A Story: Pretty woMAN

“Throughout my life, David has been one of the most present friends I’ve ever had.  I’ve known him since middle school and he has consistently kept in touch and reached out to me to connect with him.

In middle school and high school, David was that friend with the awesome apartment that invited me over pretty much every other weekend.  We were a bit awkward together, but found solace bonding over Dragon Ball Z and playing video games.  He always sat me down to play games with him… where he pretty much wrecked me every time.  That set the tone of our friendship. We hung out in loud places such as bars with friends and one on one gaming together or just chatting at his place.  We stayed in touch, when I was in college.  Whenever I was back home, I always took time off to chill with David.  In Seattle, we kept in touch over Xbox Live and the occasional call.   And back in New York, I was always with Dave until he left to Texas.

After high school, I had my heart broken by a crush that broke up with me, which lasted a good time even into college.  David took it upon himself to get me back into dating.  His method was simple, get me as drunk as he could possibly get me, point to someone and push me into that person. Sometimes, he’d even tell that person some fake story about me!  I would awkwardly fumble through whatever situation he put me in. 

I always had a lot of fun hanging out with him.  He always pushed me. He’d tell me to just talk to people and get comfortable.  He even took it upon himself to get a friend to “pretty woman” me and clean me up for dating after he left for Texas!  He helped me break out of my comfort zone, and I appreciated it and was always down to hang with him and act stupid.”

~ Greg T., Friend

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A break from snowmobiling on Mooselookmeguntic Lake in Rangeley, Maine

A Story: On Missing The Last Train Out

“I met Dave when we both worked together in the beginning of our careers, our lockers were close to each other’s in the same row at work.  And like many of the friendships he started, ours began with him encouraging me to go out with him after our tour.  I was sometimes reluctant because I knew that if I went with him I’d end up missing my late train from Penn station and would have to end up having to “wait” until the early morning train.  And “waiting” just means staying out longer. Anyone who relies on the LIRR knows what that means.  But when I gave in I never regretted it (accept for maybe the slight hang-over) and when I agreed he usually responded with a,“yeah kiiiiiiiiiiid!”

He took me to his spot, introduced me to all his friends, and made sure I was always taken care of.  He was always having a good time and just wanted me to have a good time too.  It was that simple.  He wanted to share this happiness with anyone and everyone, he didn’t keep it to himself.  Texas was no different.  I remember when he first called me to tell me about his plans.  My phone rang and when I answered, his first words were literally, “North Richland Hills”, which is one of the City’s close to Euless.  At that time, when you took the entrance exam for Euless PD, that exam made you eligible for several other departments that hire off of the same list, North Richland Hills included.  He was so pumped to pursue his career down there, and so excited to build that dream life (and especially to have his own pool), that how he got there and where he worked was just, at first, a minor technicality.  Eventually he called me back to tell me it was Euless he really wanted, but I still laugh at that first call.  And right away he was encouraging me to take the test too. He hadn’t even been there yet! He was just so sure about it.

He told me about everything, step-by-step on the whole process, and we talked often once he left.  I had been down to visit and saw everything first hand just as he described. Himself, Marta and the rest of his Texas family have built a great new home in a short period of time.

As has already been described time and time again, Dave was a great, loyal, honest, dependable and trustworthy friend.  He was my go-to for advice and he was always good for a laugh.  Especially when he used his German accent, which was probably my favorite thing.”

~ Sean F., former NYPD

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A Story: Making Moves

“It took a few months, but I am so lucky that Dave convinced us to move to Texas. I met Dave 3 years ago and Dave went from being a character (“my partner”) that I only heard about to a amazing friend of my own. I have so many memories from the past 7 months that I will cherish an entire lifetime. I figured I’d share the day we moved to Texas.

We walked out of the airport and there was Dave. Standing outside his car waving to us with the biggest smile on his face. He embraced Mike and I and said: “Welcome to the good life!” He was right. Mike and I scheduled our car and furniture to be delivered all in the same day as we moved.  As we got into Dave’s car I saw two red bulls, one for Mike and one for me, a huge bottle of wine for me and a humidor for Mike. Considering Dave loved cigars, whether Mike liked them or not, he better start! And, he did! 

He brought us to to pick up Mike’s car and then followed us to our apartment. Instead of doing whatever he needed to do, he sat outside and waited for us to finish our hour-long paperwork. He did a walk-through of our apartment. And, after all this he took us to lunch, paid as a “welcome to Texas”meal (which of course included sangria!). 

