Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Officer Saul Martinez

California Highway Patrol, California

End of Watch Thursday, May 15, 1997

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Officer Saul Martinez

Wow, this melted my heart. What an annual young man you have grown up to be. I'm sure your father is so proud of your insight, love and honor. Your mom is very proud too, and God bless her for being the strong woman she is for you and your siblings.

You're an amazing man!

Beth Riley, Code Enforcement Offcr, Ret
San Diego Police Department

May 18, 2019

Well said Saul Jr. Your dad lives on in many of us. So in effect he will live on in many lives forever.

Deputy Sheriff Los Angeles
County Sheriff

May 16, 2019

Hey Dad. I wrote this speech for a peace officer memorial that I was invited to speak at a few years ago and want people to know of the impact you've had even now 22 years later. Miss you wish you could meet your grandson.
...

Hello. My name is Saul Martinez, Jr. and I am the surviving son of CHP officer, and ventura county raised Saul Martinez
It is a true honor to be up here today.
Every night before my dad would go out for his graveyard shift, I remember that my mom would always walk him out to his truck and would give him a hug and kiss. A kiss that symbolized not only their love but also knowledge of the risk in which he would embark and hope for safe return. I was twelve years old and was sleeping when the house phone rang at one in the morning on the night of May 8, 1997. I heard my mom answer the phone and immediately hang up. The phone rang again and I vividly recall waking up to her scream. The doorbell rang in that instant and I could hear her crying as she spoke to some of my father’s fellow officers who had shown up at the door. I was afraid to come out of my room, I heard some running in the hallway and then heard our front door slam shut. Officers had taken her to the hospital. I came out of my room scared, the house was quiet. My aunt come over and my older sister told me to get ready as police officers were on their way to pick us up, My dad had been involved in an accident.
I remember our drive in the back of the patrol car to the hospital, we zoomed down the freeway, and every car would pull over as we would encroach them. There must have been some 20 officers talking outside the hospital, when we showed up. I remember them wiping away their tears, and forcing a smile as we walked past them into the hospital.
We made that hospital our home for 8 long days until his passing. His death was unexpected, tragic and for a long time I was angry. I was angry at god for taking him from us, I was angry at the man who struck my father, I was mad at the world for taking a part of my adolescence. And lastly I was angry at him for not saving his own life and instead of sacrificing himself for his partner... did he not think of us?
I remember being told time and time again that I was now the man of the house. At 12 years old, I thought to myself… I don’t even know how to shave and thought of being of the man of the house was something I was not ready for. For one I was nowhere near the man my father was and not to mention that at the time I was still getting beat up by my older sister. The pain of losing my father, my coach, my mentor was unlike no pain I had ever felt. And the reality is that every pain that I have felt since his passing, I hold in perspective to the pain that I felt on May 15th 1997. It has been pain however that at the same time made me stronger and more resilient than I could ever imagine.
As a 30 year old man, my perspectives have changed and my anger has transformed to admiration, understanding. Why did he became a law enforcement officer? I wish I could ask him.
But I know that it was my father’s mentor civil right Activist Cesar Chavez that said, "when we are really honest with ourselves we must admit that our lives are all that really belong to us. So, it is how we use our lives that determines what kind of men we are. It is my deepest belief that only by giving our lives do we find life"
My father joined the farm worker movement as an organizer and community advocate because he loved us.
He became my baseball coach because he loved us.
He became a police officer because he loved us.
He saved his partners life because he loved us.
He decided to become a public servant because he loved us.
He started a Spanish speaking radio program for the marginalized because he loved us.
He was present at so many community fairs as an officer doing outreach with the community because he loved us.
He worked to make this world a safer place through humanity and respect, not fear because he loved us and found life.
There was no one better for a job so privileged, and I will never be as grateful as I need to be to honor the exemplar life that he lived.
I strongly believe that only in loving your community do you love your family and ultimately yourself.

