End of Watch: 08/22/1940
Agency: U.S. Marshals Service
County: Pierce County
On Thursday, August 22, 1940 Marshal Artis Chitty was transporting two bank robbers from a courtroom inside the Federal Building in Tacoma when he was assaulted when they attempted to escape.
Marshal Chitty was escorting Paul Cretzer and Arnold Kyle to a U.S. District Courtroom so they could face escape charges. The two had attempted escape from McNeil Island in April 1940.
Cretzer and Kyle were handcuffed together when Cretzer struck Marshal Chitty in the cheek. This caused Marshal Chitty to stumble back and hit his head on the cell wall. Kyle then attempted to get Marshal Chitty’s revolver, but other marshals and guards subdued the two.
Marshal Chitty walked from the cells into his office where he collapsed and died.
An autopsy found that his death was related to a blood clot that resulted from his being assaulted. Cretzer and Kyle were convicted of his murder.
Artis Chitty served as Marshal for the United States Department of Justice for 6 years. He is survived by his wife and two daughters.