17-year veteran Kaua’i police officer loses fight against COVID


HONOLULU (KHON2) — Kaua’i Police Department’s Sergeant David Banquel, a 47-year-old veteran, lost his life to COVID on Jan. 5, around 11 a.m.

The police department said Banquel’s cause of death was due to acute respiratory failure from a COVID-19 viral respiratory infection. He was found unresponsive at his residence while off-duty.

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“I am deeply saddened to report the unexpected loss of one of our very best, Sergeant David Banquel. His sudden passing has left us all with a sense of deep loss and grief,” said Chief of Police Todd G. Raybuck.

Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami knew Banquel since high school.

“He was the older varsity player that took younger guys like me under his wing, and just treated us with kindness but with tough love, too,” Kawakami said. “When he used to roll up my driveway with his big lifted jeep, and we jumped in we felt like we were always untouchable because he was a protector. He just had that ingrained in his DNA.”

Those who worked with Banquel in the Kauai Police Department said they not only lost a coworker, but they are mourning the loss of a brother.

The SHOPO Kauai Chapter Chair Lt. Christoper Calio said Banquel was an officer who they could always depend on.

Calio said, “He would be right behind you when needed him, and right beside you when needed him so definitely, definitely one solid guy one solid officer.”

It is unknown if he was vaccinated or had a previous health condition.

The SHOPO Kauai Chapter Vice-Chair Lt. Ken Nagahisa said several officers are sharing memories about Banquel with each other as they try to process their loss.

“Really unfortunate that Dave passed due to COVID,” Nagahisa said. “It really woke everybody up, shook everybody up that really, that guy was 47-years-old, you know, a whole life ahead of him.”

Find more COVID-19 news: cases, vaccinations on our Coronavirus News page

“Dave always placed others before himself and he will forever be remembered for the laughter, love, and aloha he shared with friends and strangers alike,” said Raybuck.

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