In 2013 I earned a Masters degree from Columbia university in New York City. I was selected to speak at my masters graduation ceremony. In my speech, I quoted Sir Isaac Newton who wrote, “If I can see further, it is because I am standing on the shoulders of giants.” And I touched on the giants that have placed a great and crucial role and shaped who I am today.
A Giant for one being my father for the example that he lived in his life.
Giants, being my father’s friends, fellow law enforcement officers who wrapped their love, presence and resources around us. I will never forget how they would randomly show up at our home with food, with gifts at Christmas, who would take me on camping trips to the river, NFL games at chargers stadium, flights in the CHP Cessna airplane, present at my school graduations. ..Activities that my father would have wanted to do with me. Their love and respect for my father was evident in the love and respect that they gave my mother, my siblings and i. And I am forever grateful for that support and memories.
Giants being my students who in my profession as a community gang prevention and current high school counselor have allowed me to be a mentor who guides supports, leads and empowers young men and women from many different walks of life to reach their dreams and potential.
And perhaps the biggest Giant in my life is my mother. She single handedly raised three college educated children after my father’s passing. She strongly encouraged my involvement in sports, she met with my teachers the moment my grades would start to drop, bought me a belt when my pants started to sag, and who encouraged me to follow my dreams and be somebody. She is the woman who took in a scared 12 year old boy and really taught me how to be a man. I love you so much.
I am who I am. not solely because of my merit, or my intelligence or because of my grit. I am who I am because my father and mother loved so many people so as to ensure that we would never be alone. We would always be cared for. I have always been supported. By my family, by our law enforcement and by our community.
My father is not dead, Mr. Eugene Kostiuchencko is not dead, Mr. John Aguirre, Jr and all of the brave men and women and that have sacrificed their lives for our communities and families are not dead. They live in every man and woman that puts on the badge. They live in the men and women in uniform. They live in those that they have touched and those who have taken to heart from their example. They live in us. and we owe it to them to love as vigorously as they did, to serve as genuinely as they did, and live the only way they knew how, selflessly.
Thank you all for being here, as a survivor, your presence means a lot and is truly appreciated. To Mrs. Kostiuchenko. I understand. We love you. and as you can see, you will never be alone...

Saul Martinez Jr.
Son

May 15, 2019

I was a young DA when I met Saul and prosecuted some of his drunk driving cases. He always struck me as a decent, kind and humble peace officer. I was so sad when I learned of his tragic death. But since that time I have been inspired so many times as I think of his heroism and the truth of the words of the priest spoken at his funeral "What he did as his last act on Earth was a sign of how he always lived." I am now a traveling evangelist and everywhere I go, I tell the amazing story of Saul's heroism as an illustration of what Christ did for each of us on Calvary. I'm looking forward to being reunited with Saul at the soon return of our Lord and Savior!

Former Deputy DA David Steward
Riverside County District Attorney

April 26, 2019

Rest In Peace Brother LEO. You are honored and remembered Hero on the 21st anniversary of your EOW. Thank you and your family for your sacrifice and service.

Officer Mike Robinson (Ret)
Upland Police Dept. CA

May 15, 2018

Rest easy my brother. Thank you for your service and sacrifice for all of us. May you continue to be at peace and that your family are blessed always.

Lieutenant Raymond Flores
NYPD (retired)

May 15, 2018

Saul there is not a day that goes by that I don't think about you. I am so blessed to still be here. I still have some contact with the family and fact I visited Saulito today while working where he works. He is a great young man, dedicated to his job and a wonderful husband to his beautiful wife. Elizabeth what a beautiful lady with her little daughter. I was shown a video of your granddaughter and she is so beautiful and cute. Carolina what an absolutely beautiful and charming young lady she has become. Remedios doesn't seem to age at all she still looks lovely and 20 years younger than what her true age is. Saul Elementary School is one great joys of my life being able to visit with the staff and kids. I miss you buddy and you would be so proud of your family. I miss you greatly.

