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Richard D. Clarke

Entered on Duty: 
1949-02-23
End of Watch: 
1950-12-18

At about 1:00 p.m. on December 18, 1950, Patrol Inspector Clarke and his teammate, Patrol Inspector Ralph L. Trantor, took an alien into custody in south El Paso and were bringing him to headquarters by automobile for further questioning when the alien suddenly stabbed Inspector Clarke in the heart. Patrol Inspector Clarke's death was instantaneous. The alien then seized Inspector Trantor's gun. Patrol Inspector Trantor slammed on the car brakes, held on to the gun and threw himself into the back seat where he grappled with the alien and succeeded in holding him until police officers arrived. During the struggle, Trantor's gun was discharged once, the bullet passing through a car seat. Inspector Trantor was badly bitten on the face and arms. The incident began as a routine immigration procedure. Inspector Clarke questioned the Mexican alien on a street in El Paso, Texas. First claiming to be a citizen of the United States, he later admitted he was an alien illegally in the United States. The alien, Eulalio Cordero, was charged with murder.