A Story: Workouts, Fast Food & Zero-Calorie Beverages

This is part 6 of a longer note I received from Bryan R. about the Dave’s “humorously paradoxical lifestyle” as Bryan so nicely put it. For related posts see: Part 1; Part 2; Part 3; Part 4; Part 5.

“When I visited Dave in TX, most work-out sessions never came to light. “I haven’t gone to the gym in two days, I have to go today.”  Yet, somehow, the car would veer off at the nearest What-A-Burger…and eventually home.  Though if you consider that a forearm workout, by all means!

We used to laugh at how broke we might have been some weeks, yet that never stopped us from heading out on the town and ending it with a whole assortment of McDonald’s drive-thru items, which ran us to our very last penny.

Dave liked to drink vodka-soda’s.  He called it water.  “Zero calories.”

Bryan R., NYPD


A Story: Jaeger

This is part 5 of a longer note I received from Bryan R. about the Dave’s “humorously paradoxical lifestyle” as Bryan so nicely put it. I decided to make it into a few posts that will be posted in the coming days. For related posts see: Part 1; Part 2; Part 3; Part 4.

“After a hard-night’s work, myself, Dave and others enjoyed heading out for a beverage and relaxation. He’d whine: “Why does everyone come to me and ask me about plans for tonight?” Yet mass-texts would fly out of his phone during the course of a tour, stating exactly where he would head to. While we might wake up the next day feeling sluggish (if you catch my euphemism), he still enjoyed going out that very next night. 

“Who cares if you feel like crap?! Drink Jaeger; it cures everything.  Flu?  Jaeger.  Strep?  Jaeger.  Dude, I’m telling you, I don’t know how not one person has caught on to this.”

~ Bryan R., NYPD

A Story: Muffin-Interrupted Gaming

This is part 4 of a longer note I received from Bryan R. about the Dave’s “humorously paradoxical lifestyle” as Bryan so nicely put it. I decided to make it into a few posts that will be posted in the coming days. For related posts see: Part 1; Part 2; Part 3.

An avid fan of video games, Dave loved to ‘game’ in multiplayer atmospheres.  Some games he salivated over, and I’d expect a text from him stating ‘Game’ nearly every afternoon, like clockwork, as if it were an order.  Though he could not WAIT to continue his gaming experience, after nearly five whole minutes of playing, Dave would say, “Marta’s home, got to go!” and leave me with air in my headset (only because he wanted to spend more time with his ‘Muffin’).

~ Bryan R., NYPD


A Story: On Cozying Up

This is part 2 of a longer note I received from Bryan R. about the Dave’s “humorously paradoxical lifestyle” as Bryan so nicely put it. I decided to make it into a few posts that will be posted in the coming days. For relevant posts see: part 1.

For a time, Dave and I used to carpool into work.  He would often find my passenger front seat pushed up closer to the dashboard than his long legs would allow, and he’d yell: “Dude, what midget continues to sit in here?”  Oddly enough, instead of just adjusting the seat, Dave would sit there with his knees pressed against his chest.”

~ Bryan R., NYPD

A Story: On Avoiding Overtime

This is part 1 of a longer note I received from Bryan R. I decided to make it into a few posts that will be posted in the coming days.

Dave lead a rather humorously paradoxical lifestyle.

“Fear” and Dave did not get along, as he was always at the frontline of any critical circumstance up here in New York and in Texas.  Just don’t ask him to actually spend time processing an arrest: it might lead to unwarranted overtime, and just like the term “fear,” Dave and overtime did not get along.

One New Years Eve, we had to work in Times Square for the ball-drop.  It’s a long day/night, and Dave did not want to risk being stuck to work a continued shift within our command.  Therefore, on a blistering cold (fifteen degrees, if lucky), Dave had the bright idea to drive my car up to our muster-location, packed with our clothes for going out after.  At dismissal (well after two o’clock in the morning, mind you), Dave and I sat in my car (which does not have any tints on the windows) and undressed (almost completely) to change into regular clothing.  Forget about a warm precinct.  “Everyone else is a sucker for going back to the base!” 

~Bryan R., NYPD


A Thought: To Our Heroes

This post is long overdue, but know that we have thought of you every single day. These words are dedicated to Dave’s friends and fellow officers who were there with him on March 1st.

You were there. You did everything in your power to save him. You were shot at. Yet, you moved forward in the face of grave danger without consideration of your own safety. You prevented the loss of more lives. You were with him in his last moments. 

Barely a moment to grieve,  you’re already back out there again. In the aftermath of this terrible tragedy, you’re once again patrolling the streets, helping strangers, responding to more “shots fired” calls.

You are heroes. My family knows this.

You are in our hearts, always.



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)

A Story: Walking Besides Us

Some of the stories and anecdotes that you lovely people have sent me have been unbelievably moving, but this one just brought me to tears. It truly exemplifies the kind of person Dave was – how he always observed his world and looked out for the well-being of those around him; how he always thought of the little things that could make someone’s day a little brighter. Thank you so, so much, Cindy, for sending us this story.

I worked with David in the 9th precinct. I was his timekeeper. I wanted to give you my sincere condolences. I’m sure you know this better than anyone but he was a amazing man. I sent this same memory to Marta a few days after the services.

