HPD Honor Off-Duty Officer Who Died While Trying to Break Up Fight - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

HPD Honor Off-Duty Officer Who Died While Trying to Break Up Fight

Sgt. Harry Coelho Sgt. Harry Coelho
Maj. Bart Huber Maj. Bart Huber
Roy Ogasawara Roy Ogasawara

By Minna Sugimoto

HONOLULU (KHNL) - He was off-duty when he jumped into action to protect beach-goers. Now, family and friends are remembering Honolulu Police Sergeant Harry Coelho, who collapsed while trying to break up a fight over the weekend.

Meanwhile, HPD is honoring the fallen officer for his actions that day.

Roy Ogasawara shares story after story about his dear friend, Harry Coelho. He was a husband, father, church member and police officer.

"When God made him, after He got through making Harry, they threw the mold away because there will never be another Harry," Ogasawara said. "What a guy."

Friends say the 21-year police veteran was with his family at a church gathering at Haleiwa Beach Park, when a fight broke out nearby. He collapsed shortly after intervening.

"People were fighting, and I'm sure he didn't want to see anyone get hurt," Maj. Bart Huber, Wahiawa district commander and fallen officer's friend, said. "So he stepped right in and tried to break it up."

An autopsy revealed the 48-year-old died from a heart condition.

"I was shocked that he had suffered such a major heart attack because he didn't appear to be in poor health at all," Huber said.

"He didn't eat too much junk food," Ogasawara said. "And every time we would fellowship, he would bring bananas or oranges or apples or things like that."

Even though he was off-duty, the department is treating this as a line-of-duty death because of his actions.

"If you see somebody who's doing something out of the ordinary or actually breaking the law, your tendency is to address it. It's just nature," Huber said. "And for Harry, I think he would have come to anyone's assistance"

Coelho's name will be added to the department's Roll of Honor. He's the 41st Honolulu police officer to die on the job.

"Just the love, you can see it in all of his family, his two children and his wife," Ogasawara said. "So we're going to really miss him."

Funeral services are scheduled for June 16th. Details are being finalized.

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