Nearly a thousand uniformed officers from as far as Santa Barbara and San Diego saluted in unison as a bugler played Taps Thursday for Anaheim motorcycle Officer Robert T. Roulston, who was killed Sunday in a collision outside Anaheim Stadium.
Hundreds of people lined Harbor Boulevard as 300 police motorcycles led the funeral procession from Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove to Loma Vista Memorial Park in Fullerton.
Roulston, 38, was known to many as “Pooh Bear,” a moniker that the 15-year veteran earned as a rookie, and there were reminders of the nickname Thursday--flower arrangements in the shape of yellow bears and a stuffed Winnie the Pooh on the back of Roulston’s motorcycle, which was towed on a trailer in the police procession to the burial.
During the hourlong service at Crystal Cathedral, Anaheim Sgt. Ronald Lovejoy eulogized his fellow officer as “a big boy in a man’s body.”
Lovejoy explained to the estimated 1,400 in attendance that Roulston was given his nickname after he responded to a domestic dispute. Roulston apparently calmed the couple, Lovejoy said, because the woman later phoned the department to say that she would call on Anaheim police again as long as they promised to “send us that big, cuddly Pooh Bear.”
Anaheim Police Chief Joseph Malloy eulogized Roulston as a good husband and father, “but most of all, a good cop.”
The accident occurred about 11:50 a.m. Sunday, when Roulston was riding east on Katella Avenue between State College Boulevard and Howell Street. He collided with a car heading west on Katella when the driver, Steven Earl Davis, 29, of Diamond Bar, attempted to make a left turn into the stadium parking lot before Sunday’s Los Angeles Rams football game. Davis was not cited.
The California Highway Patrol is investigating the accident.
Roulston’s wife, Deborah, an Anaheim police dispatcher, was on duty Sunday and was unaware that her husband was involved in the accident when she sent paramedics and an ambulance to the scene.
Roulston is also survived by his son, Adam, 14, who just last week became an Explorer Scout. Police established a trust fund for Adam on Monday.