Police Officer Thomas Patton II Cleveland Heights Police Department Ohio

Patch image: Cleveland Heights Police Department, Ohio

Police Officer Thomas Patton II
Cleveland Heights Police Department

End of Watch: Saturday, March 13, 2010

Biographical Info
Age: 30
Tour of Duty: 7 years
Badge Number: 345

Incident Details
Cause of Death: Heart attack
Date of Incident: Saturday, March 13, 2010
Weapon Used: Not available
Suspect Info: Not available

Officer Thomas Patton died from a heart attack after collapsing while chasing a suspect.
Officer Patton responded to assist another officer who was in foot pursuit of a suspect who had been harassing two women inside a convenience store. When that officer tried to make an arrest, the suspect spit in his face and fled on foot. The officer pursued and called for assistance. Officer Patton responded and joined in the pursuit, which went through the woods and several backyards.
At Glenmont Road and Mayfield Road, Officer Patton bent over, rested his hands on his knees for a moment and then continued running. He collapsed shortly after.
He was transported to Huron Hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time later.
Officer Patton had served with the Cleveland Heights Police Department, for seven years. He is survived by his 4-month-old daughter and fiancee.

Agency Contact Information
Cleveland Heights Police Department
40 Severance Circle
Cleveland Heights, OH 44118
Phone: (216) 291-4974


Police work runs in the family of Thomas Patton II, the Cleveland Heights officer who died running down a suspect Saturday night. There never was any question that the trim, athletic Patton would follow the family tradition.

"This kid wanted to be a policeman since he was 5 years old. That’s all he talked about," his uncle Tim Patton, a retired Cleveland policeman, said Sunday night. "He used to walk around with our old hats and old police shirts dragging down to the floor."

The family was gathered Sunday at the Strongsville home of state Sen. Thomas Patton, the fallen officer’s father.

Thomas Patton, 30, collapsed while chasing Malcolm Bryant, 21, from Marc’s discount store on Coventry Road. Police were called to the store at 8:15 p.m. Saturday after Bryant harassed two female employees and then spit in the face of an off-duty officer working security, Police Chief Martin Lentz said.

Lentz and the family said the Cuyahoga County coroner’s office told them it appeared Patton’s cause of death was heart-related, but the finding was preliminary. Tim Patton, who spoke for the family Sunday, said Thomas had no history of heart trouble and was thought to be in excellent health. At 6-foot-5 and 190 pounds, he was a former cross-country star who was training with a fellow Cleveland Heights officer for a 10-kilometer race, his uncle said.

"It was a total, total shock," Tim Patton said. "It’s a shame. He just had a child, a 4-month-old baby girl. They just didn’t have enough time to get to know each other." He was engaged to the baby’s mother, Patricia Sindlar.

The Patton family produced three generations of police officers, starting with Thomas Patton’s grandfather, John T. Patton, who joined the Cleveland Police Department in 1946. John Patton died in November at age 89.

Thomas Patton grew up in Strongsville and attended Holy Name High School, where he ran cross country and played basketball.

He liked working nights because, "that’s where the action is," his uncle said.

"The only solace we can take is that he died doing what he loved doing," he said.

Thomas Patton and other officers were chasing Bryant through the neighborhood when Patton stopped near Mayfield and Glenmont roads and rested his hands on his knees, Lentz said. He began running again and collapsed. He died at Huron Hospital in East Cleveland. Dozens of officers from departments across the region gathered at the hospital Saturday night in a show of support.

The suspect Bryant was taken into custody. Bryant had been in the store asking the female employees if he could take them to a party where there would be drugs, Lentz said. The security officer told him to leave the women alone. Bryant reportedly spit at the officer and ran.

Bryant will be charged today with assault of a police officer for spitting, obstructing justice, and fleeing, Lentz said. Prosecutors will decide whether to charge him with Patton’s death, the chief said.

Berry-Martens and Sons Funeral Home on Detroit Avenue is handling arrangements. Calling hours are 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday. Funeral Mass will be at St. Colman Church, where Patton was an altar boy.

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