Bay City News Service
Oakland — Fremont police Officer Todd Young, who nearly died after he was shot by a gang member in Oakland last year, said Friday that he's thankful to the many people who helped save his life.
In his first interview since he was shot by Decoto Nortenos member at 2009 Auseon Ave. near Bancroft Avenue in East Oakland at about 2:30 p.m. on Aug. 27, 2010, Young first thanked Officer Eric Tang, his partner on the Southern Alameda County Major Crimes task force, who was with him when he tried to arrest Barrientos on a warrant for threatening his ex-girlfriend with a gun two weeks earlier.
Young, who was shot twice in his pelvis, also thanked Dr. Javid Sadjadi and the staff at Highland Hospital in Oakland, where he spent 51 days before he was finally allowed to go home to continue his physical therapy and recovery.
In addition, Young, who turned 41 on Thursday and spoke to reporters after Barrientos, a 21-year-old Union City man, was sentenced to life in prison today, thanked the many people who donated blood to help him replace the large amount of blood he lost while being treated and undergoing numerous surgeries.
And he thanked the thousands of people around the country who sent him letters of support as well as news reporters who did stories on his struggles.
Alameda County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Horner, who sentenced Barrientos, said Young was losing more blood than doctors could replace and doctors "were terrified" that he would die.
Horner said Young's "life was hanging by a thread" and quoted a section of a poem by 17th Century British author and statesman Andrew Marvell in which Marvell wrote "time's winged chariot was hurrying near."
Horner said Young survived "but at a terrible cost" because he has had to undergo many surgeries and endure "an enormous amount of pain."
Horner said Young's future as a police officer "is as yet uncertain" but he told Young "my prediction is you will make it" because of what he said is the officer's strength and resolve.
Young said that he in fact hopes to return to work next summer after taking six months to recover from surgery on his abdomen next month.
Young said that even though he was the victim in the shooting, gangs in the Fremont and Union City have threatened his life and have spray-painted graffiti with his name.
But he said, "They're not going to intimidate me" and "I refuse to let those guys terrorize the community."
Young said that although he's grateful to the doctors who saved his life, "I hate hospitals" and he went back to his home to begin his recovery last year instead of going to a rehabilitation center that had been recommended to him.
Young said he weighed 196 pounds when he was shot last year but he dropped to 130 pounds while he was in the hospital. He's now back up to 190 pounds, he said.
In predicting that Young will return to work as a police officer, Horner said, "The citizens of this community need you and men and women like you to protect us and keep us safe."
Prosecutor John Brouhard said the shooting incident "is a reminder to us that we owe a debt of gratitude to police officers who risk their lives to try to protect our community from gang violence."