‘All befitting honors’: MPD gives 5-year-old boy honorary officer funeral after ‘freak’ crash

'I barely knew him except for a chance encounter'
‘All befitting honors’: MPD gives 5-year-old boy honorary officer funeral after ‘freak’ crash
Madison Police Department

The 5-year-old boy who was hit and killed in a “freak” car accident will receive an honorary police funeral service, according to Madison Police Chief Mike Koval’s blog.

Koval had met the boy, Dominic, in what he called a “chance encounter” just a few months before the crash that would later kill him. He was at the Alliant Energy Center’ Kid’s Expo feeling “defeated” after all of the children at the event wanted to be firefighters and not cops.

“There, standing in the middle of this circus, was the main attraction — big, red fire engines,” Koval said. “Children with cool red plastic firefighter helmets were crawling all over the rigs as if they were ants at a picnic.”

While vowing to make the MPD’s display more kid-friendly, Koval was surprised to meet Dominic, who walked up and introduced himself as a future police officer and seemed to have no interest in the “red jungle gym” nearby.

MPD Daily Significant Calls 07/22/2018 to 07/23/2018: I barely knew him except for a chance encounter at https://t.co/SlWZyKjHQP

— Madison Police (@madisonpolice) July 23, 2018

Koval was thrilled at the news that Dominic wanted to join the police force one day and properly deputized him with a police badge sticker. He then asked Dominic’s grandmother to snap a photo of the two of them together.

“That little guy had bucked the masses and had sought out a police officer to proclaim his pursuit of a dream to become someone just like me?” Koval said. “Those kinds of kids in this kind of world sort of stick out.”

Koval was working the patrol shift on July 13 when he was dispatched to a crash involving a small boy on Madison’s far west side. When he arrived at the scene, Dominic’s grandmother walked over and hugged him.

“And I knew. It was Dominic’s grandmother. Dominic was the child who had been struck by a neighbor’s backing vehicle in a freak accident. And then I cried right along with Dominic’s grandmother.”

The neighbor told police that, when he was backing up, he didn’t see Dominic. Police said there were no initial signs of impairment in the driver. A police specialist is investigating the crash, which was in the 10 block of Prairie Hill Court.

“From our own Department and well beyond … all have asked to play a role in celebrating the life of a 5-year-old who managed to bring a whole host of us together,” Koval said.

The Madison Police Department Honor Guard will serve as the pallbearers at Dominic’s funeral and, afterward, Dominic will be accompanied by a multiagency motorcycle procession to the cemetery.

“All befitting honors that are accorded to someone who has been given an honorary membership as a police officer with MPD,” Kovals said at the end of his blog. “Thanks for your gifts of how to live a life worth living, Dominic”

Read Koval’s full blog post about Dominic here. Dominic Matthew May’s obituary can be found here.