Child alcohol poisoning suspect released

Boy, 4, hospitalized after drinking vodka and soda

CHULA VISTA, Calif. - A South Bay man who authorities said allowed a little boy to get dangerously drunk is being released from jail Friday.

Following a bail review, a judge ruled 22-year-old Joseph Calles could leave jail, but while Calles' eyes welled up with tears when he got word of his release, he still faces felony child abuse after his girlfriend's 4-year-old son, Alex, got alcohol poisoning.

Police are not sure how much he drank, but 10News learned Alex's blood alcohol level was .23. To put that into perspective, since an average child that age weighs 35 pounds, it is equivalent to a 160 pound man consuming 10 drinks.

10News learned Calles told police Alex drank his vodka and Squirt cocktail when he stepped out of the room to check on his other child.

Prosecutors said Alex's mom, Jackie Viera, called to check on her son and learned he was not moving and not responding, so she rushed home and they took Alex to the hospital.  

The prosecutor said the defendant "fled the hospital" and later "went back home and started destroying evidence."

He added, "The officer went back to the home and saw him dumping out a liquid container in the sink."

"Mr. Calles was at the hospital for two to three house with the child receiving care before he did in fact go home, which is not far from the hospital," said defense attorney Ramona McCarthy. "He went home to change clothes and clean up the mess that was left at the house. He was not trying to destroy evidence."

Calles will be back in court next week. The judge told Calles he is not allowed to have children in his care, no alcohol and no contact with Alex.

Friends and family members -- including Alex's mom -- showed support for Calles during his court appearance.

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