Deputy Sheriff David Anthony Abella

Deputy Sheriff David Anthony Abella

Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, Florida

End of Watch Wednesday, April 21, 2004

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David Anthony Abella

Deputy Sheriff David Abella was killed in an automobile accident on 50th Street, near Causeway Boulevard, while responding to a trespassing call at a local convenience store.

He was attempting to pass a slow-moving tractor-trailer when he lost control of his patrol car and struck a utility pole. The deputy was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Deputy Abella had served with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office for one year. He is survived by his wife, three children, parents, brother, and sister.


  • Age 26
  • Tour 1 year
  • Badge 4234
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Automobile crash

emergency response, trespasser

Most Recent Reflection

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My heartfelt condolences to David Abella’s family, friends, and co-workers. I was Seaman Abella’s commanding officer on the Coast Guard Cutter Nantucket in Key West, and only today I learned from another former crewmember of David’s passing. I am still numb from the news, but I feel compelled to share some memories of David. First and foremost, he was an outstanding seaman and a great shipmate on so many levels. He demonstrated a degree of team-spirit and enthusiasm well beyond his youth. I was often in awe as I watched SN Abella and the crew in action in extreme situations, be it fighting a fire on a fishing vessel, rescuing migrants, or launching and recovering the small boat in heavy weather (a risky endeavor even in calm conditions). My favorite picture from my twenty-eight year career is of SN Abella cradling a baby in the bow of the small boat as it returned with a group of migrants to Cutter Nantucket. He was so young then! Yet, you would not know it from his maturity and team spirit. When he stood watch on the bridge, especially at night, he would talk about his family and home. His tales of old school hog hunts were hilarious. (Over the years I often shared his stories of the hog hunts.) When SN Abella transferred out, I told him that one day I would visit him just to see him finish off a hog by jumping on it with a knife. It wasn’t that I did not believe he actually put a knife in his teeth and leapt on wild hogs, but that was something I just had to see it for myself. He said he would expect me to take out a hog that same way, and I would have. I missed SN Abella when he left the ship, and I wanted to do something that would always remind him how much I appreciated his service and friendship. But I also wanted his family to know it. I sent him a framed collage of pictures of him in action on Cutter Nantucket. He called me soon after to tell me how much it meant to him and his family, and that meant so much to me. David, you are missed by so many people, and I will always be grateful that our paths crossed so many years ago.

- Your Captain and Shipmate

Richard Pineiro, LCDR (ret)
U. S. Coast Guard

January 21, 2019

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