Man gets year in jail for battery on officer |

Man gets year in jail for battery on officer

by Sheila Gardner

A 25-year-old Fallon man was sentenced Tuesday to one year in Douglas County Jail to be served after he completes six months on charges related to a chase with Douglas County deputies Dec. 1 that ended in his arrest.

Jeremy Steven Valencia apologized to Deputy Justin Fricke who testified for about 20 minutes at the defendant’s sentencing hearing about the chase and the injury he suffered to his hand that requires surgery.

Fricke testified that he pulled Valencia over at 10:13 a.m. Dec. 1 on Highway 50 in Glenbrook for not signaling lane changes.

The deputy said Valencia was acting suspiciously, and might have a weapon.

“I pulled my duty weapon and called for backup. All my senses were heightened and Jeremy was acting very nervous. The veins on his neck were pulsing,” Fricke said.

He said Valencia gave him a false identification and while the officer was waiting for his partner to arrive, Valencia swore at him and took off.

Valencia and his passenger crashed on Highway 50 in Glenbrook, then fled on foot and resisted arrest.

Fricke gave a descriptive account of chasing the suspect, and finally forcibly handcuffing him with help of a Nevada Highway Patrol officer inside a garage.

Fricke said he tore ligaments in his left hand that placed him on restrictive duty with the sheriff’s office. The deputy said he will be off work for five months following surgery scheduled next week.

Fricke said he felt Valencia deserved a consecutive sentence because of the seriousness of the offenses.

“My main concern with this case is that several felony acts were committed, but they couldn’t be charged that way. Because of the severity of the crimes, several people could have been in danger. Jeremy broke into a house; the way he was driving was very dangerous. Several people could have gotten hurt,” Fricke said.

Valencia’s attorney, Kris Brown, said her client had mental health issues that led him to act impulsively rather than with “thoughtful and reasonable” behavior.

“I can understand Deputy Fricke’s anger,” Brown said. “But the felony was dismissed because of a lack of facts to support it.”

Valencia sent Fricke a letter, and apologized again Tuesday in court.

He pleaded guilty to battery on an officer, a gross misdemeanor.

“I take full responsibility for my actions. Everything that took place was my fault. I apologize for wasting the time of the court,” he said.

At the time of his arrest, Valencia was driving on a suspended license and had a felony warrant for grand larceny. He said he ran because he was nervous about going back to prison for fear of being killed “for being native,” according to the report.

District Judge Tod Young sentenced Valencia to 364 days in Douglas County Jail, consecutive to the six months he is serving for misdemeanor offenses.

He has been in custody since Dec. 1.