Donald T. McHale

Appointed February 1,1948
Died March 25, 1951
Four youths, all under the age of 20, were arrested on March 25, 1951, after a street fight on Lake Street resulted in the death of off-duty Minneapolis policeman Donald T. MCHALE.

One of the youths, 18, surrendered to police at 1 a.m., and three others, whom
he named as his companions, were picked up within two hours.

The 18 year-old and his 17 year-old companion admitted having engaged in a running fight with two men between Seventh and Eighteenth Avenues on East Lake Street early Sunday, March 25th.

It was near there that Officer MCHALE, 36 years old, was found bleeding from the wounds in his legs that led to his death in General Hospital two hours later.He apparently had been knocked through the plate glass window of Nolander’s department store at the corner of Lake Street and Seventeenth Avenue South.

Jagged fragments of glass had severed the main arteries of his legs and he died from loss of blood, despite several transfusions.

Police began the hunt for Officer MCHALE’S assailants on the story of Mason W. Wolke, operator of a service station at 5419 Lyndale Avenue South, who had been MCHALE’S companion that evening.

Wolke said the two of them left the Bee Hive Tavern, 1721 East Lake Street, shortly after 1 a.m. and crossed the street to a parking lot.

As he started to get into his car, Wolke said, he was knocked unconscious by two men.

Officer MCHALE ran around his side of the car and gave chase as the men fled. He caught up with them near Nolander’s and another fight ensued.

During the exchange of blows. Officer MCHALE apparently fell through the window and the men fled.

Exactly how long MCHALE lay bleeding near the scene of the fight is now known. But police got their first call at 1:37 a.m.

It was relayed from Blue and White taxi garage, which said that one of its drivers had radioed in a report of a man “down and bleeding” at that point.

When police and an ambulance arrived, Officer MCHALE was found about 200 feet from the corner, headed back toward Wolke’s car. Wolke’s billfold, still containing $90, was found near him.

The two youths who admitted being in the fight near the corner said they encountered two men in a car on Lake Street.
They said words led to blows and then they left the scene when one of the men went down.

The other man followed, they said, and a new fight started on the corner of Seventeenth. They recalled that a window was smashed and that they got “the other fellow” down; but they couldn’t; remember that their opponent had fallen through the

The Hennepin County grand jury heard the evidence and refused to indict the four teenage youths held in the death of Officer MCHALE. Seventeen witnesses appeared before the jury which, according to County Attorney Michael Dillon, failed to find sufficient evidence of gross or criminal negligence to warrant an indictment.

Officer MCHALE lived at 5836 Bryant Avenue South with his wife and five children, ranging in age from 9 years to 8 months. He had been a member of the police force for 3 years, and was attached to the traffic squad.

He was a veteran of World War II and had attended De La Salle High School and St. John’s College.

Funeral services for Officer MCHALE were held on March 28, 1951 at Annunciation Church, with burial in Fort Snelling National Cemetery.