OAKLAND (BCN) – Suspected gang member Andrew Barrientos was ordered Friday to stand trial for the attempted murder of a police officer and 10 other felony counts for an incident in August in which he allegedly shot a Fremont police officer in Oakland.
At the end of a preliminary hearing that spanned about 10 days over the last three weeks, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Thomas Reardon ruled the prosecutors produced enough evidence to go to trial against Barrientos and two co-defendants who allegedly helped him try to flee.
Prosecutors allege that Barrientos, a 20-year-old Union City man, is a member of the Decoto Nortenos gang. The word “Decoto” is tattooed on his right arm and was visible throughout the preliminary hearing.
In addition to the attempted murder of a police officer charge, Reardon ordered Barrientos to stand trial for carjacking, attempted carjacking and two counts each of shooting at an occupied vehicle, carrying a concealed firearm, and carrying a loaded firearm in a city.
He also faces numerous enhancement clauses that could increase his prison time, including allegations that he was acting to benefit a gang and was involved in street terrorism.
In addition, Barrientos will stand trial on charges of assault with a firearm and making terrorist threats for allegedly threatening his ex-girlfriend on Aug. 13.
Barrientos is accused of shooting Fremont police Officer Todd Young, 39, when Young and fellow Officer Eric Tang attempted to arrest him at 2009 Auseon Ave., near Bancroft Avenue, in East Oakland at about 2:30 p.m. on Aug. 27.
The two officers, who were working undercover and didn’t have police uniforms, were working in Oakland as part of the Southern Alameda County Major Crimes Task Force and had a warrant for Barrientos’ arrest for an incident in April as well as for allegedly threatening his ex-girlfriend with a gun in San Leandro on Aug. 13.
Oakland police said that after Young was shot, Barrientos tried to carjack one vehicle before successfully stealing a second vehicle.
Barrientos fled to Southern California but was arrested near the Mexican border the day after the shooting, police said.
Gustavo Silva, 23, and Francisco Sierra, 30, who are also from Union City, were ordered by Reardon to stand trial on a charge of being an accessory to attempted murder and an enhancement allegation that they furthered gang activity.
Young spent more than seven weeks at Highland Hospital in Oakland, where he underwent numerous surgeries to address serious bladder problems and had to receive blood transfusions.
Barrientos’ lawyer, Anne Beles, urged Reardon to order Barrientos to stand trial on assault with a deadly weapon instead of the attempted murder of a police officer because she said there was “conflicting evidence” about whether Barrientos knew Young was a police officer when he shot at him.
But prosecutor John Brouhard said Barrientos should have known that Young was an officer because Young “identified himself loudly and repeatedly and had a police badge around his neck.”
Brouhard said Barrientos had “an intent to kill” Young because he fired 10 shots that struck the officer and nearly killed him.
Brouhard said Barrientos and fellow Decoto Norteno gang members consider police officers to be like rival gang members and “have adapted a mentality of their willingness to kill police officers.”
Barrientos, Silva and Sierra are scheduled to return to court on Dec. 3 to have their trial date set.
(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News contributed to this report.)