Slain NYPD detective who probed Mafia to get ‘well overdue’ headstone — 100 years after his death

He is forgotten no extra.

An NYPD detective who was killed throughout a cigar retailer hold-up a century in the past will lastly obtain the popularity he deserves Monday – when a headstone inscribed with his identify and acknowledging his service is positioned on the unmarked grave the place he was buried.

The honor is thanks to a retired NYPD lieutenant who realized of the travesty whereas researching a beloved one’s household tree.

Detective Bernardino Grottano
Detective Grottano, higher often called Barney, died on May 26, 1924.
Retired Lt. Bill Markowski sticks a NYPD flag in the ground next to the headstone.
Ret. Lt. Bill Markowski locations a NYPD flag subsequent to the headstone at Green-Wood Cemetery. Michael Nagle

Bill Markowski was finding out his fiancee’s household historical past on a web-based ancestry analysis web site when he found that her great-great uncle, Bernardino Grottano, higher often called Barney, was buried in famed Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn.

“He was like ‘Oh my God! This is your great uncle!’” recalled fiancee Phyllis Kropascek. “He loves to do the ancestry and then he just followed this up.”

Markowski didn’t know anything concerning the man, however mentioned he shortly turned intrigued when he “found out he was a police officer and he was killed in the line of duty.”

“So I started looking more and more into it,” he mentioned. 

He realized that Grottano was off-duty in downtown Brooklyn the evening of May 19, 1924, when a robber ran previous him with uniformed cop in pursuit after ripping off a store at Flatbush Avenue and Fulton Street with an confederate. 

Grottano joined the patrolman within the chase and the suspect opened fireplace on the officers, prompting them to return fireplace. Grottano was struck within the chest and fell to the bottom.

The patrolman was struck within the arm however survived.

“The 26-year-old perpetrator was also felled during the volley and died at the scene,” in accordance to the Detectives Endowment Association web site. “He had a long rap sheet that included grand larceny and drugs.”

The couple at the cemetery where her ancestor is buried.
Markowitz and his fiancee on the cemetery the place her nice uncle is buried. Michael Nagle

Grottano died per week later at Brooklyn Hospital.

Grottano, who lived in Bensonhurst, left behind a spouse and two youngsters.

He was as soon as connected to what was then referred to as the Italian Squad in Manhattan, investigating the Mafia.

“As a little girl, my grandfather, every time I went to his house, he constantly talked about Bernardino and he explained exactly what happened,” mentioned Kropascek, who has a 9-year-old grandson. “He had two photos of him as a police officer in the house, one in the living room and one in the bedroom.”

The plot where Grottano was buried at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn.
Detective Grottano was buried in a plot at Green-Wood Cemetery with no headstone 100 years in the past. Michael Nagle

Grottano was buried in Lot No. 26518 Section 143 in Green-Wood Cemetery, a non-public lot with six graves containing the stays of about 30 individuals.

The household who owned the lot has a headstone there to commemorate the death of their son, a Navy pilot who went lacking, however he isn’t buried there.

Grottano had no marker.

Grottano’s widow, Mary, was juggling hospital payments and had two youngsters to elevate alone so couldn’t afford a headstone, in accordance to newspaper tales from the time.

Markowitz reached out to Detectives Endowment Association and the union provided to assist pay for a headstone.

“Detective Grottano was a hero and won’t be forgotten even after 100 years,” DEA President-elect Scott Munro mentioned.

Markowski (with his fiancee and DEA President-elect Scott Munro) didn't know anything about his late uncle until he dug into some research.
Markowski (with his fiancee and DEA President-elect Scott Munro) didn’t know something about his late uncle till he dug into some analysis. Michael Nagle

In the method, Markowitz found one other Grottano relative within the division.

NYPD Police Officer Dylan Grottano, 24, heard rising up that one in all his ancestors died within the line of responsibility.

“That’s part of the reason I joined the NYPD,” Grottano, who works in Brooklyn’s 66th Precinct, informed The Post. “It makes it more like a legacy and a family tradition.”

Grottano, who is the fallen officer’s great-great nephew, mentioned he’s grateful his long-lost relative is lastly being acknowledged.

“What he did was honorable, pursuing the perp when he wasn’t on duty,” Grottano mentioned. “It’s well overdue.”

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