Patrolman John James Wilding
Scranton Police Department, Pennsylvania
End of Watch: Sunday, July 12, 2015
Tour of Duty: 1 year
Badge Number: 722
Cause of Death: Fall
Date of Incident: July 11, 2015
Weapon Used: Person
Suspect Info: In custody
Agency Contact Information
Chief of Police Carl Graziano
Scranton Police Department
100 S. Washington Avenue
Scranton, PA 18503
Phone: (570) 348-4134
Patrolman John Wilding succumbed to injuries sustained the previous night at approximately 3:20 am while pursuing three juveniles who had stolen a vehicle.
The juveniles bailed out of the vehicle in the area of the 300 block of North Main Avenue with several officers, including Patrolman Wilding, chasing them on foot. Patrolman Wilding jumped over a small wall behind a restaurant at 301 North Main Avenue, not realizing that there was a 15-foot drop on the other side. He suffered a serious head injury as the result of the fall.
He was transported to Geisinger Community Medical Center where he remained until succumbing to his injuries early the next morning.
All three juveniles were arrested and charged as adults with robbery, terroristic threats, and recklessly endangering another person.
Patrolman Wilding had served with the Scranton Police Department for one year. He is survived by his wife and two children.
SCRANTON — Scranton’s police chief said early Sunday morning officer John Wilding, who was critically injured Saturday morning while chasing robbery suspects through the city’s west side, has died.
According to police, Wilding died at 1:28 Sunday morning at Geisinger Community Medical Center as a result of injuries suffered in the line of duty.
Scranton police are asking “the public keep Officer Wilding and his family in prayers during this time of sorrow.” Officer Wilding leaves behind a wife and two children.
He is the first Scranton police officer that died in the line of duty since Sgt. James Sable in 1986, according to the Scranton Fallen Officers Memorial.
Police arraigned Nasiir Jones, 17, from Scranton, Isiah Edwards, 17, who authorities say was homeless, and Tanner Curtis, 17, also from Scranton early Sunday morning at police headquarters in Scranton.
The three juveniles are accused of stealing an SUV in Scranton.
Police charged the three juveniles with robbery, terroristic threats and recklessly endangering another person.
Authorities say all three will be charged as adults.
Officers responded to the 300 block of North Main Avenue Saturday in Scranton.
It was in the pursuit of those three juveniles that Scranton Police Patrolman John Wilding was injured.
The commotion woke neighbors out of bed. Rich Molnar of Scranton said, “The sirens first, and then the lights flashing, and the cops hollering, ‘Stop! Halt! Drop! Put up your hands!”
The police chief says officer first started chasing a suspected stolen SUV down Lafayette Street. Three juveniles got out of the SUV and an officer followed them on foot in the parking lot behind the Vault Tap and Kitchen on North Main Avenue.
According to a witness, the chief says patrolman John Wilding leapt over an ivy-covered wall and fell. In the dark, you may never know about the drop that is about 15 feet.
Eric Shraud’s business, J.C. Multiservice, is just next door. He said, “It’s very sad what happened, the situation and my heart goes out to that police officer and his family. We pray for them, you know.”
Newswatch 16 met Patrolman Wilding, 29, back in January while featuring the unique job he has in the department, patrolling the city on foot.
Wilding’s described as passionate and dedicated. The police chief says in his first year with the department, he almost never took a day off.
We were in touch with his family Saturday afternoon, they asked for privacy at this time but also for prayers.
A candlelight vigil for Wilding was held Saturday evening at police headquarters in Scranton.