It was a “10-13”. A brother officer’s life might have been in, danger. So that was all Ptl Phillip Cardillo and Vito Navarra, 28 Pct., were concerned about as they sped to the location transmitted by Sixth Division Radio at 102 West 116 Street, on the second floor, on April 14, 1972. Arriving first at the scene, the officers raced into the building, a Black Muslim Mosque, and heard scuffling on the above floor. As they made it up the staircase, they were intercepted by 15 to 20 men who forced the officers to retreat down the stairs and back into the hallway. Meanwhile, Ptl. Victor Padilla and Ivan Negron, 25 Pct., along with additional units, arrived and entered the premises. The officers, outnumbered, were then attacked and overwhelmed. All of them except Ptl. Cardillo, Padilla and Negron were forced out. A steel door was closed behind them. Ptl. Padilla was then beaten and blackjacked into semi-consciousness while his partner fought off several men who were trying to grab his revolver. With his back to the door, Ptl. Negron suddenly heard shots. He turned and saw a man with a gun in his hand who seemed to be getting up from the floor where Ptl. Cardillo now lay shot. Negron, managing to free himself from his attackers, drew his revolver and fired three shots. It is not known if the man with the gun was hit; he escaped. There were 20 to 25 men in the hallway when Ptl. Navarra and Rudy Andre, 28 Pct., beaten out of the Mosque moments earlier, broke a glass on the metal door and saw the patrolmen inside on their backs. They fired several shots through the broken glass into the hallway. This scattered the men who had been assaulting the officers and enabled Ptl. Negron to unbolt the double metal door. During the melee, Ptl. Cardillo and Padilla, seriously injured, had their service revolvers taken from them. Immediately these officers were rushed to St. Lukes Hospital. Despite intensive efforts on the part of surgeons, hospital personnel and numerous blood donors, a week later Ptl. Cardillo died. The chest wound was inflicted by a bullet fired at such a close distance; powder burns were on his jacket. Ptl Padilla is still recovered from the brutal beating he received.
An investigation of the incident disclosed that the original “assist patrolman” phone call, made by a man who identified himself as a detective was unfounded. Thus far, two men have been arrested on assault charges as the intensive search for Ptl. Cardillo’s murderer continues.
An Inspector’s Funeral was given to Officer Cardillo. The five-year-veteran on the force is survived by his wife and three children. He was 31 years old.
We honor you, Phillip Cardillo.
(#Repost @NYPD Angel)