He then brought us to Total Wine and back to the apartment. Now, you’d think after a full day of helping us, Dave would go home.  No, not Dave. He carried couches, beds, televisions, and so many boxes into our apartment. Finally he turned to Mike and I and said: “Stop! You have time to unpack. You need to enjoy your time here!” So, we went to the pool. We drank beers, and the boys smoked cigars. 

Dave was Mike’s best friend, but did not know me or owe me anything. Through the next few months Dave spent at least three days a week at our apartment. Each time, taking the to get to know me. His friendship with Mike is something I will always cherish. And to me, he became a brother.”

~ Stefanie O., Friend

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A Story: My Dear Friend Dave

Two Years ago, I got on a plane and took a vacation to visit my cousin Ed and his wife Michelle who had recently moved down to Dallas, Texas. In that short weekend I met a wonderful group of people. One in particular stood out to me. Dave.

On that trip to Texas, I had my first glass of moonshine, my first shot of fireball because there was no saying no to Dave. I learned that very quickly.

Having loved Texas so much I planned to go back in a few months during the summer to look at apartments and a potential job opportunity.

Again, I was lucky enough to spend two weeks down there with this special group of people. My cousin and his wife welcomed me in as did their friends.

I remember Dave for a good chunk of my two weeks there, telling me that I would be crazy not to move down here.

Eventually a couple of months later, I decided I would move down to Texas, try it out and just take a risk. After my big move, the first time I saw Dave his words were “I told you that you’d be back.” He was right.

After having lost my mother in 2013, I also lost some friendships, true friendships. I felt people didn’t know how to be around me, didn’t know what to say, and pitied me. This group of people in Texas just got me. Having had shared with them in different settings the story about my mom, they all just understood. They didn’t pity me, they didn’t look at me differently when they found out and they knew how to keep me smiling and busy.

A good amount of my time down there in Texas was spent with Dave and Marta. They welcomed me with open arms; they constantly included me and invited me to go out with them. I never felt uncomfortable or out of place or like I was third wheeling.

I always looked forward to getting a text from Dave. Some consisted of…

“Sangria. Our place. 4:00.”

“Village Burger Bar. Be there”

“Poolside Sunday fun day. Meet us at the pool”

I also always looked forward to going to Ed and Michelle’s after work. At the time I did not have a washer and dryer so I did wash at Ed and Michelle’s every Thursday. Just about every Thursday I walked in to the house to find Ed and Dave just hanging out. Just about every time they were drunk, half naked, or poolside, fireside, and passing out on the couch.

My favorite story had to be when I arrived at Ed’s house around 5:30. I can see them sitting by the fire-pit as I walked through the door. I walked in and was welcomed by Ed with a “What’s uppp Teacherrrr?” and from Dave with a “What’s up kiddddddddd? Want some fireball?”

We got on the topic of the word “BAE”. A new word everyone was using to refer to their significant other. Ed and Dave having never head of that term asked me what it meant. I first asked them to guess. You can only imagine the guesses that came out of their drunken mouths.

“balls, and ass eater” is just one example.

I eventually told them it meant “before anyone/thing else”

They found this comical and extremely stupid. They  started asking each other if they wanted to be their BAE’s. The next five minutes consisted of Ed and Dave looking all googly-eyed at each other, sticking their tongues out, licking their cups and being weird. Telling each other how much they loved each other. This was nothing new to me, I always enjoyed watching this and decided to film it. It is a video I watch back frequently.

Then….

Drunk Ed asked Drunk Dave to make him a glass of scotch. There happened to be just a little bit of scotch left. Dave did as he was asked and brought drunk Ed his drink. Drunk Ed was NOT happy. Drunk Ed was insistent that drunk Dave spiked the glass with fireball. As an eye witness, drunk Dave did not spike the drink. Drunk Ed went to make a new drink only to find that there was NO MORE SCOTCH! Drunk Ed went on a rant and Ed was not having this. Dave felt bad and said he would go to Total Wine to get him a new bottle.

There was no way drunk Dave was driving to his favorite spot so I offered to take him. He refused to go in my “toy car” as he called it so he allowed me to drive his car.

“Woah slowdown”

“Watch out”

“Goooo”

“Be careful with my car”

“Watch the bump”

“Go faster”

“You’re driving on the floor lights, don’t you hear it?”

Let’s just say I never drove Dave’s car again……..

Because drunk Ed and drunk Dave weren’t drunk enough, Dave bought a bottle of fireball and a giant bottle of scotch to make up for drunk Ed accusing him of spiking his drink.

