The Ocala Police Department is remembering an Assistant Chief of Police and two Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputies who were tragically killed in the line of duty 68 years ago.
On May 28, 1955, Assistant Chief Mahlon Otis Tuck responded to a distress call that led him to the scene of the murders of two MCSO deputies: Robert Wooten and Curtis Youngblood.
According to OPD, earlier that afternoon, Deputies Wooten and Youngblood had responded to a residence located at 615 Elizabeth Street (now NE 19th Street) to speak with two individuals, Edward Lindley and Bertha Lindley, who were suspected of stealing kerosene from a neighbor.
As the deputies approached the residence, Bertha emerged with a shotgun. When deputy Wooten attempted to disarm her, Edward fired a rifle from inside the home. The shot struck Deputy Wooten and he was killed instantly.
OPD stated that Edward then aimed the rifle at Deputy Youngblood and fired another shot, which fatally wounded the deputy. Neighbors contacted law enforcement, and multiple officers, including Assistant Chief Tuck, quickly arrived at the incident location.
Edward continued firing at the officers as they surrounded the home, and Tuck sustained gunshot wounds. Tuck was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his fatal injuries.
According to OPD, Edward was eventually apprehended. He was later determined to be mentally ill, and he was transported to a state mental hospital where he later died.
In a social media post, the Ocala Police Department stated that the loss of the two MSCO deputies and Assistant Chief Tuck sent shockwaves through the community. Tuck left behind a grieving wife, three sons, and two daughters.
Tuck’s legacy continues to live on through his great-grandson, Sergeant Richard “Connor” Tuck, who joined OPD in 2013 and is following in his great-grandfather’s footsteps.
“Today, let us honor the memory of Assistant Chief Mahlon Otis Tuck. His sacrifice serves as a powerful reminder of the inherent risks our law enforcement officers face daily, ensuring our peace and security,” stated OPD.
The police department concluded the social media post by stating, “We express our deepest gratitude to Assistant Chief Tuck, Deputies Wooten, and Youngblood for their unwavering commitment to protecting and serving. May they never be forgotten.”