California Highway Patrol Officer Andre Moye Jr. spent so much time working the roads that “he once had a close encounter with his mom,” his former commander remembers.
Moye, a member of the agency’s Riverside motorcycle unit until his death on Aug. 12 – when he was shot and killed by a convicted felon during a traffic stop – was known for his “high citation activity,” Capt. John Tyler said at his memorial service.
One day, Tyler said, Moye’s mother was exiting a highway when she noticed an officer behind her and believed she was about to be pulled over.
“Her telephone suddenly rang, and she said ‘Andre, is that you?’” Tyler recalled. “He said ‘Yes, mom. You didn’t use your turn signal back there.’”
Moye’s journey to the ranks of law enforcement began when he was 19. A report in the Press-Enterprise newspaper described him as a musical virtuoso in high school who played the tuba, clarinet, saxophone and trombone in band – but he wanted a spot in the California Highway Patrol.
He first applied for the job at that age -- but was told to come back when he was 21. However, instead of doing just that, he became an electrician for the next decade.
Moye then applied a second time after telling his mom he did “not want to look at buttcracks for the rest of my life,” the Press-Enterprise reported, citing the funeral program.
Once he got the job he dearly wanted, Moye “consistently took impaired drivers off the street” and had a “work ethic [that] was unparalleled, like a burning fire that could not be extinguished,” Tyler said.
“When finishing breakfast or lunch with his peers,” Tyler said Moye “would quickly stand up. They would ask ‘Hey, do you have a call?’ He’d say ‘No, I just need to get back out there.'”
His cousin Melissa Lopez says he was so adamant about enforcing the rules of the road that it even started to weigh on the 34-year-old’s dining choices.
“Andre gave out so many speeding tickets that he felt he could not eat out in public restaurants because he didn’t want any ‘special sauce,’” she said at his memorial service, drawing laughter from a crowd that included hundreds of law enforcement officers from around the region.
Moye’s brother Michael Solario, who is pursuing a career with the California Highway Patrol, said “Andre has taught me everything I know in my life.
“Whether he was right or wrong, I would always follow in his footsteps because at the end of the day, I knew he had my back,” Solario said. “Andre truly loved being a highway patrolman and he took pride in what he did while on the job and off the job. He would always brag to me on the phone and tell me how great his job was.”
Moye's wife, Sara, said she only spent six years with Andre, but they were the “best years of my life."
“I’ll miss his amazing smile, sense of humor, and that contagious laugh of his,” she said. “I wish I could feel his arms wrapped tightly around me one more time.”