Police Officer Benjamin Worcester’s forte was arrests.
Worcester died March 25, doing what fellow officers say he did best while answering a routine call that exploded in violence.
“He was really good at arresting people, he brought a lot of people that needed to go to jail to jail,” said Sgt. Tom West, his roommate.
In his fifth year with the Hayward Police Department, Worcester was respected as an officer whose skills were so good he was used to train new recruits.
“Ben was excellent, there was no question in anybody’s mind that he was a good cop,” West said. “Ben just wanted to be the best person he could be.”
Known to his friends as “Benjie,” Worcester, 29, loved working as a police officer. “It was real important to him,” West said.
Worcester just finished training a rookie officer recently and planned to take a sergeant’s exam the next time it was offered.
“It’s just real rough to deal with,” said West, who spent off time skiing with Worcester. “We did everything together.”
Worcester graduated in 1975 from Irvington High in Fremont, according to a high school friend who brought Worcester’s girlfriend to the hospital.
After high school, he joined the Navy where he worked as a mechanic on jets. Later he became a base officer at Alameda Naval Air Station, and that experience convinced him he wanted to be a police officer, the friend said.
“He really liked working for Hayward,” she said.
Since his days with the Navy, Worcester loved airplanes and planned to begin taking flying lessons this summer, West said.
“He was a really nice guy, he was always in a good mood,” said paramedic Rudy Leuver. “A lot of police officers, when we drive by and wave, they don’t do anything,” emergency medical technician Andrew Schedl said. “We’d wave, and he would smile and wave back.”
“He was one of ours,” said emergency medical technician Marc Mestrovich a member of the ambulance crew that took Worcester to Eden Hospital. Worcester had been stabbed to death in a violent fight involving two other officers and a man welding a torch made from an aerosol can, officials said. “It’s different when it’s somebody in the emergency field like you are.”
Police officers gathered outside Eden Hospital’s emergency room awaiting word of his condition.
Sgt. Dennis Houghtelling, who performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation, had known Worcester since he joined the force.
Visibly shaken himself, Houghtelling comforted friends and fellow officers as they arrived at the hospital. Never, he said, had he had to answer a call where a fellow officer needed emergency medical help.
In uniform and in street clothes, the officers hugged each other and cried, mourning the loss.
Officer K.R. Powell sat on the curb outside the emergency room and wept.
“We’re real close friends,” said West, who told Worcester’s girlfriend he died on duty when she arrived at the hospital. “I think what I’ll probably remember most is what a good friend he was.”