Po­lice: Former of­fi­cer threat­ened teens with gun

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - - LOCAL - By Linda Trischitta Staff writer

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.”

ljtrischitta@ sun­sen­tinel.com, 954-356-4233 his left

Perez

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