On November 30th 1995, Tony Luketic and his mom were waiting to make a brief banking transaction at the Society National Bank in the Collinwood section of Cleveland (Ohio) when their lives were forever changed. Luketic, an officer from nearby University Circle, was off duty and decided to go unarmed to the bank that day. He would later tell countless attendees to the Street Survival Seminar that this was the last day he’d leave the house unarmed.
While standing in the teller line, an armed assailant named Ollie Tate — already a frequent flier with convictions for a variety of prior offenses — entered the bank with the intention of robbing the place. During the commission of his crime that November day, Tate would add attempted murder of a police officer to his sheet.
Because he was unarmed, Luketic decided to be “a good witness” until the moment he observed Tate threaten to shoot one of the tellers — the teller was too terrified to comply with Tate’s order to give him the money in the drawer. So, Luketic identified himself as a police officer, and soon thereafter a life-and-death struggle ensued. Luketic was shot once in the leg but managed to knock the gun out of Tate’s hand.
An Execution Averted
Seconds later, Tate managed to get the gun back. He then shot Luketic’s 51-year-old mom in the stomach. As Tate took aim to place another shot on Luketic’s mother, the injured LEO grabbed for the assailant’s gun a second time. Tate managed to shove the gun into Luketic’s armpit and fire, leaving Luketic totally disabled, his arm held on only by his sweatshirt and leather coat.
Tate then stood over Officer Luketic, put the gun to his head, and pulled the trigger. The five-shot revolver was empty. Tate failed at his cold-blooded attempted execution of a man he knew to be a police officer only because he had run out of ammunition.
Ollie Tate, now 79-years-old, is up for parole later this year.
A Ribbon a Daughter’s Hair
Luketic was a finalist in an essay contest we held on PoliceOne several years ago in which he wrote, “I intervened and suffered two gunshot wounds and serious injuries to my body. My injuries left me in a wheelchair for several months, no use of my left hand, and deeply depressed. I then believed that was the turning point of my life, but in reality, it was minor compared to my daughter’s request three months later.”
His daughter’s request: “Daddy, can you put a ribbon in my hair?”
If you haven’t yet read Luketic’s amazing essay, I strongly encourage you to do so before you close down your computer today. Something else I’d like you to do before you turn off your computer is to write a letter to the Parole Board considering Tate’s parole request. You may also want to visit the Facebook page created by Luketic’s daughter, Bethany.
Very Specific Parameters
As you are likely already aware, I’ve developed a set of SOPs for this kind of effort, but this case is a little different. This time, the Ohio Parole Board has laid out some very specific parameters to writing a letter.
• For handwritten and typed “hard copy” letters, each page of each letter must have the offender name and institution number at the top right hand corner
• To submit an email, you must ensure that the “Subject Line” includes the offender name and institution number — offender name and number must also be included in the body of the email
• The offender is Ollie Tate and his institution number is A321120
• All letters and emails must be submitted no later than November 30, 2011
• Emails can be sent to DRC.Victim.Services@odrc.state.oh.us and handwritten/typed “hard copy” letters can be sent to the following mailing address:
Office of Victim Services
770 West Broad Street
Columbus, OH 43222
For more information about this case, check out the below video news report from a local television station. As always, thanks for your help in keeping behind bars anyone and everyone who has killed or attempted to kill a cop. Together, we’re making a difference, one offender at a time.