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Officer Donald Cary Hathaway
(Feb. 22, 1894 – May 24, 1920)

When 22-year-old Donald Hathaway moved to Los Angeles from Colorado in about 1916, he held a variety of jobs in the two years before he joined the LAPD -- salesman, lifeguard at Venice beach, and prop man at Keystone Studios. The 1917 City Directory listed him as a "photoplayer," so it's possible, even likely, that he might have appeared on screen in a Keystone production, perhaps as a background player in a Fatty Arbuckle or Mabel Normand comedy short.

Hathaway was born in 1894 in Cripple Creek, Colo., the second of five children of Charles Cary Hathaway and Gussie Izula Hawpe Hathaway. In 1910, at the age of 16, Hathaway was working in a gold mine in Colorado. Like his son, his father held an assortment of jobs, from carpenter to mining broker to millwright.

On June 28, 1918, Hathaway joined the LAPD. He married Edith Louise Sherwood, and their daughter, Frances Jean Hathaway, was born on Aug. 22, 1919.

In May 1920, Hathaway, 26, was working at the Central Station, on the midnight to 8 a.m. shift. He was on his way to work at about 11:45 p.m. on May 23 when he noticed a hold-up in progress at 23rd Street near Main Street. An armed bandit was holding up three men at gunpoint.

Hathaway pulled his car up to the curb and, as he was getting out of the car with his gun drawn, he told the bandit to put his hands up. Instead, the bandit shot at Hathaway's car, hitting the officer in the chest. The bandit ran off, leaving his hat behind as the only evidence. Hathaway fired two shots at the fleeing bandit, but missed. Before he collapsed on the side of the road, Hathaway handed his gun to one of the would-be robbery victims and told him to chase the bandit.

Hathaway was taken to the Receiving Hospital, but was pronounced dead shortly after arrival. The bullet had entered his chest, and was lodged next to his heart.

Dozens of police officers set up a perimeter around the shooting location, and searched houses, streets and alleys. Hathaway's killer was caught about five hours later, found hiding among tall weeds in a vacant lot near the corner of 21st Street and Grand Avenue. He confessed to shooting Hathaway, although he said he was only attempting to scare the officer. It was also determined that the man was wanted in several states, from Missouri to California, for a string of armed robberies.

Hathaway left his widow and their 9-month-old daughter.

Hathaway's 22-year-old killer was charged with first-degree murder, and was sentenced to death. He was hanged at San Quentin State Prison on Oct. 29, 1920, less than five months after Hathaway’s death.

Hathaway was buried at Inglewood Park Cemetery, where his widow (who remarried after Hathaway's death), his parents, his older brother, and two of his three sisters are also buried.

Hathaway's sign is on the northeast corner of Main and 24th streets.

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