wkbw_49278_Super7_658x90.png

Actions

Officer Craig Lehner, "committed to helping others"

Posted at 7:34 PM, Oct 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-16 23:29:05-04

Dustin Lovell has spent countless hours tattooing Buffalo Police Officer Craig Lehner. He can't put a specific number on it, but says he's probably tattooed the missing diver about 100 times.

"I tattooed him and his mother maybe two or three years ago," Lovell said Monday. "She was the sweetest lady. The relationship that they had with each other was just so good."

Over the years, Lovell and Lehner became close friends. They'd spend hours talking about girls, working out and boxing.

"Craig was a good guy," Lovell said. "He was super genuine. A silly guy who could make jokes and be super serious when he needed to. He was very good at making you laugh when you were upset and turning a negative situation upside down into a joke."

Sgt. Matthew McCabe served with Lehner in the 105th Military Police Company of the New York Army National Guard. They deployed together to Iraq in 2011.

"Upon deployment he was a mentor for a lot of us," McCabe explained. "He was a good guy you could go up to with questions."

It was in the Army National Guard when Lehner first took an interest in diving. He learned to scuba dive while deployed at Guantanamo Bay in 2013.

"It's tragic. But I know he loved doing what he was doing with the police department," McCabe said. "He was fully committed within the 105th military police company. Committed to the Army. Committed to helping others."

Recovery teams are still working to track down 34-year-old Craig Lehner.

In his tattoo parlor Monday, Lovell found two sketches from pieces he did for Lehner over the years. He's saving those to give to Lehner's mother.