Marina Dept. of Public Safety officers wore black ribbons across their badges to mourn the death of Kolone Kolone Jr., a 42-year-old officer who collapsed and died April 20, 1992 while chasing a man wanted on drug warrants.
Kolone’s death was caused by a heart attack, according to an autopsy. Police Commander Bill Pierpoint said the autopsy results showed that Kolone didn’t have heart disease, but that there was partial blockage of his heart vessels. “His heart failed under the stress of running,” Pierpoint said.
Kolone had been assisting in the chase of Ronald Wayne Carr, 32, of Marina when he collapsed. Carr had a history of resisting arrest in encounters with Marina police.
Two paramedics who were conducting a training class nearby responded to the call for assistance. Efforts to revive the fallen officer by cardiopulmonary resuscitation failed, and Kolone died at Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula.
Carr was eventually captured by another Marina officer and was booked into County Jail on suspicion of murder in connection with Kolone’s death while he was resisting arrest. The charges were dropped because of insufficient evidence.
Kolone, a native of American Samoa, was a 22-year Army veteran who had retired earlier this year as a first sergeant. He had served with the Headquarters Company of the First Battalion, 9th Infantry at Ford Ord.
A resident of Marina for several years, Kolone had began volunteer reserve duty with the Marina police force in November. He became a paid reserve officer on April 1 although he had not yet graduated from a police academy. At the time of the chase, he was being trained by Senior Officer Kenneth Bartlett.
“We’re going to miss this man. We had hopes of this man being a fine addition to our department,” Pierpoint said, noting that Kolone had already helped on several occasions in working with Marina’s Samoan residents and communicating with them in Samoan.
“It’s tragic, whether an officer dies from a bullet from an offender or collapses in a chase,” Pierpoint said.
A resident of Marina since 1985, Kolone was active at St. Jude’s Catholic church and was going to become a lay reader this year, Pierpoint said. He was a graduate of Golden Gate University with a bachelor’s degree in police science.
Among his numerous service medals are the Bronze Service medal, the Army Good Conduct medal (seventh award), the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry Unit Citation with Palm, the Army Achievement and Army Commendation medals, both with first Oak Leaf Cluster, three Professional Development ribbons, and the Vietnam Service Medal with 30 Oak Leaf Clusters.
He was a member of the Marina Peace Officers Association, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 811 in Marina, and Menehune Golf Club at Fort Ord.
He is survived by his wife, Tomato, and two children, Connie, 14, and Jason, 11, parents, Kolone and Tauvale Kolone of American Samoa; his grandmother, Leuiga Ua of Long Beach; and five brothers and three sisters.
A trust fund for the education of Kolone’s children has been established at: Coast Federal Bank, 264 Reservation Road, Marina.