Served: 21 years
June 19, 1886 to October 8, 1907
Anton was born December 22, 1846 in Bavaria. He had been married, worked as a butcher, and served as a Special Policeman when he was nominated for the position of Patrolman for the Cincinnati Police Department on June 9, 1886. He was approved and took the oath of office on June 19, 1886.
By October 1907, he was a widower, lived at 2015 Victor Street, and had served more than 21 years as a patrolman.
Patrolman Bachman, at about 7 p.m. on October 8, 1907 was on his way to the callbox at Sixth and Smith Streets when he heard a disturbance and recognized Peter Garrety’s voice at 639 W. 6th Street near Park Street. Garrety was on a three-day drunk and had been periodically bothering the other occupants of the building. Patrolman Bachman had heard rumors all day that Garrety was becoming obnoxious. He called in his report and decided to investigate Garrety.
As Patrolman Bachman walked in the front door, he entered a dimly lit hallway. He heard Garrety again and said, “You’ll have to cut out this fussing, Garrety.” Garrety responded, “You can’t make me, damn you!” and, seconds later, four shots rang out; fired from Garrety from a hiding place behind a door. Bachman fell to the floor and Garrety came out and kicked the officer and beat him with the revolver screaming, “Take that! And that!”
A witness, Jacob Dorfman, telephoned the 4th District (754 W. 5th Street) and Patrol 4 responded from 748 W. 4th Street. Constable Joseph Thon of Kenyon Street heard the shots and also responded. Patrolman Bachman was still barely alive when Thon arrived and asked him who had shot him. He answered, “The man in the cellar.” When asked for his name, Patrolman Bachman could not answer.
Garrety had fled down to the cellar and out and ran west on 6th Street to Stone Street. He went to 753 W. 5th Street – the home of his estranged wife and children – opposite the 4th District police stationhouse. His wife was not home. He crossed the street and turned himself in to Lieutenant Ryan saying, “I just killed a policeman. At least I think I killed him. I shot him and I’m damned glad of it.” He was locked up and charged with Shooting to Kill.
Patrol 4 transported Patrolman Bachman to City Hospital where it was found that a bullet had passed through his heart and another had penetrated his helmet and creased his head. There were also marks made on his head from the butt of Garrety’s revolver and bruises all over his body. He died soon thereafter.
Patrolman Bachman was survived by his children, John Bachman (39), Anna M. Villner (37), Carrie Kiehborth (34), Emma Donovan (30), Lena Bachman (23), Helen Bachman (22), and Clara Bachman (21); and grandchildren, Florence Bachman (12) and Charles H. Toepfer, Jr. (7). He was buried October 11, 1907, at 4 p.m. in Spring Grove Cemetery.
When Patrolman Bachman died, the charge against Garrety was changed to Murder.
Garrety was indicted on November 22, 1907. Despite the viciousness of the murder, on December 20, 1907, he was permitted to plead guilty to Manslaughter and sentenced to fifteen years in prison. Judge James Swing, Prosecutor Rulison, and defense attorneys Thomas Darby and H.L. Cooper all considered this to be equivalent to a life sentence. It was not.
On February 10, 1911, having served little more than three years, Garrety was paroled. Conditions of his parole were that he must stay in Columbus and avoid alcohol. Governor Cox then pardoned him on September 9, 1913, less than six years after the ambush. He moved back to Cincinnati before 1920 and died in 1935 of natural causes.
Patrolman Bachman was the third Cincinnati patrolman killed in six months; the others two being Patrolmen Carl Hauck and William Satters. Also, Patrolmen Botts and Morton were shot at during this time. Agitation arose among the policemen of the Fourth District. Quality revolvers were finally adopted for Patrolmen to carry and Patrolman were doubled up to walk their beats. They remained doubled up until 1923 when that was discontinued due to financial cutbacks.
One of Patrolman Bachman’s great-grandchildren is Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas Judge Robert P. Ruehlman.
If you know of any information, artifacts, archives, or images regarding this officer or incident, please contact the Museum at Memorial@Police-Museum.org.
© This narrative was researched and written October 3, 2012, by Cincinnati Police Lieutenant Stephen R. Kramer (Retired), Greater Cincinnati Police Museum Executive Director. All rights are reserved to him and the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum.