Slain policeman's family, friend recall his boyhood, his easy grin
SUNNYMEAD – He wouldn’t have wanted all the fanfare, the
parents of Paul Carrol Teel said Tuesday after the funeral of their 25-year-old policeman son who was shot to death
from ambush Friday.
W.B. “Dub” and Velma Teel said, “He would have blushed in
embarrassment – the funeral, all they did – but he would have been pleased to see it for someone else.”
Paul and his partner, Leonard Christiansen, were shot to
death when they answered a call. Four suspects are being sought.
The Teels and many relatives, friends and neighbors had just returned from
the funeral in Riverside that was attended by about 1,500 persons. With them were Callie, Paul’s wife, and his
best friend, Officer Paul Harding.
They wanted to talk about Paul, whom the Teels and Callie had
always called Carrol and still do. It was not until he joined the Riverside Police Department in
August, 1966, that others began calling him Paul.
At first, it was difficult talking about Carrol, but gradually
they found they could smile as they recalled his youth.
His youngest son was born July 20, 1945, in Ft. Worth, Texas, Teel said.
“He was such a fine boy – always a smile. He had so many friends
– all kinds of people liked him,” his father said. The others agreed.
The Teels, both teachers, moved to a small Texas town to teach
school. They were the only teachers so they taught their two sons – David is the older – at home
and at school.
“The boys had guns and they
used to hunt,” Dub said. “Mostly jackrabbits,” said Mrs. Teel.
When they ran out of grades
for the boys at the school in Texas the Teels moved to Sunnymead. That was in 1956.
“Carrol went to Edgemont
School for a year. He won a $5 prize for this American Legion
Americanism essay." And he won $5 from the PTA for suggesting a name
for their paper, the EPTA Echo. "They don’t have the paper anymore,"
said Mrs. Teel, who teaches first grade there.
Callie was in school there at
the time, but they scarcely knew each other.
“Last year, he came and talked
to my class.”
Carrol went to University
Heights Junior High School and then Poly High (there were only two
elementary schools in Moreno Valley at that time).
Since he had to ride the bus
to and from school he couldn’t take part in extra-curricular
“But he worked. First he
delivered the Daily Enterprise. He won a trophy for 15 months of
perfect service,” Dub said.
he never missed a day of work, no matter what his job was,” his mother
was proud to add.
“He played in Little League
all the way through, and after that he played in a church league. He
won the trophy for sportsmanship,” Dub said.
“That’s where I met him and
we started going together,” Callie added. Her maiden name was Cross
and her home was in Edgemont. She was 14 and he was 16.
They dated for two years and
then were married May 1, 1964.
“I remember how he told about
his mother’s new bed and he wasn’t supposed to sit on it, so when no
one was home he’d go into the bedroom and lie down on it,” Callie
“He used his bike to deliver
papers and when he was old enough to drive a car he never rode the
bike again. He liked to work on cars,” his father said.
“He was such a good driver
that when he went to the northwest on a trip and he drove, Velma
wouldn’t let me drive again,” he said. “Through the mountains,” she
“Remember how he liked to eat
honey and it upset him when you put it in the refrigerator?” Dub asked
They gave him some honey in a
bee-shaped container and they still have this memento.
“It almost fell off the shelf
during the earthquake.”
“He loved maraschino
cherries and he used to pick them off everyone’s sundaes and one time
he ate a whole bottle of them and got sick,” Callie recalled.
“He had so many friends –
always had some place to go,” his father said.
“He likes to work. He worked
at Eggers Ranch up on Perris Boulevard for three years. He wanted to
buy everything for himself,” Dub said, “but sometimes I’d get him a
pair of Levis.”
After he was graduated from
high school in 1963 Carrol went to work for the University of
California, Riverside, experimental farm in Moreno Valley. He did a
of things there and “sometimes came home pretty dirty. But he never
missed a day.”
“He was taking classes at the
Sheriff’s Academy and was in the top five in his class,” his mother
“You know, all the men on his
father’s side are ministers, missionaries or teachers,” Mrs. Teel
said. “His uncle in Argentina phoned us an hour before the funeral.”
“His grandparents live in
Texas, Mr. and Mrs. I.G. Hollingsworth,” she added.
“We played poker together a
lot,” said Pete Harding, Carrol’s best friend.
Callie said Carrol had wanted
a motorcycle for two years and she’d finally agreed. “He came home
early Friday with the check to buy it and he was going to get it
“We were going to go riding
on Saturday,” said Pete.
Pete added, “How can you say
it – he was a gentleman. Gentle.”
I carried a ruler in my purse
when we went to church on Sunday – that’s when they were little boys –
and all I had to do was open the purse and they’d quit acting up.
It’s the teacher in me, I guess,” his mother said. “But they were
well behaved. Real boys.”
“Carrol had a good sense of
humor, but it was a dry wit.”
He always smiled. And if
someone asked what he was smiling about he “looked like a cat that
swallowed the canary. He had a real pleasant grin. He had his own
private thoughts and you wouldn’t know what was on his mind.”
“When he got married he found
out his friends had painted the car and he sent his bother to wash the
paint off,” Callie said.
“He didn’t have particularly
good marks in school,” Dub said, “but when he got on the police force
he rally buckled down.
“You know, that night they
couldn’t find Callie. She was out here helping some friends move.
And we got a call from (a friend) who thought we knew – about eleven
o’clock,” Carrol’s father said.& “We got dressed and went to the
hospital in Riverside. We didn’t know.”
Other survivors include seven
uncles: James Teel, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Carrol B. Teel, Woodland;
Alman Teel, Los Palos; Oren Teel, Fresno; Billy Joel Hollingworth,
Electra, Texas; Myrel Hollingworth, Farmington, New Mexico, and Eugene
Hollingworth, Wanatche, Washington, and four aunts, Mrs. Opal
Alexander, Sundown, Texas; Mrs. Mary Hynk, Ft. Worth, Texas; Mrs.
Edith Richey, Redondo Beach, and Mrs. Myrtle Harbison, Austin, Texas.
The Press, Thursday, April 8, 1971, Weezy Wold,
Press-Enterprise Staff Writer