On May 14, 2013 I was awaken at close to midnight by multiple phone calls to tell me my fiancé was involved in a motorcycle accident and that he needed me at the hospital. When I arrived I was told he didn’t make it. It’s a day I will never forget and a pain that has yet to leave me. The reason why I’m sharing this with you is because I only chose to take a week off from work at the 9th precinct. I wanted to go back because I knew the support I had there was beyond no other and the work would keep my mind occupied.

I remember coming back to work and seeing David and the hug that he gave me that left me breathless (literally he squeezed me so tight I thought I was going to die) after he hugged me he extended his arms while still holding my shoulders and asked where I was headed. I told him I was going to buy something to eat and immediately he said I’ll drive you wherever you’d like to go. I smiled and thanked him but told him I’d rather go alone, that I could use the walk and fresh air because it had been a rough day for me and I’d been crying on and off all morning. He asked if I was sure and I said yes and thanked him.

As I walked up the street I glanced behind me to see him walking a few paces behind me. I turned to ask him where he was going and he said he was giving me my space but was taking the walk with me and wanted to make sure I was ok. He followed me to the deli and waited outside and then followed me back to the precinct. He did this without saying a word to me. All day he was poking his head into the payroll office just to check on me without saying a word. I’d just see his head peaking in from around the corner. Later on I asked him why he’d followed me to the store instead of walking with me and his response was: “I wanted to give you your space and also make sure you were safe. Besides, I had a feeling your fiancé was walking beside you and I didn’t want to intrude.” (He must’ve heard me talking to myself.) That brought instant tears to my eyes but also a comfort to my heart.

Needless to say everyday that I saw him I had a shadow and it made me laugh so hard but also helped me because every time he did it, I was at a weak/down moment and no one else noticed it but him. He had a heart of gold and will be truly missed.

The last time I spoke to David last month he congratulated me on joining the academy but tried so hard to convince me to join the academy in Euless. I promised him that I would come out to visit and he told me: “I guarantee you once you visit you’re never going to want to leave.” I was looking forward to that vacation but am grateful, thankful and blessed to be able to say that I knew him, and more importantly that he was a friend.

I don’t know what it feels like to have someone take the life of my loved one so violently but I do know what it feels like to have spoken to my fiancé and kiss him sadly for the last time and not even know it. So, I can relate to Marta’s pain although no two people mourn the same. My prayer for you and the family is that you find the strength and peace within your hearts so that you may feel the comfort and security he is still providing for you all. He’s not watching you from up above. He’s walking beside you. May you and the family be blessed now and always.

Love always,

Cindy J., NYPD


A Story: Bringing Fireball To The Big City

Remember how Dave and friends discovered Fireball Whiskey in Rangeley, Maine? Well, here’s the current theory about how Fireball then took over NYC.

“Some time after our trip to Maine (and our first introduction to Fireball), I went shopping somewhere and saw a bottle of Fireball. Since Dave was in love with this stuff, I bought him a bottle. The next time we met up I made sure I brought the bottle. This was right after he was done working out at the Crunch in Union Square and before he was a full time Bar None patron; so we went to Forum down the street. Dave met with the manager and someone else who I can’t remember but a friend none the less. Dave had to share his love of Fireball so much that he proceeded to give out samples of it to the Manager and a couple other bartenders at Forum. A few more samples and drinks later we went to Bar None. Of course Pam was there so she also got to try Fireball. Today, there is a cold Fireball shot dispenser at Bar None and you can find it everywhere in the city, so I feel that Dave was responsible for bringing Fireball to the people of New York…one more service he provided to the eight million people who live here and call this city home.”

~ Tim H., NYPD

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Proof of the Maine Fireball Discovery and Dave’s reaction


Fireball Shot Dispenser at Bar None. Coincidence? I think not.

A Story: Political Discussions A La Hofer

This ridiculous / hilarious post is by a fellow mathematician colleague of our dad’s. In fact, this happened just days before Dave was ambushed, when we all gathered in New Jersey to surprise our Dad for his 60th birthday. Hey, we all know Dave had an amazing sense of humor, so don’t judge! It’s not always about saving lives.

“David was always lots of fun to hang out with  and I always looked forward to his visits to Princeton.  I work with Dave’s dad at the Institute for Advanced Study, so while I know lots about math, I don’t know much about popular culture.  David always enjoys teasing his mom about her ultra liberal politics and we were discussing Trump and speculating why Christie came out in support of him the day before.  David told us he was convinced it was because Christie hoped Trump would make it illegal to discuss his moose knuckle.

I asked what this was, and David explained it was the male version of camel toe.  Being somewhat knowledgeable, I understood the camel toe reference, but neither did Helmut or Sonja.  I was then tasked with the job of explaining camel toe to them, with hilarity ensuing.  We then all googled for Christie’s moose knuckle, and found the image even more horrifying than we had imagined.

Naturally, Dave laughed somewhat maniacally as the expressions on our faces turned to horror and disgust.  Also, I should mention that throughout this fun political discussion Dave was wearing a red white and blue sequined cowboy hat, to underscore his unique perspective.

My mother in law is currently visiting this week, and the conversation turned to the ridiculous state of politics.  Without remembering why moose knuckle was on my brain, I showed her the picture of Christie.  My husband started to scold me for tormenting his mother, but I realized that this was the last thing that I learned from Dave.  This instantly got me off the hook – in exactly the same manner that Dave’s smile and laugh could.”

~ Jo N., Institute for Advanced Studies