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HomeNewsLarchmont Police Officer Remembered as Killer is Paroled after 44 Years

Larchmont Police Officer Remembered as Killer is Paroled after 44 Years

A vigil in celebration of Larchmont Patrolman Arthur Dematte’s life and to remember his sacrifice is scheduled for Oct. 12 at 5 p.m. at the Patrolman Arthur Dematte Memorial Park at the corner of Palmer Avenue and Parkway Street in Larchmont.

Dematte is the only Larchmont Police Officer to die in the line of duty.

The man who killed Larchmont Police Officer Dematte 46 years ago has been granted parole after more than a dozen rejections, and will be released from the prison at Sing Sing by Oct. 18.

Anthony Blanks, now 69, shot and killed DeMatte Oct. 12, 1976 while the officer was attempting to remove Blanks, a transient, from railroad tracks behind the then Daitch – Shopwell supermarket.

Larchmont Daitch-Shopwell, 1982 Courtesy Westchester Historical Society

The suspect was able to gain control of Officer DeMatte’s service weapon and shot him. Dematte started to run off but Blanks pursued him and shot him in the chest.

Dematte’s teenaged daughter, Jane Dematte D’Amico, rushed to her father’s side from her job at the supermarket. She has since been one of the most vocal opponents of Blanks’ release.

Blanks tried to flee in the officer’s car, but it got stuck. He left the empty gun in the car and hid in some shrubs and was shot in the leg by responding officers.

Anthony Curtis Blanks in a 1998 NYS Department of Corrections photo. Blanks has been in prison since his conviction since 1978 following his conviction in the slaying of Larchmont police Officer Arthur DeMatte on October 12, 1976.
Anthony Curtis Blanks in a 1998 NYS Department of Corrections photo. Blanks has been in prison since his conviction in 1978 in the slaying of Larchmont police Officer Arthur DeMatte on October 12, 1976.

Blanks, who had a history of mental illness, had walked from New York City after arriving there from St. Louis a few days earlier to look for a job. He said he had not eaten in two days and had taken PCP during that time.

The jury that convicted him of first-degree murder in 1978 rejected his lawyer’s argument that Blanks suffered from extreme emotional disturbance at the time of the killing. He first became eligible for parole in 2001.

 

Polly Kreisman
Polly Kreisman
Polly Kreisman founded and began publishing theLoop in 2007. She is a 15-time Emmy Award winning former television reporter. In New York she worked at WPIX TV, WWOR TV, WNBC TV and NY1. She covered politics on Capitol Hill in Washington DC earlier in her career. For the past several years she has pursued professional acting roles in film, television and commercials. She is the mother of twins, and therefore nothing scares her. She lives in Larchmont.
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