NWGA Scanner | July 30th, 2022
According to a Dalton Police Department indent report, On Monday, July 4th, 2022, at 11:53 PM, Officer Kell was dispatched to the area of Underwood Road and Brooker Drive in reference to a Whitfield County deputy driving up on a single car crash. Officer Kell reported, “Just as [I] arrived on the scene, [I] observed a male subject, running south on Underwood Road towards the crash scene, with a WCSO vehicle driving behind him. [I] then made contact with this subject (later identified as Juan Valdez Jr., 17, of Dalton). Juan was extremely sweaty and had scratch marks on his legs. Juan also had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his mouth area. Juan began telling myself and the deputies on the scene that he “Saw someone run” from the crash car.” Juan advised officers he was walking when the crash happened and wasn’t driving. The officer asked Juan if he had been drinking due to his statements being all over the place, to which he stated he only had “One beer.” The officer then asked how old he was (due to him looking well under 21) to which he stated “17.” Officer Kell reported, “[I] then asked if he was lying to me and he was, in fact, the one driving, to which he became more upset, and again, continued with the statement he had to jump out of the way of being hit. [I] continued to try to ask Juan what happened, but he would only tell me how he was walking down the road because he walks everywhere. When asked about what the vehicle did, he would only continue to tell me how he was “Just walking.” Around this time, Juan’s mother (Angie Valdez) arrived on the scene. [I] then spoke with her. Angie began telling me that she was the passenger in the vehicle. [I] then asked her if Juan was the one driving, to which she stated, “Yes.” Angie then stated that they wrecked due to a deer running out in front of Juan, causing him to swerve and wreck into the ditch.” Juan continued to lie to the officer and advised he wasn’t driving at all. Juan was placed under arrest for DUI and agreed to the state test. Juan was transported to the Whitfield County Jail, where he showed a BAC of .114 on the state test. Juan was booked into jail and charged with DUI – under 21 .02% or more, failure to maintain lane, and driving while unlicensed or expired.