Two days ago, Juan Valles sat behind bars, dressed in a jail orange jumpsuit.
Thursday, he was out in the open and back with his family. The 7-Eleven clerk who was facing felony battery charges for hitting a homeless man is now free.
“I was just relieved. I mean, I can’t put it no better than that,” Valles told FOX40.
The San Joaquin County District Attorney’s office decided not to pursue the charge against him, stemming from an incident last Monday. Stockton police officers said Valles, a clerk at the 7-Eleven on Pershing Avenue in Stockton, punched the homeless man who was intoxicated.
Valles admitted he hit him in the face, but only after the man took a swing at him.
“I don’t go there to start problems. I go there to work. I go there to make money for my family,” Valles said.
Investigators said that punch caused the homeless man to fall and hit his head against the concrete. He’s still in the hospital with a critical head injury but will most likely survive.
“Thank God. I’m happy for that. I’m happy that he’s going to survive. That wasn’t my intentions to hurt him,” Valles told FOX40.
For now, Valles’ family is more than happy, they’re grateful.
“I was praying to God that, you know, he would be released because I know he was innocent,” Diana Avila, Valles’s wife, said Thursday.
As for Valles, he has been taking every moment in with his family, een though there is some worry that the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s office will change their mind.
“I mean all I can do is keep fighting and f they try to file then hey, I mean what can I do? I can just keep fighting,” he said.
We spoke with a legal expert and he said that the statute of limitations for felony battery in California is a year.