SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com) — The fourth annual Women’s Flag Football Charity Games were held Saturday in Santa Ana.
This year, the games took on special meaning as they were also to benefit Riverside Police Officer Andrew Tachias, who was shot eight times and critically injured by fugitive Christopher Dorner in February 2013.
Tachias was sitting in a patrol car with fellow Officer Michael Crain when Dorner pulled alongside them at a stoplight and opened fire.
Crain was killed.
CBS2’s Art Barron attended the lively fundraiser. Tachias was clearly moved by the outpouring.
“It is rather overwhelming,” he said, “I am surprised by all of it.”
His colleagues awarded him with a crystal football to commemorate today’s games.
“I can’t lift my fingers up, I can’t lift my wrist up. That’s what this brace does for me,” he said about the cage-like apparatus on his right hand.
Tachias said he doesn’t think about Dorner, or the day he was nearly killed. But the anniversary is looming.
“I try not to think too much about it. I know it will hit hard once February rolls around,” said Tachias.
Organizers expect to raise more than $15,000 through ticket sales, T-shirts, raffle tickets and bottled water. All the money raised will go to Tachias’ recovery effort.
“His recovery still has a long road to go,” said fundraiser organizer Tammy Franks, “and he’s obviously made phenomenal success.”
“Sometimes I’m sure he feels alone, and it’s nice to know all the great people in California care about him and are thankful for this sacrifice,” said Riverside Police Det. Melissa Brazil.