Mother of one of the five arrested for carjacking speaks out, says teens aren’t at fault


FRESNO, California (KSEE) – On Wednesday, five juveniles were arrested after Fresno Police said they beat a 40-year-old man and carjacked him.

Officers said the carjacking happened outside of one of the apartments near Shields and Valentine avenues around 1 a.m.

Sgt. Joe Martin said a man called in stating he was going to pick up his son’s half-sibling when his car was stolen.

Martin said the juveniles beat the man up and took his car. Around 4 a.m. the teens returned to the complex in the car.

The man was taken to the hospital to be treated for his injuries. All five boys were arrested.

Martin said right now at least 3 of them are linked to the suspected carjacking.

However, not everyone believes the boys are at fault. Leanna Valencia, who is the mother of one of the suspects, said the teenagers were protecting her.

“They are good kids and were basically just looking out for men,” said Valencia.

Valencia said her ex (the 40-year-old man) came to the complex that morning to pick up her son from a friend’s house. She said conflict arose when her son confronted the man about a black eye Valencia said she had because the man hit her.

“I guess he attacked my son because of what he asked him about what he did to me,” said Valencia. “The boys didn’t do anything wrong. If anything, he is the adult. He should know better. ”

Marin said the incident is still under investigation and at least one of the boys claimed to be associated with a gang.

The juveniles will face charges of assault, carjacking and armed robbery.

Back a couple of months ago, Fresno Police responded to the same area for a reported carjacking where a Lyft driver was shot. Officers said the two incidents are not related.

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