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Obituaries

Daniel G. McCoy, 52; Rescue Pilot, Retired Santa Ana Police Captain

April 30, 2002|MILTON CARRERO GALARZA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Retired Santa Ana Police Capt. Daniel G. McCoy, an avid airplane pilot who transported emergency medical patients to hospitals in his spare time, died Saturday of complications from brain cancer. He was 52.

McCoy was a pioneer in using DNA technology to solve old cases and was a leader of the Police Department's massive gang suppression unit. One of his most innovative projects involved a campaign to confiscate illegal weapons being used by gangs on the streets.

Colleagues remembered McCoy as a man who deftly juggled his family responsibilities as a father of two, with his long working hours and his passion for flying. He joined the Police Department in 1971 and rose to the rank of captain in 1990.

"His family was his main passion," said oldest brother Michael McCoy. "But he gave everything to his job too, and he loved to fly."

McCoy was part of the Marine Corps reserves and was an advocate for veterans. McCoy persuaded the Navy to donate an A-4 airplane that he hoped to display on a pedestal in front of the Santa Ana Civic Center to honor Marines at El Toro.

The airplane is now being refurbished, and others in the department will continue to plan for the memorial in his absence, said Sgt. Baltazar De La Riva.

McCoy's former partner, Hugh Mooney, described him as a courageous, honest and funny man. He recalled that McCoy, who stood above six feet, often bumped his head against chandeliers when they went to people's homes as police officers.

"There was no pretense about him," Mooney said. "He was very honest. He didn't try to put [on] a macho attitude. People trusted him. He was a man of his word."

McCoy helped in several community organizations including volunteering his airplane to fly medical patients as part of Angel Flight West.

He is survived by his wife Robin, his daughters, Danielle and Renee, and four grandchildren. The family has asked that people donate to the memorial project in place of flowers.

Services will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at Calvary Chapel in Santa Ana.

Donations can be made payable to Marine Corps Memorial Fund/OCCF and mailed to Orange County Community Foundation, 2081 Business Center Drive, Suite 100, Irvine CA 92612-1115.

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