Marble Falls officer asks for leniency for boater who almost killed him

MARBLE FALLS, Texas (KXAN) -- A Marble Falls police officer was violently thrown into the water on July 4, 2015, as an intoxicated boater tore through the officer's police boat.

Capt. Ted Young was on Lake Marble Falls with his wife -- his emergency lights on -- when the crash happened. Young landed in the water, with a broken shoulder, fractured vertebra of the spine, several broken ribs, a lacerated spleen and bleeding in his brain. His life preserver, damaged in the crash, wouldn't inflate. Young's wife, who had minor injuries, struggled to keep him above water while yelling for help.

The intoxicated driver, James "Hank" Fry, circled back in his boat and, with his own wife and Capt. Young's wife, pulled the officer from the water and took him to the dock.

Before Fry's trial started, the officer's lawyer said Young would like to sit down and meet with the man who almost killed him. The captain had gone through several serious surgeries following the incident and has not been able to return to his full duties on the force.

Fry agreed and met with Capt. Young and his wife, Patricia. At the meeting, the couple expressed their appreciation for Fry and his wife's help after the crash. They then talked about how Fry's choices led to the crash. Fry apologized to both Young and his wife, saying he was grateful the officer survived.

After the meeting, Young and his wife both said they would prefer the case be settled without a trial. On Oct. 19, Judge Allan Garrett sentenced Fry to 10 years in prison, and then suspended that sentence. Instead, an agreement was made where Fry would spend 120 days in the county jail and be on probation for 10 years.

District Attorney Sonny McAfee called the proposed meeting an unusual request from a victim. McAfee said the concerns of Capt. Young and his wife were on Fry's lack of judgement leading up to the crash. "However, those concerns were clearly secondary to their appreciation for assistance after the collision," he said.

"It is a very odd circumstance when the defendant in a case causes the damage to a victim but then mitigates that damage by assisting after the harm." McAfee called that the driving force in Capt. Young wanting to thank Fry. The district attorney said it was also Fry's acceptance of the meeting and taking responsibility for his actions that led to the settlement.

"I certainly appreciate Patricia and Ted Young thinking of this solution, and I appreciate [Attorney Eddie Shell's] willingness to not only allow, but to encourage his client and his client's wife to participate. I believe justice was served when Judge Garrett approved the proposed agreement."

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