Monday, May 24, 2010
Officer Paul M. Pytel
Officer Paul Matthews Pytel
San Antonio Park Police, TX
Cause of Death: Drowned
End of Watch: Sunday, July 31, 1994
Date of Incident: Sunday, July 31, 1994
Badge Number: 9826
Tour of Duty: 9 years
Suspect Info: Not available
Weapon Used: Not available
Buried: San Fernando Cemetery #3
Location of Name on National and Texas Monuments
NLEOMF: P21 - E19
TPOM: 11, B, 17
Officer Pytel drowned while chasing a murder suspect when he was pushed or fell into Salado Creek. The suspect was wanted in connection with a shooting earlier. Park Police Gabriel Escobedo and Officer Pytel had been working in Martin Luther King Park and heard shots fired. At the sound of the first shot, Officer Escobedo turned and saw three men with guns drawn among a group of about five. Officer Escobedo said that while he could see only three weapons, all the men had their arms extended straight out in front of them, as if they were firing as well. Officer Pytel chased the men in his vehicle then began a foot pursuit as they ran across a field and toward Salado Creek at the back of the park. Officer Ernest Trevino was dispached to the park and headed for the creek to try and cut off the fleeing suspects. Officer Trevino arrested two of the suspects at the same time he heard a splash in the creek. Officer Trevino cuffed the suspects, and headed for the spot where Officer Pytel had gone in. The creek was muddy and stirred up and it took several minutes to locate Officer Pytel; when he was pulled out, Officer Trevino performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation but was unable to revive him. Officer Pytel became the first San Antonio Park Ranger to die in the line of duty. He was a graduate of Burbank High School, a nine-year veteran of the Parks Department, served in the Department’s Honor Guard and was a field training officer and Bike Patrol officer -- information gathered from 226th Judicial District Court, Bexar County, Texas records, San Antonio Light and ODMP
He was survived by his wife, mother, father, 2 brothers and 1 sister.
On May 14, 1996, The City of San Antonio dedicated former South New Braunfels Park to Pytel Park, located 6200 S. New Braunfels. The park was officially named for Officer Pytel who dedicated his life to keeping parks safe for the citizens of San Antonio.
The San Antonio Park Police Explorer Post 9826 was established in memory and honor of Park Police Officer Paul Pytel. The San Antonio Park Police Explorer Post 9826 is for those 15 to 20 years of age and have a sincire interest in law enforcement. Teahing them on law enforcement topic such as: Basics of Law Enforcement; Accident Investigation; Arrest, Search and Seizure; Bomb Threats; Building Searches; Crime Scene Investigation; Crisis/Hostage Negotiation; Felony Stops; Physical Agility/Team Building; Robbery Investigation and Traffic Stops.