Cop Shot By Gang Member Thankful For Those Who Helped Save His Life

Fremont police officer Todd Young, who was nearly killed by a Decoto gang member last year, gave his first interview Friday after his assailant was sentenced to life in prison.

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."

Mona Taplin December 17, 2011 at 02:52 AM
Even those of us who have never met Officer Young are thankful to everyone who participated in saving his life. We also are thankful that he had the strength and will to fight this mighty battle for life, Gang members still are making threats? I can't help but wish that Barrientos will smarten up and explain to his comrades that prison is no picnic, and urge them to turn their lives around. Andrew Barrientos, who caused so much pain and suffering to officer Young and his famiily as well as to his own family. Hasn't this suffering gone far enough yet?
Sunil Sethi December 18, 2011 at 04:44 PM
Glad to know he's doing better. The kids needs to figure out that they're going to be wasting their lives by joining a gang. They need to start being educated sooner about how to achieve things in life.
Mona Taplin December 18, 2011 at 06:01 PM
Maybe seeing a movie about an actual days life in prison would help. Start the movie when prisoners have to get up, show every minute of their daily lives until they go to bed at night. Never a minute when they aren't being supervised by armed guards. Maybe getting a close look at the not so private room with iron bars they live in 24/7 might help discourage a few from joining gangs. I doubt very much if anything will change the minds of those young thugs already armed with guns, knives and baseball bats and dozens of friends willing to retaliate if anyone makes a move against them.
jessica December 19, 2011 at 08:40 PM
I would like to write Officer Young a letter. Do you know where I can get an address or email?
Benjamin Horner December 20, 2011 at 12:24 AM
I'm sure you could send him a card or letter care-of the Fremont Police Department, 2000 Stevenson Blvd, Fremenot, CA 94537-5007
Benjamin Horner December 20, 2011 at 12:25 AM
I really CAN spell!! It's FREMONT...not Fremenot!! Ben Horner/UCPD.


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