Police: Former officer threatened teens with gun
A Pembroke Pines man upset about two teenage neighbors driving past his home in a noisy convertible chased them, threatened them with a gun and struck them both, police said.
Mario Lazaro Perez, 49, a security guard and former Hialeah police officer, was arrestedMonday after the alleged violence in the gated Pembroke Shores community, south of Pines Boulevard andwest of Interstate 75.
Earlier that night, Tyler Muraida, 19, was driving his HondaS2000. Itsenginewas loud and the top down as he cruised the streets in the community.
His 15-year-old neighbor and longtime friend rode in the passenger seat.
As they passed house, he got in his Perez’s car and and followed the teens.
Muraida wanted to leave the community. While waiting for a security gate to open, Perez caught up to the Honda, got out of his car and pointed a handgun at Muraida, police said.
In a phone interview Thursday, Muraida, a college student, said, “I was scared formy life.”
Perez yelled at Muraida, cursed at him about his driving and said, “If you move again, I’m going to put three in you,” according to a police report. He told Muraida to turn off the engine and remove the keys. Perez then reached into the car and punched Muraida in cheek, police said.
Next, according to police, Perez approached the younger boy, placed the gun against his neck and toldhim he had 10 seconds to get the keys and start the car or he was going to kill him. Perez then began counting down from10, police said.
The boy found the keys in the center console, the car was restarted and Perez struck the back of the boy’s head with the gun, which caused minor swelling, police said.
“If I ever see youagain I’m going to f------ kill you!” Perez told his neighbors.
The teens drove to a nearby Publix where their parentsandpolicemetthem.
Perez was taken into custodyonsuspicion ofcommitting aggravated assault with a deadlyweapon without intent to kill; battery; aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and two counts of armed burglary of the car.
He was denied bond on the burglary charges; he has a bail hearing scheduled for April 27. His attorney, JohnS. Hager of Fort Lauderdale, could not be reached for comment.
From July 1988 through October 1994, Perez was an officer with the Hialeah Police Department. Court documentsshowhe does not have a criminal record and has worked as a security guard.
“If he’s in the neighborhood, hecan’t drive fast,” Eva Jacques said about rides her son used to take with Muraida. “I thought we were safe.”
Her son is grounded for now. When she heard of the incident, her first fear was that her son had been shot.
“The muzzle of the gun was put behind [my son’s] head,” Jacques said. “If that thing had gone off, it would have been a whole different story.”
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