Willoughby: Community mourns loss of patrolman

10:40 PM, Sep 22, 2012   |    comments
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WILLOUGHBY--  A growing memorial has been built at the tree where Patrolman Jason Gresko was killed Friday night. 

Among those stopping by to see the tribute was his Aunt Tammy.

"I only remember Jason as a little Jason... fun-loving, happy kid who liked to help people," said Tammy.

Patrolman Gresko was responding to a call from a fellow Willoughby police officer. That officer was requesting help dealing with a combative person at Lake West Hospital. 

He was on his way when a car turned out in front of his cruiser on Harmony Lane. It caused patrolman Gresko to lose control of his car.  He hit a tree before spinning to a stop in a neighboring lawn.

Gresko worked part-time with Willoughby PD and full-time with Cleveland Clinic PD.

"He made us all better people... we're truly going to miss him," said Cleveland Clinic Police Chief David Easton. 

Both departments came together for a press conference Saturday afternoon. 

Patrolman Gresko was named Officer of the Year by Willoughby Police Department back in 2009. 

They say he had just returned from a trip to Arlington National Cemetery where Gresko participated in a wreath-laying on the grave of an unknown soldier.

Gresko leaves behind a wife and a two-year-old daughter. 

Patrolman Gresko is the first Willoughby officer to die in the line of duty in more than 50 years. He's the third ever in the department's history.


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