On this date, twelve years ago, Lieutenant Joseph Szczerba of the New Castle County Division of Police went to backup fellow officers who were searching for a disorderly man near Penn Acres Park. He located the man at East Roosevelt Avenue and Fithian Drive and, after a short foot chase, began to struggle with him. During the struggle, the subject pulled out a knife and stabbed Lieutenant Szczerba.
Other officers were able to take the subject into custody. Lieutenant Szczerba was transported to Christiana Hospital where he succumbed to the wound.
On September 30th, 2013, the subject pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder and 13 additional counts. On January 17th, 2014, the subject was sentenced to two life terms in prison without parole.
Lieutenant Szczerba was posthumously promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and awarded the department’s Medal of Honor.
In a message to the division, Colonel Joseph Bloch said the following about Lieutenant Joseph Szczerba, “In his 18 years with the New Castle County Division of Police, Joe’s strong commitment to the community was what we all strive to be. Joe was passionate about his life and reflective in his relationships with family and friends. Joe lived his life by bettering the lives of others. Joe will never be forgotten and will remain forever in our hearts.”
Lieutenant Joseph Szczerba