ATLANTA - Authorities said they had no choice but to let a man go when he came to turn himself in on charges that stemmed from an attack outside the Georgia Dome after the NFC championship game in January.
James McCoywas charged after police said he stabbed another man in a fight after the game.
"I was surprised to get the phone call," said attorney Mac Pilgrim.
Pilgrim told Channel 2's Ryan Young he couldn't believe
the phone call from his client James McCoy after he and McCoy went to the Fulton County Jail Thursday to face two warrants signed by the Georgia Dome Police Department.
"(I got a phone call) around midnight from my client advising me that he had been released and he was home," Pilgrim said.
McCoy is the only person charged so far in the attack outside the Dome.
"There were two warrants, apparently one for aggravated assault, one for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon," Pilgrimm said.
YouTube video of the incident shows at least six people attacking McCoy. Police said McCoy then used a box cutter to get free, cutting the neck of one of the men shown in the video.
"I'm still livin', by the grace of God I'm still livin', you know, so, I mean I have no malice in my heart for nobody," McCoy said.
"It was in self-defense. He did not initiate anything, he did not start anything. He simply was defending himself, he attempted to escape a very volatile situation we all saw on YouTube,"
Young said he made several calls to see why McCoy was released. The sheriff's department said McCoy was not set free by accident. They said his warrants were not ready for them to legally take custody of him, so they had to let him go.
"He was advised to leave, so he started walking and kept going. He called a family member to come get him, and when I spoke to him he was already home," Pilgrim said.
McCoy's relatives said the ordeal has been very tough for them and they are hoping to work things out.
McCoy said he wants his day in court and to put everything behind him because he says he's innocent.