked with Jerry in the 60th pct. you never worried about your back when jerrys was your partner, he was a model police officer. rest in peace
— john Huhn
Posted: April 26, 2011, 8:19 pm

I worked with jerry in the 60,he always wuld say something that would make you smile and forget your problems of the day. I will always remember him. May he rest in peace, and be remembered as a fun loving person.
— Jerry Castagliola
Posted: April 26, 2011, 8:20 pm

My name is sal cannizzaro,I was reading the NYpost article,we worked together for the port authority back in the sixties,I remember you joining thr nypd.My son chris works in the 60 precint.Richie best of everthing to you and your family.
— sal cannizzaro
Posted: May 2, 2011, 2:24 pm

My name is Louie Franco . Im a detective in Taru of the NYPD and have been on the job since 1983. I remember vividly the day John was killed. I never new him but never never forgot that day. It inspired me to become a police officer more then ever. Sadly I was unable to attend the dedication ceremony on May 1st. Officer Scarangella you are a true hero and this officer will never forget the sacrafice you made. May you rest in peace and god bless your loving family. .
— Louie Franco
Posted: May 18, 2011, 4:45 pm

Worked with and was friends with Jerry in the 60 Pct. You couldn't find a better person.God love you.
— Bob Azzinari
Posted: June 23, 2011, 8:45 am

I used to hear racist, hate-filled rhetoric from the original Black Panthers on 125th St in NYCís Harlem. They and their Puerto Rican counterparts, the Young Lords. A few years later, the Black Liberation Army, formed by former Black Panthers, started a criminal and killing spree that went from 1970-1976, including bombings and outright assassinations of police officers and moreÖ. Indeed, in 1981, a mere few months after I got out of the NYPD Police Academy, two police officers, Scarangella and Rainey were gunned down in cold blood, after stopping a van in the 113th Precinct in Queens. Inside were 5 perps, one of which was believed to by Joanne Chesimard, former Black Panther and BLA member, and the two gunmen, James Dixon-York and Anthony Laborde, who were also members of the B.L.A. (Black Liberation Army - a spin off of the old Black Panther Party). A few years later, when I became the Planning and Training Officer at an adjacent precinct in Queens, I often used the Scarangella and Rainey shootings in my training on car stops for the 172 cops I was responsible for training. The bottom line is that crazy or not, inflammatory, bombastic rhetoric HAS HISTORICALLY led to numerous criminal actions by people in the mindset of the Panthers/BLA, so I take that talk extremely seriously. Rest in peace, John Scarangella.
— Frank Sinclair
Posted: April 11, 2012, 9:44 pm

Jerry & I patrolled the streets in the Six-O... We partnered a couple of times when our regular partners were off /at court etc. Jerry made you laugh, was a family man...a good man...a good cop. RIP Steve Orlando...Big-O
— Steve Orlando
Posted: July 24, 2012, 11:33 pm

i worked with john (jerry) in the 60 pct. funny great guy, love you jerry. joe ribaudo
— joe ribaudo
Posted: January 20, 2013, 11:47 am

I was a sergeant in the 113 Pct when Gerry And Richie were ambushed. I was on vacation the day it happened, but I worked 4 out of five tours with them. They were both good seasoned cops and fun guys to know. One particular tour with them stands out in my mind. A 9 year old girl was raped by a vagrant and their sgt. ordered them to resume patrol after several hours of searching for the perpatrator and let the detectives handle the case. They continued their search and found the rapist sleeping in an abandoned car in a lot and made the arrest toward the end of their tour. Their sgt. wanted to assign the arrest to another officer to avoid overtime. Gerry came to me and pleaded for me to intervine, which I did and I also wrote up the arrest and they received the medal they deserved. Gerry was a hero long before he was gunned down. Peter Holub/Lieutenant, Retired
— Peter Holub
Posted: March 9, 2013, 10:23 am

PO Scarangella I know your brother from the TPD i worked with him, if you are anything like him you are a class act. You died keeping us safe from animals who had thier own selfish agenda and this we could never thank you enough. Even though you have passed you will never be forgotten and thank you for all you have done, John Rest in Peace
— Tommy
Posted: May 1, 2013, 5:12 am

I grew up in Rosedale and knew most of the guys from the 113. The day that PO Scarangella and PP Rainey were ambushed stays in the minds of many of us. It was a very sad and shocking time for everyone in my town. Last night I was in the Stop and Shop in Northport NY and I ran in to a 72 year gentlemen ( He called himself cousin Vinny and strangely enough had some heavy Irish brogue ! ) and we started talking to each other. Turns out that the day he was at 1PP throwing in his papers was the same day that both men were shot. He got a call right at 1PP and was told what happened. He immediately left and went to the hospital. He told me that he worked with them both at the 113 but what struck me most was the way he talked about John who he said everyone called Jerry. He told me for almost a half hour what a great guy he was to work with and a great family man. My mom knew the Scarangella family as she worked in a dry cleaners in town where we cleaned most of the PD uniforms and were priviledged to meet them and all the other families of the great NYPD Rest in Peace Jerry and may God shine a light on all of your family. Joe Accardi
— Joe Accardi
Posted: September 27, 2013, 9:51 am

Uncle Jerry I still love you so much keep your picture by my bed.Always made me so happy when you would co.e over on Sunday mornings.Remember coming to your house and watching The Warriors with you followed by Saturday Night Fever.You are a pure soul all goodness.I remember you doing skits with Uncle Luke and my dad Tony Just wanted to say I love you .
— Marianne Singer
Posted: March 28, 2014, 2:01 am

John we continue to pray for you. Rest in Peace.
— Tommy
Posted: May 1, 2014, 4:56 am

I am a 44 year Detective in the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office and I had the honor of working with the Queens Detective on this case. I still remember the Queens Detectives saying what a good Police Officer and a good person Officer Scarangella was. Over the years I never forgot Officer Scarangella and his family and I have kept them in my prayers. RIP
— Detective Jerry Rocks Sr
Posted: July 28, 2014, 11:57 am

I worked with John when he was in the 60 Pct. Always had a smile and a great sense of humor.
— Don Moorhouse
Posted: September 22, 2014, 5:47 pm

 


 

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