This ordeal of drunken stupidness continued as more friends started to show up. The boys had planned on going to “the spot” at the Shops at Legacy. They told me I should come and have a drink with all them. I was in my sweats and had no desire to be at a bar. So I offered to drop them off. As they all got out of the car Dave and Ed looked and me and Dave said , “You better go home, change and come meet us.”

As I was driving home I decided I would go home, change, and meet them, as per Dave’s request. We’ll just say it was an interesting night of watching drunken 30 year olds at the bar.

There are countless days and nights that I was able to spend with Dave. Some comical like the story above and some just low key nights. Dave always welcomed me to their apartment, always included me when his friends came to town for the weekend. He tried to set me up with a number of his friends because all he truly wanted was for people to be happy. He looked out for me like a little sister. Most importantly he always kept me laughing hysterically and smiling when I was hurting inside.

Dave was a good guy. He was genuine, selfless, beautiful, funny, kind, generous, happy, intelligent, silly and a friend. There aren’t many people I called a friend after the passing of my mom. But to me, even in just the two and a half years I knew Dave, he was a good friend.

My time in Texas came to an end, I was missing my family in New York and decided to move back and just take it a year at a time. When I told Dave and Marta, they were sad. I spent a lot of time with them before I left. We spent a day balcony and pool hopping, drinking Sangria and just laughing. A lot of the conversation consisted of Dave saying , “You are crazy to move back.” “You are going to go home, be miserable and come back. Just wait, you’ll see.” “Don’t leave, don’t go back to New York.”

My Dear Friend Dave,

You are a beautiful human.

I thank you for your friendship.

I thank you for being you.

I thank you for the laughter.

I thank you for the memories.

I thank you for looking out for me.

I thank you for your service, for your ultimate sacrifice. You are my hero.

When I close my eyes I can summon back your smile and laughter in my mind.

You will live on in my heart.

~ Allissa P., Friend

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A Tribute: Three Months Gone (and a Slideshow)

Today marks three months since Dave was killed. How surreal. In this time, I can honestly say that I have done nothing but think about him and the circumstances of his death. It makes me feel like I’m a bit in a time-warp, like everything just happened. But then, in a way, that makes sense. His being gone means a complete restructuring of everything I thought I knew about what my life would be like. I may have had many possible versions for my life when I thought about what the future might bring, but fundamentally, he was part of all of those versions. I say this as Dave’s sister, and I know it’s even more acute for Marta. The most heart-breaking thought, to me, is that when I eventually have children, they won’t know Dave. Someone who was so, so, so important to me, will simply be a collection of stories to them.

I thought it fitting to post the slideshow that Lucas Funeral Homes put together for Dave’s viewing. If you have 10 minutes, and are somewhere private (because: tears), watch it.

David was a son, a fiancee, a brother, a grandson, an uncle, a cousin, a best friend to so, so many, and the funniest dang person any of us knew. If love alone could have kept him safe, he would be with us still.

A Story: Taking the Jump

Dave seemed to have a knack for being memorable even through the briefest of interactions. He truly understood people and could bridge gaps like very few people I know. Here is another example.

First and foremost, I want to express how sorry I am for your loss.  Our thoughts and prayers have been, and will always be with your family, Marta, and those closest to Dave.  Though my fiancee and I didn’t know Dave very long, or very well, I still felt compelled to share a memory of him, because it truly is a testament to his generosity, his character, his love of the job and of Texas.  

My fiancee and I, both born and raised in New York, were told by friends about an opportunity to possibly work and live in Texas.  My fiancee loved the whole idea from the get-go, but being the typical Type A personality that I am, I knew that if I was even going to consider this craziness, I would need to do my research and see all of it first-hand before I made a decision.  Enter Dave.  My fiancee was given his number, and they talked back and forth for several days about the possibilities that Texas presented for us.  As the days went on, I was getting a bit skeptical about this mysterious “Dave” character. 

Eventually after many, many conversations, we decided to fly down to Texas for a few days to check out the area and see it all for ourselves.  Dave and Marta, without ever having met me at all, were more than willing to meet us and show us around. For the few days we were there, they worked around their already busy schedules to show us their favorite spots in the area.  Total Wine was one of the first places Dave told us about (because, priorities).  Babe’s Chicken Dinner House gave us a real Texas feel, and the Shops at Legacy made me see that this wasn’t exactly the rural version of Texas I had envisioned.  They showed us restaurants, shops, apartment complexes, you name it, and when they couldn’t physically be with us, they pointed us in the right direction.  Dave even took my fiancee on a ride along so that he could see first hand what the department was like. I was in awe of their generosity, their kindness, and of Texas. But still, I was hesitant about making a move this big.

