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Monday, June 24, 2024

Ocala assistant police chief, MCSO deputies remembered 69 years after dying in the line of duty

The Ocala Police Department honored the memory of three law enforcement officials who lost their lives during the line of duty 69 years ago, including an assistant chief of police whose great-grandson joined OPD in 2013.

Ocala police honor Assistant Chief of Police two deputies on anniversary of fatal shooting 1
Ocala’s Assistant Chief of Police Mahlon Otis Tuck and two MCSO deputies, Robert Wooten and Curtis Youngblood, were fatally shot on May 28, 1955.

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 quickly contacted law enforcement, and multiple officers, including Assistant Chief Tuck, soon 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.

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 on Tuesday morning, 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. His legacy lives on through his great-grandson, Sergeant Richard “Connor” Tuck, who joined OPD in 2013 and is following in his great-grandfather’s footsteps.

Ocala Police Assistant Chief Mahlon Otis Tuck and Officer Richard ‘Connor’ Tuck

“Today, let us honor the memory of Assistant Chief Mahlon Otis Tuck. His sacrifice is a powerful reminder of the inherent risks our law enforcement officers face daily, ensuring our peace and security,” stated the Ocala Police Department on its Facebook page. 

OPD continued 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.”