Today in 1955, Charleston Police Lieutenant Joseph Vega, 49, suffered a fatal heart attack while attempting to break up a fight between two airmen on Wentworth Street while off duty. One of the subjects attempted to flee the scene and was chased by another off-duty patrolman. When the patrolman returned to the scene he found Lieutenant Vega on the ground.
Both suspects were charged with being drunk and disorderly and fighting in the street. They were both fined $100.
Joseph Vega’s name has been engraved on the South Carolina Law Enforcement Memorial at the Statehouse in Columbia and at the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, DC, located on panel “12, W-10”. A plaque bearing Joseph Vega’s name is displayed at the South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Hall of Fame in Columbia.