On our last day, before we made our way to the airport, Dave took my fiancee and I to TruFire, which was yet another delicious choice.  My fiancee left the table for a moment, and without me having to say a word, Dave called me out on my hesitation.  He asked what was holding me back, and wanted to know what my biggest concern was.  I told him that this was a big risk.  I was afraid I’d miss my family too much, and that taking a jump this big would ultimately end up being a big mistake.  I held my breath a bit, because I knew how Dave felt about Texas, and his decision to move here, and considering he had spent the last few days showing us around,  I was anticipating a little irritation in his response.  I got the opposite.  Dave was considerate and honest.  He told me that he understood my concerns, that they were valid, and that ultimately and obviously it was our decision to make, but that he could guarantee if we took the jump, I wouldn’t regret it.  

Fast forward to now, May of 2016.  I’ve been living in Texas for almost a year and some of my favorite places are still ones that Dave and Marta showed me during our first visit. Our journey here has had its ups and downs, its twists and turns, and it certainly did not turn out like we had originally planned, but what more can be expected of life?  Although my fiancee and I are making our way back to New York next month, I couldn’t be happier with our decision to have moved here.  It is an experience that I am truly grateful for and one I will never forget.

As I reflect back on our time here, I can’t help but think back to our first trip to Texas.  Dave’s love for this place and the possibilities it presented inspired me to push outside of my comfort zone and take a leap of faith, something I don’t often do.  Although we didn’t speak much, and didn’t know each other well, I will always be grateful to have met him.  Ultimately, he was right. I took the jump, and I don’t regret it. 

– Dana F.

In Memory: 05/23/16

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Dear Euless Police Department,
you are very hard you sode take a brak, and I know that work is a hard job for you and whowhaver barck the law you can fix it and that is why you impotin and in school you tell safty ruals thats is who I like you. u are very nice to popole and that is how people sould respet you and that is a good way and I will like your dog they take care of Baby and they are very playfull and in your Belt you have a lot of cool stuf and you use that stuf only for Big emges and in your car they is a comptur that can chack the Bad gus and put them in jail or give them a tick for Draving fast and that is very cool and you can go fast to cach the Bad gus or the man who is Dariveing fast and if you are in a hur you can chang the light to green when it is on red and you only do that becuos someone brack the law and is very cool and th camers take picase if someone run a red lights and you can charck him down with your compouther it whould be much Easyer then looking and that is now I like and and I went in one of your cars it has a lot of a cool stuf in they and I wish I can be a Police man when I grow up and you are nice and and that make you impotet and you all so save live and that is like a super Hero and that is how you are cool.

A Story: Making It Through The Rookie Years

“I worked with Dave in the ninth precinct. Dave was a class act and a fun guy. He was always inviting everyone out for drinks after our shift was finished on the 4×12’s. I admit I declined the invitation often because parenting on a hangover is tough! Those rare occasions I did accept were filled with hysterical stories revolving around Dave and his antics at work and the bar!

One particular night I decide to “belly up” at the bar. It’s not crowded, most likely a week night. It’s only a few of us inside and after doing a shot with Dave he starts telling me he’s thinking about quitting the job, saying that it just sucks.

He’s still a rookie and I’m well beyond my rookie years by the time he’s telling me this. Being a rookie in the NYPD means dealing with a whole lot of nonsense: standing on long foot posts every day and getting all the crap assignments; getting handed all crap arrests that keep you on your feet all day at the hospital; all day on your feet at central booking. And, finally, signing out after 16hrs and then returning to work the next day or some cases in a few hours later and repeating same process. It can be discouraging. So, as I’m listening to Dave, I make a joke about it but he’s telling me he’s serious about quitting. Dave tells me he was a cadet and that they helped with college while he was a cadet and that he has his bachelor’s degree. So I’m trying to convince him to stay, and he’s adamant that it sucks! He’s quitting! I ask him:

‘ How old are you?’
‘ 23 ‘ he says
‘ You have a college degree? ‘
‘ yup ‘ he says
‘ Put your hand in your pocket what do you have? ‘ He’s smiling as he’s doing this.
‘ A couple of twenties ‘ he says
‘ Your friends? What are your friends doing with themselves? ‘
‘ Nothing ‘ he says

I said: Dave, you’re 23yrs old with a college degree, a cop with a  career in the NYPD. You have a twenty dollar bill on the bar with some extras in your pocket. How many of your friends that are doing nothing can say that?

