Corporal John M. Frontczak
(EOW 3/29/76)

John M. Frontczak


A robbery at the Citizens Savings and Loan in Potomac at 10:12 a.m. on Friday, March 26, 1976, was broadcast by police communications with a lookout for a red Chevy Nova. Corporal John Frontczak, assigned to Bethesda Patrol, heard the lookout. Approximately five minutes later, he radioed that he was attempting to stop a car matching the description of the one just broadcast. However, the suspect vehicle did not stop, and Corporal Frontczak then indicated he was in pursuit into a field behind Montgomery Mall. Radio contact with Corporal Frontczak was then lost. A backup patrol unit arrived approximately six minutes later and radioed that two police officers had been shot. The second officer, it was learned, was Captain James E. Daly, Jr., of the Field Supervision Section, who had been close by and responded to assist Corporal Frontczak. Both were in critical condition with gunshot wounds to the head. A 19-year-old high school dropout, who was AWOL from the Army, was subsequently identified as the assailant and was arrested by the South Carolina Highway Patrol while heading south on I-95. He plead guilty and was sentenced to life in prison. Captain Daly, age 43, was pronounced dead at Suburban Hospital at 9:05 p.m., on March 28, 1976, and Corporal Frontczak, age 32, was taken off life-support systems at 6 p.m., on March 29, 1976, and pronounced dead.