RIDGE was born on May 21, 1944. He grew up in the the
lower end of Camden County. His father owned the White Horse Motel on
the White Horse Pike, and "Woody" Ridge lived there as a boy. He
joined the Camden Police Department August 9, 1968. On July 2, 1973 he
died in the line of duty.
Ridge, known to his brother officers as "Woody", was killed by
gunshot wound from his own weapon which was taken from him while
answering to a domestic dispute assignment. While attempting to separate
the two offenders Officer Ridge's handgun was taken from his holster and
he was shot.
Montell Williams was the first officer on the scene after was shot. He
related in November of 2002:
was never dispatched to the domestic but drove up on it at the corner of Broadway and Van
Hook Street. After being shot he walked across the street to
Rudolph's Original Liquors and asked for help. The man inside helped him
lay down and loosened his clothes to aid his breathing then called the
of us arrived almost simultaneously at the scene, there was me and my
partner Bill Athey and Woody's normal partner Chet DeShields. Chet and
Woody were more than just regular partners, they were very close friends
even off duty."
large funeral was held for officer Ridge. The Philadelphia Police
Department provided manpower for traffic duty to free up Camden officers
so they could attend the funeral
shooter, Derrick Butler, was arrested by Philadelphia police for
throwing bottles at cars and then bragged to them that he had just
killed a Camden police officer. Derrick Butler was sentenced to
life in prison.
was married, with no children. His wife was about four months pregnant
at the time of his death.