“Hero,” is how David Fear’s family remembers him.
The word stood out on the backs of the white T-shirts they wore to the April 17 Grover Beach City Council meeting; Fear’s face was printed on the front.
The man who died in December 2016 after being critically injured while protecting Betty Long, his 85-year-old neighbor, from a dog attack will soon be remembered as a hero by everyone who walks by his surfboard. A concrete replica of the board is destined to become a memorial bench accompanied by a sign reading, “Our hero salty dog David Fear,” at the end of Nacimiento Avenue near the Meadow Creek Open Space. On April 17, the City Council unanimously approved installation of the memorial at the site, which is public property.
“That will be his actual surfboard he rode, and I think it’s a great location, because we hang out there all the time. It’s the perfect resting site,” David’s brother, Steve, said.
The Five Cities Men’s Club will be responsible for all the costs associated with the bench and sign, including construction, installation, and long-term maintenance and repair.
Fear’s wife, Terry Lopez, thanked the community of Grover Beach during the meeting.
“David was my husband for 25 years. We lived there on our street for 18 years, and we said when we moved there that we were going to die there. Not this early, but it happened,” Lopez said. “I just think that right now he is so proud to see that the community would do something like this for him. He’s always helped anybody and everybody.”
The former Grover Beach police officer who owned the dog that attacked Fear, Alex Geiger, faces two felony charges in connection with the December attack. Geiger pleaded not guilty to the charges, and is due to appear in SLO County Superior Court May 22 for a pre-preliminary hearing.