PEMBROKE PINES, FLA. (WSVN) - A former police officer is in jail, Friday night, after he became upset about the way two teens were driving around his neighborhood and threatened them with a gun, according to police.
Fifteen-year-old Jordan Ganthier showed 7News where he said he was hit in the head with a pistol by Perez, Monday night. His friend, 19-year-old Tyler Muraida, said he was also struck by Perez.
Pembroke Pines Police arrested 49-year-old Mario Perez, a former Hialeah Police officer, for allegedly threatening and striking the teens.
The teens said it all started when they were driving through their neighborhood and Perez felt like the car was too loud. He began chasing them in his car, the teens said, and when they stopped at the guard gate, he pulled out a gun.
“He punches Tyler with the gun. He punches Tyler with his fist and tells Tyler to get the keys out of the ignition,” Jordan said.
Muraida said Perez told him, “‘If you move or you keep moving, I’m gonna put three in you.'”
“And that’s what really scared me,” Muraida said.
The teens claim that the former officer then went around to Jordan’s side of the car.
“And says, ‘You have 10 seconds to get the hell out of here or your friend’s dead, or I swear to God, I’m going to kill your friend,'” Jordan added.
“It still echoes through my mind,” Muraida said. “It’s something you don’t get over quickly. I’m just happy that, you know, we got out of it OK.”
According to the Pembroke Pines police report, the former officer said, “If I ever see you again, I’m going to [expletive] kill you.”
Muraida and Ganthier said another man was in the car with Perez, Monday evening.
That man has since been identified Miami Police Sgt. James Faris. Miami PD told 7News they are aware of the incident and are looking into it.
Meanwhile, the younger teen, Jordan, is afraid to go to school.
“I keep thinking about how it could’ve gone down if we didn’t find the keys,” Jordan said. “What else could’ve happened?”
Muraida’s father, Mark, said pulling a gun on teens is out of line, no matter who you are.
“Regardless of if you are still law enforcement or if you are ex-law enforcement, you should be held to those standards,” Muraida said. “You know, you don’t have the right to go out and do that, just like I don’t have the right to go out and do that to someone else.”
The former officer’s attorney released a statement which read, “These kids were driving recklessly at a high rate of speed in a gated community, putting many lives at risk. Residents had complained about these kids and their recklessness to the Pembroke Pines P.D.”
Perez is due back in court next week.
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