SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A jury has acquitted a former California college cheerleader of most charges in a bloody fight at a dorm party, deciding that he stabbed his attacker in self-defense.
Jurors found Victor Perez, a 21-year-old San Francisco State University student, not guilty of multiple felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon and assault causing great bodily injury, said San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi on Friday.
"I don't know why this case was charged in the first place when the facts are so clear he defended himself and his injuries were so severe that even today he doesn't have 100 percent full use of his left arm," said deputy public defender Kwixuan (quiz-ON') Maloof.
Max Szabo, a spokesman for San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon, said that details of the trial outlined in a press release by Adachi's office were inaccurate. "The story released to the media by the public defender's office came as a shock to us too, and that's because much of it doesn't correspond to what actually came out in trial," Szabo said.
Perez, an amateur disc jockey, was performing at a May 2016 party attended by dozens of athletes when a dorm resident adviser told the group to shut down the party or face police, the defense office said.
Perez told guests to leave but one member of the wrestling team refused, taking what the public defender's office called a fighting stance. Perez punched the man in the face. They jury convicted him on one count of misdemeanor battery for throwing the punch.
But they acquitted him of charges stemming from what happened next.
Another member of the wresting team saw the punch and tackled Perez, launching both of them through a plate glass window, according to the public defender's news release.
Perez was bloody, covered in broken glass with his body halfway out the window of the high-rise building. He struggled with his working right hand to reach a pocket knife with a 1-inch blade and stabbed the wrestler who witnesses said was still pummeling him, according to the press statement.