Officer D. Rice (Retired
CHP and Saul's partner the night we got hit.

April 10, 2018

Thank u for the memories and ur service. R.i.p . Tio

Oscar. z
Family

January 5, 2018

He was a gift from God, that man was.

Bby girl
Fan

February 17, 2016

"When a good man is hurt, all who would be called good must suffer with him.”

Euripides

Marshal Chris Di Gerolamo
Federal Air Marshal Service

September 24, 2015

Time may have passed but you are not forgotten. I believe as long as someone remembers you or speaks your name, you are still with us.
Thank you for your heroism.
God Bless

Detention Officer A.Zambito
Texas

May 15, 2015

Officer Martinez,
On today, the 17th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of the state of California. Your last act was to push your partner out of the way of that vehicle-that says it all about the type of officer and person you are. And to your family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

R.I.P.
USBP

Anonymous
United States Border Patrol

May 15, 2014

"El Protector", mi amigo! I just found you on this website, I remember our "coffee meet" just 2 days before you were taken from us. So many times we met or ran into each other on the streets of Coachella. You helped with translations, backed my butt and right from the time anyone met you, they knew and considered you to be their friend, no matter the color of your uniform or the badge they wore. We had such a warm and laugh-filled conversation at that coffee chat. When I went to my second job (weekend job at Sheriff's EVOC), someone asked me if I knew who you were and what had happened to you. I went cold and felt my knees weak. I am so sorry my friend, rest in peace and may your family have found the only peace in knowing you were an amazing person and were taken from us doing what you loved doing, you have impacted so many people with your character. I was lucky enough to visit and pay tribute to your name and memory at the memorial wall at the National LE Memorial in Washington DC. You have never left my thoughts amigo! TTFN, Neil

Sgt. Neil Slawson (former)
Coachella PD (now San Bernardino County Sheriff's Dept)

March 31, 2014

Ofc. Martinez,

I was watiching the local news, and it has been 16 years since your passing. Being from the local area I still remember watching the same news station back in 97 when you passed. I was about 10 then and did not really know much or should I say put much thought into things.But now as an adult I have the honor of putting on a uniform and badge like you did!

Everyday I think of law enforcement officers like you before me, and think of the honor it is to be in the same company. I strive to be the best person everyday that everyone remembers you were. 16 years later you legacy lives on, and that speaks for the kind of officer and man that you were!

Rest in peace, keep us all safe

Correctional Deputy
Riverside County Sheriff's Department

May 25, 2013

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13

Brian
Friend

January 10, 2013

Hi nino I wish you were still here with us but I know that you are looking down on us from heaven and watching over your family making sure that we are traveling on the right path and taking care of us. We will always remember you nino you have inspired us to be everything that we can and to always follow our dreams and try our best. Thank you for everything you have done in our lives and in the lives you have helped change we will always love you nino!

Cesar Martinez
nephew/godson

September 28, 2012

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 15th anniversary of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer who was murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Time never diminishes respect. Your memory will always be honored and revered.

I pray for solace for all those that love and remember you for I know that both the pain and pride are forever. Your family is in my heart's embrace. Thanks to your family and friends for sharing their memories and devotion to you their refletions.

Rest In Peace.

Phyllis Loya
Mom of fallen California Officer Larry Lasater, Pittsburg PD, eow 4/24/05

May 16, 2012

As I'm reading through all these wonderful reflections, my eyes get watery and I feel a knot in my throat. I am so proud to have someone as amazing as you be my father. It feels like just yesterday, 5 at the time, that I saw you come at night and give a kiss to my mom in forehead, as she lay asleep. I wish you could be here with me, Eli, and Saul watching us grow up, but I know that God took you for a reason, he needed an amazing angel like you to watch over heaven. I thank you for all the memories you have left with us. My mom has done such an amazing job in raising us and its incredible how strong she has been. Eli and Saulito have also done soo much in guiding me and I know it’s all due to how you raised us. I LOVE YOU and MISS YOU EVERY DAY OF MY LIFE, thank you for always listening to my prayers and guiding me. TE EXTRANO PAPI.


