By: Keith Dameron, Historian – Colorado Law Enforcement Memorial

Pueblo Police Officer Elmer A. Trout, 36, died September 23, 1935, as a result of injuries received five years earlier when he was attacked and severely beaten outside Benfatti pool hall at 333 North Union Ave. in Pueblo.

On February 22, 1930, Officer Trout (then 30) attempted to disperse a mob of 15-20 “young hoodlums” when the group assaulted him, cut him on the head, neck and face with a knife, then knocked him down and kicked him numerous times knocking him unconscious. Officer Trout did manage to fire his gun one time and wound a suspect, Angelo Martino, 23, in the leg, before his gun jammed after the first shot. Investigating officers included Night Captain Reuben Pratt and Officers Dewey Roberts and John Hopkins. They found that Officer Trout had attempted to break up the group as they were causing a disturbance and shouting insults at people passing by. Sixteen people were arrested for the attack but twelve were released during the trial when witnesses were unable to positively identify them as being part of the gang that beat the officer. The four that were identified at the trial on March 6, 1930, were: Steve Buccambuso, 17, Sam Buccambuso, 21, their father, Gaetano (Tony) Buccambuso, 58, and Martino. Officer Trout, and others, testified at the trial. The four were convicted of rioting by a three-man jury in Justice of the Peace, William Walk’s court on March 6, 1930. Sam Buccambuso received a 6-month jail sentence while his brother Steve and Angelo Martino each received three-month sentences. Tony Buccambuso was fine $100.00 and costs.

Elmer Arthur Trout was born on February 27, 1899, in Canton (McPherson County) Kansas, He married Wilma May Davis on July 1, 1927, in Pueblo. Elmer started working for the Colorado Steelworks on August 14, 1917, left to join the US Marine Corp on June 5, 1918, and returned to the Steelworks after his discharge from the military on March 27, 1919. He quit the Steelworks and joined the Pueblo Police Department on March 2, 1927. As a result of the injuries, he received in the attack, he developed an epileptic condition and was forced to retire from the force on July 16, 1934, receiving a pension from the city. Elmer Trout was admitted to the city hospital on September 11 and died there on Monday, September 23, 1935, from Diphtheria. Physicians reported that his injuries from five years earlier were responsible for the death. He was survived by his wife and four children; Elmer Arthur (Jr.) 7, Willa Mae, 5, Geraldine Ruth, 3, and Joyce Emily, 2. Services were held on September 26 at the Davis Mortuary with interment following at Roselawn Cemetery.

EOW: 23 Sep 1935 
Cause of Death: Assault Injuries

Pueblo Police Department - Chief Luis Velez
Trout family history provided to Pueblo PD
Pueblo Chieftain – Mar 4, 1917: Feb 23-26, Mar 1,2,7, 1930: Sep 24-26, 1935
Pueblo Star Journal – Jul 7, 23, 1934; Sep 26, 1935
Ancestry- Library Edition