Press Releases

OFFICER OTTO G. OSTBY – End of Watch May 19, 1915

Gone but not forgotten

End of Watch : May 19, 1915

Minneapolis Police Department

Minneapolis PD
Died May 19, 1915

Officer Otto G. Ostby was en route by motorcycle to a burglar alarm at 2529 10th Avenue South. The building had been broken into earlier in the day and a watch and some change had been stolen. Officer Ostby was on Lake Street when the Bloomington Avenue streetcar turned into the barns at 21st Avenue. A passenger car appeared on the other side of the streetcar leaving the officer nowhere to turn. Ostby tried to squeeze between the car and the streetcar, but he hit the fender of the streetcar. He was thrown from his motorcycle and landed on his head, fracturing his skull and ribs and breaking his arm.

It was later revealed that Ostby apparently thought the call was an emergency. He had misunderstood the station sergeant who said there was no hurry. So, thinking he could catch the burglars, he was rushing to get there. He died a half hour after the accident.

Officer Ostby had been with the department for five years, since January 3, 1910. He was stationed at the Minnehaha station. He was 28 years old and had a wife and a five-year-old daughter. He was buried in Emmons, Minnesota.