Your little/big Baby,
Carolina Martinez

Carolina Martinez
Daughter

February 15, 2012

Hi Padrino I just wanted to stop by and say happy birthday and you were the best uncle/father/brother/friend anyone can ask for. I remember me and my sister would give presentations about you to our class mates and would touch everyones hearts when we would say what a great person you are. We love you padrino. Take care.

Cesar
nephew

November 15, 2011

Tio even tho I only knew you when I was 2 years old I just wanted to let you know that your story will live on forever. We will always remember you and we will miss you alot. Hopefully we will meet sometime in the futur again up in heaven. Thank you for everything you did for out family and your friends. You are the best padrino ever!!

Cesar
nephew

August 26, 2011

Tio even tho I only knew you when I was 2 years old I just wanted to let you know that your story will live on forever. We will always remember you and we will miss you alot. Hopefully we will meet sometime in the futur again up in heaven. Thank you for everything you did for out family and your friends. You are the best padrino ever!!

Cesar
nephew

August 26, 2011

Dear Tio, although it has been a very long time since u've been gone you continue to inspire us and motivate us to become all that we can be. Although I was a little girl at the time i cant help but feel as if you have been here with our family to this day and you are in our heart, thoughts and prayers. Looking back at pictures, vidoes makes me realize what an amazing uncle and family I have. I am truely blessed and thankful. You will never be forgotten. in every homework assignment and in every essay you will be remembered frm generation to generation. See you later tio save me a good spot up there;)

Natali
Niece

May 16, 2011

For many years I have read the reflections here, i've always wanted to post something and never did, now with tears in my eyes I reflect on how Saul and his family touched our lives. My husband shared a patrol car with Saul many graveyard shifts, he would speak of him with great pride and respect. Our youngest daughters were born very close to each other, and Remi and I would sit and talk while we nursed our girls. We have very special memories of authentic mexican food and the traditions they shared with us, thank you.
Three months after Saul's death, my husband put his tranfer in. I guess he thought he could leave it behind him.
After you have been touched by a person like Saul you will never be the same.
We will miss him dearly, and forever be changed for knowing him. 14 years has passed and it still feels as if it were just days, the pain of this loss runs deep, he left a footprint to follow just as our heavenly father has to join him. God Bless

Jolene Curro
Wife of retired CHP Officer

May 15, 2011

Hi Saul, I thought I'd drop by and say hello, and briefly share with you the most vivid memory I have of you. By far my most favorite of memories is when you paid a visit to my brother's and Saul's AYSO soccer match in the TJMS soccer fields. Although I have no recollection of how long you had been waiting in the parking lot, sitting in your cop car, I do recall the moment when I heard the sirens go off as Saul scored a goal. As the team celebrated the goal, all those sitting in the sidelines looked around to see where the sirens were coming from, and what we found was you, beaming from ear to ear, sitting in the car, and celebrating your son's goal in the coolest way possible! You were such an impressive figure to all of us - both children and adults alike - and your memory will never be forgotten. Thanks for the memory and that you have given us.

Cynthia
Family member

May 15, 2011

Father,

Fourteen years have passed and still, look at how many you have touched and inspired! How can I not be proud to be your daughter?! My heart bursts with both orgullo and humildad! You continue to live in the hearts of so many. Especially mine, as you have nestled yourself at my core, acting always as my conscience. You have taught me to love selflessly and unconditionally, to serve my people and lead by example, and most importantly to never, ever forget where I come from. I am honored to have had you as my father and mentor. To you, and to all of my relations, I pray that my life honors yours.

Missing you with all my heart,
Eli

Elizabeth Martinez
Daughter

May 15, 2011

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