Tribute to Marshal Lewis

Marshal Raymond B. Lewis 

The Castle Rock Police Department celebrates the heroic actions of Marshal Raymond B. Lewis who lost his life on Feb. 14, 1949.

Seventeen-year-old Manuel Perez was a fugitive wanted for shooting two Denver police officers. Despite an extensive manhunt, he eluded authorities until the tragic day of Feb. 14, 1946. In an attempt to lay low, Perez came to Castle Rock where he believed he would not be recognized.

Marshal Raymond Lewis historical photoWhile sitting in the B&B Café (corner of Wilcox and Fourth streets), patrons who had seen newspaper photos recognized Perez. They summoned the only officer in Town, Marshal Raymond Lewis.

When Marshal Lewis arrived at the café, Perez became suspicious and attempted to leave. Lewis approached Perez and told the wanted teenager to put his hands in the air. Instead, Perez quickly turned on Lewis and pulled a revolver from his coat. He fatally shot the Marshal. One bullet struck Lewis at point-blank range in the chest, while the other grazed his shoulder. Defending themselves with a flowerpot and a hunting knife, café customers jumped on the gun-wielding murderer.

Several shots were fired during the struggle. One of the customers was shot in the hand, while Perez suffered a grazing shot to the ear. Perez was eventually subdued and held until Undersheriff Duncan Lowell arrived and made the arrest. A bullet hole still can be seen in the café’s ceiling near the ceiling fan. Another is in the back of the bar.

Lewis was survived by his wife, Ruth, and their four children: Bob, Wayne, Donna and Marlene.

Perez was subsequently convicted of first-degree murder. As a minor, he could not receive the death penalty and instead was sentenced to life in prison. He later was killed in a prison fight.

Every year on or around Feb. 14, the Castle Rock Police Department hangs a wreath at the intersection of Wilcox and Fourth streets in honor of Marshal Lewis.