Police historianThe job has never been harder for Honolulu Police Department historian Eddie Croom.
finds painful parallels
HPD's Eddie Croom recalls
comrade who died in
the line of duty
Death in the line of duty
takes grim, cruel forms
By Rod Antone
Finally, Croom must add a name that he knows all too well to his list of officers fallen in the line of duty: Officer Dannygriggs Padayao.
"Danny and I worked together for many years. We worked together in Kalihi. We were beat partners," said Croom. "Painful -- painful because he was a friend. He was someone I knew well and liked."
Padayao died April 30 after being struck by a motorist on Kamehameha Highway while laying flares for a prior accident. The 22-year-old male driver who hit Padayao was arrested for negligent homicide after police said it appeared that he had been drinking.
Unfortunately, Croom said he sees parallels between Padayao's death and other officers in the department's history.
"Randal Young, killed in 1991 -- he was struck by a drunk driver on the Pali Highway," Croom recalls. "He was a motorcycle officer issuing a citation."
Another officer killed on the highway was David Huber on June 20, 1971. Croom said Huber was working special duty along Kalanianaole Highway when he was struck by a car.
Eight years later, on Aug. 26, 1979, a van at Nimitz Highway and Waiakamilo Road struck and killed another motorcycle officer, Raymond Grogg.
"Part of being a police officer," Croom says, quietly, and does not add to it.
In a May 2 message to the public, Chief Lee Donohue remarked: "Danny joined the department in November of 1982. His personnel folder is filled with thank-you letters from community members for his outstanding work.
"He touched many lives during his career and exemplified our motto, Serving and Protecting with Aloha. Our prayers go out to Danny's family and friends."
Services for Padayao will be held at 7 p.m. tomorrow at Diamond Head Mortuary. He is scheduled to be buried at 1 p.m. Thursday at Hawaiian Memorial Park Cemetery.
As part of Police Week, HPD will hold a special tribute to Padayao tonight, during a ceremony to honor all 35 officers who have died in the line of duty.
The ceremony starts at 7 p.m. at St. Andrew's Cathedral and is open to the public.
Speaking at the ceremony will be Tiffany Bayne-Aiu, daughter of HPD officer Bryant Bayne. Bayne, along with officer Tate Kahakai, was killed in a helicopter crash on July 21, 1995, while searching for a missing hiker.
Croom said he also knew Bayne and Kahakai, but not as well as he knew Padayao.
"He was a good guy. Danny was a good guy," Croom said. "He was someone I truly call a friend."
Officer Troy Barboza, assassinated by organized crime. Officers Tate Kahakai and Bryant Bayne, killed in a helicopter crash. Officer Larry Stewart, shot with his own weapon.
Death in the line of
duty takes grim,
Murder and accidents claim many HPD lives
In the line of duty
By Rod Antone
The stories behind the deaths of Honolulu police officers throughout the department's history are tragic, varied and sometimes unusual.
The list officially starts in 1903 with the death of Officer John W. Mahelona, who is said to have been killed by a chicken thief near Liliha Street.
Unofficially, the list goes back to 1859.
"We were still under the monarchy," said police historian and museum curator Eddie Croom. "But we only know his last name, Kaaulana, a constable. He and another constable were responding to a domestic case involving a screaming female. Kaaulana died after the husband knocked him to the ground and kicked him several times."
Possibly the oddest story belongs to Detective Wah Choon Lee, who was electrocuted when he grabbed the doorknob of a Wahiawa brothel during a raid on Aug. 3, 1937.
"Apparently, the head of the brothel had been raided before, and this was her way of making sure that police officers didn't get in. She rigged her door," said Croom. "She was arrested for manslaughter."
A number of officers have been murdered. They include Officer Henry Chillingworth, who in 1936 was stabbed to death by a mental hospital escapee.
In 1976 Officer Larry Stewart was trying to stop a fight at Bobby McGee's. As he wrestled with one man, another man pulled Stewart's gun from his holster and shot him in the head.
But Croom said only one officer so far has been "tracked down and killed by organized crime." In 1987, Troy Barboza was shot three times in his Manoa home by a man Barboza had arrested in an undercover drug operation earlier that year.
"He was assassinated," said Croom.
Here are the names of the Honolulu Police Department officers who have died in the line of duty and the date of their death, according to HPD:
In the line of duty
Officer John W. Mahelona, Nov. 19, 1903
Officer Manuel D. Abreu, Nov. 7, 1913
Officer Frederick Wright, April 30, 1916
Officer James K. Keonaona, Aug. 8, 1923
Officer David W. Mahukona, Oct. 28, 1923
Officer Edwin H. Boyd, Aug. 5, 1925
Officer George Macy, July 22, 1926
Officer Samson Paele, July 24, 1927
Detective William K. Kama, Oct. 5, 1928
Officer George Rogers, Sept. 10, 1930
Sgt. Henry A. Chillingworth, Feb. 18, 1936
Officer Wah Choon Lee, Aug. 3, 1937
Officer Alfred W. Dennis, May 2, 1942
Officer Joseph K. Whitford Jr., Oct. 28, 1962
Officer Abraham E. Mahiko, Dec. 16, 1963
Officer Andrew R. Morales, Dec. 16, 1963
Officer Patrick K. Ihu, June 1, 1964
Lt. Benedict Eleneki, Oct. 21, 1964
Officer Bradley N. Kaanana, July 3, 1965
Officer Frank R. Medeiros, Jan. 25, 1967
Reserve Officer Ernest G. Lindemann, Oct. 30, 1969
Officer David R. Huber, June 20, 1971
Officer Robert A. Corter, Oct. 4, 1975
Officer Larry J. Stewart, Feb. 12, 1976
Pilot Thomas A. Moher, March 16, 1977
Officer Merlin C. Kaeo, March 16, 1977
Officer Ernest R. Grogg, Aug. 26, 1979
Officer David W. Parker, March 1, 1985
Officer David N. Ronk, June 15, 1987
Officer Troy L. Barboza, Oct. 22, 1987
Officer Roy E. Thurman, Oct. 20, 1990
Officer Randal N. Young, Aug. 28, 1991
Officer Bryant B. Bayne, July 21, 1995
Officer Tate D. Kahakai, July 21, 1995
Officer Dannygriggs Padayao, April 30, 2001