Police Officer Richard F. Gipson was fatally stricken while struggling with a suspect at O’Hare Airport. Gipson, an outdoor patrol officer at O’Hare, was to have gone on furlough and then into retirement the next day.
Two suspects attempted to purchase tickets from American Airlines with a stolen check. American Airlines had been notified by Trans World Airlines regarding two people who just tried to purchase tickets, and had been turned away because the check was suspicious. When the suspects showed up at the American counter, they provided three identifications cards, none of which matched the checks. The two were invited into a back room and security notified Officer Gipson, who was on patrol outside. When Officer Gipson arrived, one suspect tore the check into pieces and attempted to eat it. Officer Gipson struggled with the suspect and then collapsed into a chair, and lost consciousness.
Both suspects were in custody of Area 5 Violent Crimes police.
Officer Gipson had served with the agency for 24 years and was assigned to the 016th District. He was survived by his wife, daughter, and two grandsons.