James John Szuba
Mishawaka Police Department
Saturday, January 9, 2010

Age: 42
Served: 7 years, 10 months
Badge #: 20172
Military Service:
Panel 23E, Line 27

Incident Details

Cause of Death:
Vehicular assault
Date/Time of Incident:
Saturday, January 9, 2010
09:20 pm
Incident to Death Duration:
Same day
Incident Location:
Fir Road and McKinley Avenue, Mishawaka
Incident County:
St. Joseph
Incident Township:
Weapon Used:
Automobile (alcohol involved)
Suspect Info:
Sentenced to 32½ years
(currently incarcerated)
Burial Location:
Saint Joseph Catholic Cemetery, Mishawaka

   Corporal James Szuba and his canine partner, Ricky, were killed when their squad car was struck while assisting with a pursuit.

   Corporal Szuba was proceeding northbound on Byrkit Avenue as it turns into Fir Road when his squad car was sideswiped by a drunken driver being pursued by another officer. The suspect had swerved around a vehicle parked at the stoplight at McKinley Avenue when he hit the oncoming squad car of Corporal Szuba and Ricky, who were both killed instantly.

   The 31-year-old suspect, who had a blood-alcohol content nearly three times the legal limit, was on probation for an 18-month sentence for delivery and manufacturing of marijuana. He was later convicted and sentenced to 32½ years for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated causing death, resisting law enforcement and possession of controlled substances.

   Corporal Szuba was survived by his wife, son, daughter, mother, two brothers and two sisters. His son currently serves as an officer with the New Carlisle Police Department. One brother currently serves as a sergeant and their father was a retired officer with the South Bend Police Department.