He smiles and says: yes… lets do some shots! Your brother never quit. Your brother stayed a cop. I will always remember him smiling!

It’s hard to parlay all your thoughts into typing sentences. After hearing your father, yourself and Dave’s fiancé speak about him, I guess my point is that Dave chose a path of righteousness, that requires unselfishness, compassion, and bravery. It’s easy to forget about compassion and become selfish doing this job. Dave never lost sight of that. May Dave & God always be in your heart and blessings!

~ Chris P., NYPD

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A Story: Mickey’s Adoption Adventures

Remember how Mickey took over, later to be referred to as Dave’s “main man?” Read on to find out more about how their first meeting was actually like.

“I had the honor of working with David for several months.  He was so kind and a pleasure to supervise.  When we started working together we had 2 objectives: keep the peace and find a dog Marta would fall in love with.  Within a few days “Mickey” found his way to the Euless shelter.  I stopped by the shelter to pick up some supplies for my fosters and was informed about the new arrival.  When I saw Mickey I knew he would be perfect for David and too cute for Marta to resist. I could not wait to text David and share the good news but Mickey was stinky and had not been taught basic dog manners, so I was going to wait a few days before telling him.  Mickey was introduced to his foster sisters and became the perfect foster brother.  After a bath and 2 days of practicing his manners I sent David a photo Mickey.  He replied, “Will you be home tomorrow?”  I told David I was available and he said he would come in the morning around 10, and he wanted to bring Mike S. because he was looking for a dog too.

Lyn G. and I were training for an upcoming race and needed to complete 5 miles that day.  I told her we would need to start early because David was coming to meet Mickey.  As luck would have it the following morning the rain was pouring down so Lyn and I drove to Grapevine Mills Mall and completed our miles inside.  I knew when we left I would have time to get home and make sure Mickey was ready to meet David.

Oddly enough when I walked out of the mall I realized I locked my keys in my car.  In a panic I told Lynn to start walking – it was 3 miles to my house and if we hurried we could beat David and Mike.  It was raining, cold, and hard to keep a fast pace. About a mile away my phone rings – it was David and he was at my house. I asked him to please come pick us up.  When I got inside the car I told David and Mike I was sorry for smelling like a goat but my deodorant stopped working about 3 miles ago.  David said, “Uhh speaking of a goat…do you have one in your backyard?”  I said, Noooo and he told me when he was at my house he heard something making a noise like a goat.  I knew Mickey had to be up to something so before David put his car in park I was running towards the door – I first noticed a pillow Mickey had destroyed all over the house – I followed the pillow trail to the backyard and immediately heard the goat sound.

I could see all the dogs but Mickey so when I turned the corner to view the pool area there was Mickey in the deep end of the pool hanging on to the side for dear life communicating his distress with goat sounds.  There was no hiding the stuffing from the pillow or the fact Mickey was in the pool so I screamed, “David, HELLLP!”   David reached down and pulled Mickey from the water.  I will never forget the look of David standing there holding that silly dog.

As far as an introduction it was a disaster and I told David I did not know what to say.  He only looked confused and said, “What?! He is perfect.”  David asked if I would keep Mickey until he and Marta moved into their home.  So over the next few weeks I loved on Mickey while David worked his magic on Marta.  David would instruct me to send lots of pictures of Mickey so he could share them with Marta.

On December 15, 2015 David and Marta arrived to take Mickey to his new home.  I forgot David had told Marta this was a “trial” period with Mickey but when she saw her address on Mickey’s dog tag she just smiled.  I watched Mickey drive off with two of the most precious people I have ever met.  Mickey continued to be mischievous, Marta continued to be patient, and David was so proud of the dog he rescued.”

~ Kim P., Euless PD

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A Story: No Drinks That Night

“I called Dave once to see if he wanted to go out for drinks. “I would but I can’t,” he texted. I teased him for being flaky, and he wrote back “This homeless woman just wet herself and I have to take care of it.” He wasn’t showing off. Just telling me the facts. I was so impressed. I felt like such a jerk for teasing him. But that was David; too busy casually saving the world to grab a beer.”

~ Marian L., Friend

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Photo Credit: one of the many random tourists who would ask Dave to take a pic while he worked Time Square (found on Flickr)